Monday, October 14, 2013

50 Shades of Gray

OK. Maybe 50 is an exaggeration. But you can expect to see lots of shades of gray in the costumes and sets of Grand Rapids Civic Theatre's upcoming production "The Giver," which opens Friday, Oct. 18. Based on Lois Lowry's Newberry Award-winning book, "The Giver" is about a utopian world without pain or fear (and probably no wrangling Congress to shut down the government.) But there's also no real joy ...and no realization of color. It's kind of like an old black and white movie, infinite shades of gray, long before that title took on such a sexy implication.

Don't expect Civic's production to be as shocking as "Fifty Shades of Gray," but expect a story with surprising depth about the choices one must make when facing adulthood. Director Pamela Steers recommends the show for middle school and older. She is pictured above with Jim Chervenka in the title role and Jake T. Goldberg, who portrays Jonas, the young man chosen to learn The Giver's secrets.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Can't stop singing those songs

I never claimed to be a singer, but when I'm alone in my own home -- watch out. Doing the housework Wednesday it was an off-key "Sherry, Sherry baby, Sherry." Loading the car in the garage Thursday  it was "Oh, pretty baby! Now that I've found you stay. Oh, Pretty Baby, Forgive me when I say..." at the top of my lungs. And petting my  cat, a quiet "As long as love can survive, I thank God I'm alive..."
    It's all because of "Jersey Boys." I saw the show Tuesday at DeVos Performance Hall and it won't let me go. I had seen it once before in Chicago, but if anything this touring show was even better. More electric.
     I sang a couple bars of  "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "Walk Like a Man" for my mom on Skype and it was good enough that she quickly remembered the songs of The Four Seasons. "Oh, yeah, I know those songs," she said.
     Last night I woke up at 3 a.m. and all I could think of was "Late December back in '63, what a special time for me, as I remember, what a night."
     If you didn't catch this show, the good news is you have five more chances this weekend: tonight and double performances both Saturday and Sunday. But be warned, the music will follow you home.