Lights, Camera, Action: Local Theatres Return with These Showings

There’s nothing quite like live performances — where audiences immerse within worlds of characters, music, and storylines on-stage. Whether presented by community theatre groups, orchestras, or served on a big screen with buttered popcorn and a side of MilkDuds®, theatres are open again. And in a big way. 

So, let’s enjoy as artists reclaim their stages. Entertainment venues? We’ve missed you.

Who’s open, and what’s on the playlist? Check it out.

COVID-19 note: most theatre locations require proof of vaccinations, and masks must be worn. 

LIVE MUSIC + THEATRE

Ann Arbor Civic Theatre (A2CT)

This theatre group has been “fostering a love of theatre since 1929” with various events and performances. 

Coming up:

October 2 at 8pm: An Evening of Improv

Admissions is $15. Tickets sold at the door. 

322 W. Ann St., Ann Arbor. 734-971-2228. a2ct.org.

Detroit Symphony Orchestra 

Founded way back in 1887, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra is still known— 134 years later— as the “most accessible orchestra on the planet.” 

Coming up:

September 22 and 29 at 7:30pm: The Music of John Williams, led by conductor Lawrence Loh, presenting musical favorites from Star Wars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, and more. Admission ranges from $19-105. 

Coming in October: Tchaikovsky’s Fifth, Bugs Bunny At The Symphony, and more. Check out their calendar for more information.

3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit. 313-576-5111. dso.org.

313 Presents at Fox Theatre

Open since 1928, this movie palace has been designated a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 313 Presents is the exclusive presenting partner of the Fox Theatre — which offers seating capacity of 5,000. They’re actively open with a multitude of shows and events scheduled. Here are just a few: 

September 17-October 3: Beyond Van Gogh 

September 17: Alan Jackson Tour 

September 20: Harry Styles

September 23: Jimmy Buffett

September 25: Alice Cooper

September 30: Zac Brown Band

September 30: Blake Shelton

2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit. 313-471-7000. 313presents.com.

Fisher Theatre

A favorite venue of many Broadway stars, the Fisher Theatre has endured various renovations from a vaudeville house in the ‘20s to its current opulent surroundings of marble, walnut paneling, and crystal adornments. 

Coming up:

October 2: Jazz ‘n The Fisher featuring Stanley Clarke & Norman Brown 

October 19-24: Rent

November 2-14: Pretty Woman, the musical 

3011 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit. 313-872-1000. broadwayindetroit.com.

Live @ The 415 Kerrytown Concert House

A local favorite and special place within Ann Arbor’s (and Kerrytown’s) artistic community, Live @ The 415 offers performances at this professionally-managed nonprofit concert space. 

Coming up:

8pm Friday, September 24: Cabaret duo R. MacKenzie Lewis & David Moan, Falling in Love: An AWWtumn Celebration. Admission ranges from $10-45. 

2pm Sunday, September 26: The Mack Sisters, duo pianists: Rhapsody

415 N. Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor. 734-769-2999. Kerrytownconcerthouse.com.

Purple Rose Theatre

Founded by acclaimed actor and Chelsea native Jeff Daniels, Purple Rose Theatre is a home for new theatre talent and seasoned professionals alike — who continue to hone their craft and entertain audiences. Although in-person showings won’t start until January 2022, you can still catch a few virtual readings at the Purple Rose Theatre website.

Coming up:

January 20, 2022-March 12, 2022: Under Ceege by Jeffry Chastang, directed by Lynch Travis. Tickets on sale soon.

137 Park St., Chelsea, 734-433-7673. Purplerosetheatre.org.

Royal Oak Music Theatre

Originally opened in 1928, the Royal Oak Music Theatre has evolved into a club-style concert venue, attracting world-class performers.

Coming up:

September 23: Koe Wetzel

September 26: Alec Benjamin

September 27: Tinashe

September 29: Jelly Roll

September 30: Seven Lions

October 6: Rob Bell

November 4 at 7:30pm: Cinderella, presented by University Opera Theatre

Additional dates found online. Admissions ranges from $13-30, discounts are offered with student ID. 

318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak, 248-399-2980. Royaloakmusictheatre.com

The Ark

A downtown Ann Arbor hotspot whose tagline is “where music lives” first opened in 1965. It offers an intimate 400-seat club, and is known as a folk and roots music venue. And their schedule? It’s full. Check out their website for full details. 

Coming up:

Wednesday, September 22 at 8pm: Joe Troop, multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter. Admission is $20.

Friday, September 24 at 8pm: Okkervil River. Admission is $25

Saturday, September 25 at 8pm: Susan Werner with opener King Margo Admission is $50 for gold circle, $32 for reserved seating, and $25 for general admission.

316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. 734-761-1818. theark.org.

The Encore Musical Theatre Company

The Encore offers an intimate theatre showcasing musicals, tributes, and more. Keep posted in October for a QUEEN tribute concert event. 

Coming up:

September 23-October 10: Smokey Joe’s Café: the songs of Leiber and Stoller

October 13-17: Queen Tribute Concert

November 11-28: Always Patsy Cline

7714 Ann Arbor St., Dexter. 734-268-6200. theencoretheatre.org.

Theatre Nova

This performing arts theatre offers the opportunity to present “new plays and new voices,” as their tagline reads. Tucked away in downtown Ann Arbor, Theatre Nova serves as a resource and friend to Michigan writers, and encourages those passionate about what’s relevant to today’s modern audiences.

Coming up:

September 17-October 10: The Lifespan Of A Fact by Jeremy Karaken, David Murrell, and Gordon Farrell. Admission is $22.

410 W. Huron St., Ann Arbor. 734.635.8450. theatrenova.org.

University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance 

The UM’s School of Music, Theatre, & Dance offers a multitude of live (and online) performances for the public through their various theatres. You can find their showings at both Hill Auditorium and the Power Center.

Coming up:

September 30 at 7:30pm: Nora: A Doll’s House

Additional dates found online. Admission is $30/$13 with student ID. Arthur Miller Theatre, 1226 Murfin Ave., 734-647-3327. smtd.umich.edu

October 7 at 7:30pm: The Wild Party

Additional dates found online. Admission varies from $13-35 with student ID. Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, 911 N. University Ave., 734-764-2538. smtd.umich.edu

October 12 at 7:30pm: Jonas Kaufmann

He’s been named the “world’s greatest tenor” (The Telegraph), and he kicks off the season for the University Musical Society (UMS). Tickets start at $12. 

Hill Auditorium, 825 N. University, Ann Arbor. 734.764.2538. Ums.org.

Power Center for the Performing Arts, 121 Fletcher St., 734-763-3333. Smtd.umich.edu