5. “Hand to God”

I am not your typical puppet fan, considering I am utterly uncomfortable with the comedy that lingers somewhere between childhood and mature humor (although I can totally be entertained by Avenue Q). But Basement Art’s production of “Hand to God” proved to me that puppets can not only be used for humor, but for serious life lessons. Taking place in a church, the small, five-person cast had amazing chemistry, and they brought both their characters and puppets to life in the intimate, black box theatre. The story followed three teenagers in a puppet club at their church and the sins that they make. With comedy, severity and, well, a lot of human and puppet sex, “Hand to God” was a stellar blend of audience entertainment and audience take away. This show taught people that everybody sins and everybody has flaws, but it’s what we do with them that creates the ultimate judgement of character.

— Erika Shevchek 

4. Midnight Book Club

Add one cup of laughter, a pinch of funny people, three tablespoons of hilarity and what do you get? A recipe for fun and Midnight Book Club’s first show of the year. Midnight Book Club is one of the several improv troupes here on campus. The auditorium was buzzing with an air of contained excitement, and after watching this group, I can say I was certainly not disappointed. I was laughing out loud at all of the jokes made, and each member of the group was electric with energy and humor. Midnight Book Club is a group you do not want to miss this semester!

– Ellis Hyman

3. “Roméo et Juliette”

SMTD’s production of Roméo et Juliette was creative, entertaining and powerful. Staged in the 1950s, world-famous director Paul Curran aligned the story of Roméo et Juliette with the radicalism of the modern era. Through this decision, Curran brought out the intensity of how Romeo and Juliette’s environment effected their decisions. The University’s Opera Theatre students were truly impressive; the striking professionalism blew audiences away. The enthralling fight scenes and chemistry between the performers made for a convincing, incredible performance. With the relatable modern aspect of working through differences, combined with the modern setting, this production was unique and unforgettable.

– Allie Taylor

2. “The Drowsy Chaperone”

Performed in the Lydia Mendelssohn theatre, SMTD’s musical theatre department did a wonderful job with their production of “The Drowsy Chaperone,” a hilarious and upbeat show set in the Roaring 20s. The story follows an old, lonely man as he shares a vinyl record of his favorite musical — also titled “The Drowsy Chaperone” — with the audience and watches it come to life in his apartment.  The cast and crew did an impeccable job with all aspects of the show, including elaborate sets and costumes, comedic timing and vocal harmonies. The show kicked off the musical theatre season wonderfully. A perfect mix of funny, lighthearted, sentimental and deep, it was the perfect show to lighten the mood. It will be worth watching what the musical theatre department presents this term! 

– Eli Rallo

1. “Peter and the Starcatcher”

Michigan’s theatre department took on a new challenge this season with their performance of “Peter and the Starcatcher.” As the prequel to the famous story of “Peter Pan,” the Tony-award-winning play performed at the Power Center this past December. What made this show stand out among other SMTD performances was the unique adversity the theatre department faced, as a musical is a departure from their typical lineup (other recent productions include “The Arabian Nights” and “Henry IV, Part I”). Yet, even with a small pit band, continuous musical scores and dance numbers, the theatre department did a fantastic job adapting to the musical performance style. This production involved cross departmental collaboration, like merging lighting, props and costuming for certain scenes. The immense effort put into rehearsals was definitely shown in the performance as the cast and crew worked seamlessly in set changes and effects. “Peter and the Starcatcher” answered questions that I’ve had lingering since I was a child. However, it taught me more than just how Tinker Bell came to be. This show exemplified the concept of taking chances and constantly seeking something out of our comfort zone. It’s for that audacious kid that is still deep within all of us, itching to experience one more journey while we are still young.

– Erika Shevchek 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *