“Here’s to You, Here’s to Me”

. March 20, 2017.
This nontraditional theatrical performance incorporates song, dance, and the communal act of toasting
This nontraditional theatrical performance incorporates song, dance, and the communal act of toasting

If you’re looking for a great way to launch a festive evening, Kickshaw Theatre, Ann Arbor’s pop-up professional theatre company, is currently clinking glasses in their completely original, 30-minute show “Here’s to You, Here’s to Me” at local restaurants around Ann Arbor.

Devised by a creative team of actors, improvisers and musicians, this nontraditional theatrical performance incorporates song, dance, and the communal act of toasting. “Here’s to You, Here’s to Me” will literally have you toasting to everyone’s good fortune and laughing in spite of yourself.

Imagine sitting at a bar with a group of strangers—actors Dan Bilich (Ann Arbor), Ramona Burns (Detroit), Aral Gribble (Lansing), and Natalie Sevick (Flint)—who, by the end of the evening, seem like long, lost friends. These actors are so authentic, you forget that you are the spectator, and feel as if you are a part of a real party, rather than a play.

Part traveling Shakespearean comedy troupe, part Saturday Night Live, actors Bilich, Burns, Gribble and Sevick, directed adeptly by Lynn Lammers, take you on a historic journey of “The Toast,” inventing hilarious sketches of how we came to the modern-day method of jovial madness, clinking glasses together to each other’s good fortune, from the prehistoric times to today.

This author went to the performance event in a dark mood and found herself laughing it all off, thanks to the dogged jovialness of the actors (and the pint of Guinness didn’t hurt!)

Kickshaw asks audience members to arrive early to purchase a drink. “Once you have a glass to raise, take a seat. As the story unfolds, you’ll be toasting along with us,” explains director Lynn Lammers.

Performances are Thursday-Saturday through April 2, 2017, at three downtown Ann Arbor locations: The Heidelberg Club Above (215 N. Main St.), Arbor Brewing Company Brewpub (114 E. Washington St.), and Agave Tequila Bar (formerly Sabor Latino, 211 N. Main St.). Tickets are $10 each, and patrons are required to purchase one beverage (which can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic) from the hosting restaurant.

Tickets for “Here’s to You, Here’s to Me” can be purchased online at kickshaw.brownpapertickets.com or at the door (pending availability). More information is available at kickshawtheatre.org.

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