Kalamazoo Civic Theatre

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.


Carrie Phillips

"Oh, helloooo, Dolly, well hellooo, Dolly, It's so nice to have you back where you belong..."  The song itself may never leave our mental playlist, but the show it originated from sometimes does, for years and even decades. The Kalamazoo Civic Theater will mount the Jerry Herman classic for the first time since the 1970s, in a fresh production that opens Friday, Sep 21. Three stars of the cast - Lori Moore as Dolly Gallagher Levi, Hal Hobson as Horace Vandergelder, and Ken Holda as Cornelius Hackl - plus director Tony Humrichouser and Civic marketing director Janet Gover join Cara Lieurance in the studio for a refresher on this classic.


spamalotontour.com

Writer and theater critic Gordon Bolar (and a former general manager of WMUK) finds much to be hopeful and excited about in the rich world of West Michigan live theater. In a conversation with Cara Lieurance about the 2018-19 season, Bolar says we live an unusually supportive theater community that offers opportunities to participate at all age levels. Here are the productions he picked as his most-anticipated shows of the fall.


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