Kalamazoo Civic Theatre | WMUK

Kalamazoo Civic Theatre

Theater Review: Tenderly

Jan 24, 2019
Katherine Mumma / Kalamazoo Civic Theatre

The Civic Theatre’s current offering, Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical, is a different kind of theatrical experience than many of the juke-box musicals in recent years.

In Tenderly, the life of the artist is consistently linked to and shares the stage equally with the music that made her famous. As the show opens, we catch Clooney at her lowest moment. She has been institutionalized after an onstage nervous breakdown during a 1968 performance in Reno.

Matthew Murphy

Writer and WMUK theater critic Gordon Bolar highlights West Michigan theater this  winter and spring in a preview with Cara Lieurance. They cover upcoming productions by regional theaters such as Farmers Alley Theatre and the Kalamazoo Civic; the shows coming to Miller Auditorium, smaller companies like Queer Theatre Kalamazoo and What A Do Theatre; the Western Michigan University Theatre and more.


Katherine Mumma

The Kalamazoo Civic Theatre presents the Southwest Michigan premiere of Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical at the Parrish Theatre Jan 11-27. It's an intimate, two-person show that traces the highs, lows, and highs of the popular singer's life and career.

Mary Teutsch, who plays Rosemary Clooney, says she studied Clooney's career by reading her autobiography and studying her performances on film. Her foil is Hal Hobson-Morse, whose multiple roles call for transformations from Clooney's psychotherapist, to her mother, to Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and her ex-husbands, among other characters. Gregory Moore, the show's director, is a renowned vocalist himself, and an uncommon expert on the music of the Great American Songbook authors whose music helped make Clooney famous.  The actors and director talk to Cara Lieurance about the production and share their thoughts on what made Rosemary Clooney so special.


Kalamazoo Civic

Based on the 1968 film version of Ian Fleming's children's book, and featuring a score by the Sherman Brothers (Mary Poppins), the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang follows the adventures of inventor Caractacus Potts, his sweetheart, Truly Scrumptious, his father, and his two children, Jeremy and Jemima, in a flying car, as they outwit a child-hating Baron and Baroness and their Child-Catcher henchman. The Kalamazoo Civic's production features Dan Coyne (Grandpa Potts) and Donna Willoughby (Baroness Bomburst) in a cast directed by Tony Humrichouser. Coyne, Willoughby, and Humrichouser joined Cara Lieurance to preview the production and its central feat of engineering: a full-size, remote-control car that can fly.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang runs from Nov 23 - Dec 9 at the Kalamazoo Civic mainstage. 

The view from the Civic Theatre's stage
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

The Kalamazoo Civic Theatre's Senior Class Reader's Theatre is brimming with experience and talent, says artistic director Tony Humrichouser. Twenty-one players and a band of three musicians will perform The Civic in Song: 1929-2018 this weekend at the Civic mainstage. A musical revue created by director Art Nemitz, advisor Stephen Wallem and music director Doug Gaertner, it combines fresh and classic showtunes in surprising ways -- one highlight being a patter song naming the titles of all 140 musicals the Civic has staged. Cara Lieurance talked to Humrichouser, Nemitz, and actress Tammy Bailey about the work that's gone into the production.


Pages