PNT and Theatre Nova offer holiday themed shows

. December 1, 2015.
pnt-nova-12-15

The Performance Network Theatre and Theatre Nova will each offer holiday themed shows this Christmas season. Both productions will open on November 27 and run through December 20.

Performance Network Theatre

Performance Network Theatre will present a new adaptation of the classic Dickens tale, A Christmas Carol. Their version is titled, An A Capella Carol, and PNT Artistic Director, Suzi Regan told us about it.

“Our Executive Director, John Manfredi wrote this adaptation. It’s going to be a radio play, like A Prairie Home Companion. We’ve got a reader who will read the Dickens adapted text and we’ve got four singer actors who will be doing all the singing and all the sound effects. We’ll be watching the radio play happening.”

The music

They’re all familiar standard carols, but who knows, once we go into rehearsal maybe we’ll find an opportunity to write something new. We’re using the three weeks of rehearsal to flesh out the script and to play with it, making it a theatrical event. There will be no instruments; we’re not going to have pre-show music or any sort of canned sound effects. We’ll do it all on stage. For instance a doorknocker will be a doorknocker on stage. I’ve always found it really cool to watch sound designers discover ways of creating amazing sound effects using ordinary materials.

It’s a classic but we’re excited too because a lot of people are used to watching A Christmas Carol on stage, fully realized with costumes and sets and props, just the largeness of it all, all the dots connected. Instead, we’re going for the simple storytelling, which is fun as well, being able to see the pictures in your mind. This way it’ll be a completely different experience

An A Capella Choir: November 27-December 20
$24-34
Performance Network Theatre, 120 E. Huron St.
734-663-0681 | pntheatre.org

Theatre Nova

Theatre Nova will also present a British inspired play, but with an American twist. An Almost British Christmas is a takeoff on the traditional British Pantomime. Theatre Nova’s founder, Carla Milarch explained.

“Pantomime doesn’t mean the same thing in England as it does here. When we think of pantomime we think of guys with white makeup, berets and striped shirts, but it’s nothing like that at all. Panto is much more like vaudeville meets melodrama meets comedia dell’arte. It’s a mash up of audience participation, standup comedy, musical performance and stock characters. There is the comic lead who is the narrator and comes in and welcomes the audience and throws candy at the kids.”

You’re creating your own version, not reproducing a British production.

No. A Panto is very much like sketch comedy, vignettes that string together along an existing storyline. Becky Fox, Russ Schwartz and I are writing it, and then we’ll take it into rehearsal and improvise along with the cast. Ryan Mackenzie-Lewis, who is a composer and music director, and has done Panto before, is writing all the music and songs, including crazy lyrics.

The other thing about Pantos are that they are very much community events. You involve the community in the production, which is one of the things that drew me. We’re bringing in student choirs from local schools, and the Children’s Creative Center, we’re bringing in local celebrities and each show will have a different celebrity, Santa Claus may show up, and people can check our website to see who is coming when.

An Almost British Christmas: November 27-December 20
$20, suggested ticket price
Theatre Nova, 416 W. Huron St.
734-635-8450 | theatrenova.org 

Trending

JUNGLEFOWL’S New EP ‘Secret Society’ (INTERVIEW)

The first time I heard JUNGLEFOWL, they knocked me out of my chair. It was 2015 and Melissa Coppola had sent me the tracks that would eventually be released as the debut EP for her new band with guitarist Stefan Carr–a power duo! But a power duo that I couldn’t place, in the best way–it

Doogatron Release Debut Album

Doogatron are inventive disciples of techno and house, creating textured synth-prog jams that blend machine-like precision with the human touch of improvisation. These 21st century torchbearers of Detroit’s electronic music fuse the old-school analog synthesizers with new-school digital technology. Their debut album comes out November 2nd… Doogatron Album Release Nov 2nd @ Ziggy’s with Jason Hogans (aka brownstudy) Sleezy

“All The Fragile Pretty Things…” Listening To The New Album by Little Traps

Little Traps might trick you. The intonation of acoustic guitars, sanguine pedal steel, brushy drums and tender vocalizations will bring you in close, make you sit down cross legged and ready yourself for the understated swoon of endorphins typically triggered by “folk music.” And you lean in closer…, a bit closer still. And those lyrics hit

Muse Atelier Vintage At 336 S. Ashley In Ann Arbor

Muse Atelier Vintage, a boutique featuring unique clothing items, accessories, and original artwork, is now open at 336 S. Ashley in Ann Arbor.