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Monday, March 18,2013

Curtain Call

'Magic Flute' casts its spell; Riverwalk Theatre announces its next season

by Christopher Horb

There’s nothing quite like a night at the opera.
And there’s certainly nothing like an opera from the master himself – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Audiences can find out for themselves when the Michigan Opera Theatre returns to Michigan State University’s Wharton Center with Mozart’s final piece, “The Magic Flute” on Thursday.
Written in 1791, it tells the whimsical story of Prince Tamino and the beautiful Pamina, two young lovers who must survive magical ordeals in order to be together.  The opera is presented in the form of Singspiel, which includes singing and spoken dialogue.
“The Magic Flute” is one of the most beloved works in the operatic repertoire so it’s not surprising the Michigan Opera Theatre, as part of its 40-anniversary season, has included it.
At the helm of the production is Dorothy Danner, whose MOT previous production of “The Magic Flute” played to packed houses in 1997.

“The Magic Flute”
Michigan Opera Theatre
Wharton Center, Cobb Great Hall
7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 21
$25, $60, $78
(800) WHARTON
www.whartoncenter.com


Lansing’s Riverwalk Theatre has announced its 2011-2012 season lineup, an ambitious mix of musicals, comedies and dramas including two children’s shows.
“We look forward to continuing to provide quality theater to the Lansing area and providing opportunities for area performers and artists to show off their talents,” said Riverwalk board president Tom Ferris.
This summer kicks off with the contemporary farce “Flaming Idiots” (July 21-31), followed by musical theater’s best-loved curly-haired orphan “Annie” (Sept. 8-18).
The season takes a dramatic turn with “Conspiracy,” a Stages of the Law drama about the secret Nazi conference that led to the Holocaust (Oct. 20-30). November sees an abrupt change of pace with “The Surprising Story of the Three Little Pigs,” a musical take on the classic children’s story (Nov. 25-Dec. 4).
The caustic Tom Stoppard-penned Shakespeare riff “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” kicks off the new year (Jan. 12-27), followed by the popular Leiber and Stoller musical revue “Smokey Joe’s Caf'” — which was bumped from the last Riverwalk season schedule  (Feb. 16-26).
The season winds down with “The Little Prince” (April 22-29, 2012), a collaboration with the All-of-Us Express Children’s Theatre, based on the French literature classic. It's followed by “Follies,” Stephen Sondheim’s salute to the days of Ziegfield and the era of the showgirl (May 31-June 10, 2012).
Riverwalk’s Black Box Theatre season includes Christopher Durang’s “Laughing Wild” (Aug. 4-14), Ted Tally’s “Terra Nova” (Oct. 7-15), Michael Freyan’s “Copenhagen” (May 4-13, 2012) and Kent R. Brown’s original “Two Beers and a Hookshot/Death Knocks” (March 2-11).
In addition, a yet-to-be-determined production will be scheduled for March.
For more information, call (517) 482-5700, or visit www.riverwalktheatre.com.

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