Purple Rose: Escanaba in da Moonlight

Escanaba in da Moonlight by Jeff Daniels -- "reloaded for the next generation" -- is playing through Dec. 17 at Purple Rose Theater in Chelsea. The show is directed by Guy Sanville. On the PRTC web page, the current Featured Artist is Wayne David Parker: "With his role as 'da Jimmer in this fall's production of Escanaba in da Moonlight, Wayne David Parker is making it an even two-dozen productions at the PRTC, where he is also a resident artist." Horray for Mr. Parker!

Verdi's Rigoletto Highlights With Music Expert Richard LeSueur

Sunday November 6, 2011: 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm -- Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room

In anticipation of the performance of selections from Verdi's Rigoletto by the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra (which will occur Saturday, November 12 at the Michigan Theatre), Richard LeSueur, opera lover extraordinaire, will discuss the plot and the music of this classic opera.

This tragic tale of ill-fated love was the first opera of Verdi's great middle period and contains some of the most popular arias and ensembles in the operatic world. This lecture will include recordings of some of these highlights.

Pioneer Theatre Guild: Phantom of the Opera Opens this Weekend

The fall musical at Pioneer High, The Phantom of the Opera, opens this weekend on Saturday Nov. 5. Based on the original story by Gaston Leroux, the production also owes thanks to the book and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. U-M musical theater students are helping with the show. For ticket information, click here.

The Essential Samuel Beckett With Theater Historian And Beckett Specialist Enoch Brater

Tuesday October 25, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Theater historian and Samuel Beckett specialist Enoch Brater presents an overview of the life and works of playwright Samuel Beckett, his influence upon modern theater, and the landmark productions of Beckett's works staged by the Gate Theatre of Dublin. This event is co-sponsored by the University Musical Society and the U-M Department of English Language and Literature.

Ireland's acclaimed Gate Theatre is largely considered the leading interpreter of the great Irish modernist writer, playwright, and humorist Samuel Beckett in the world and this event is held in conjunction with University Musical Society's double-bill of two one-act Beckett plays ("Endgame" and "Watt") performed by the Gate Theatre Of Dublin and at the Power Center Oct. 27 - 29.

Never exactly mainstream, Beckett is nonetheless considered one of the most important European writers of the 20th century for his influence on modern literature and for his ability to impress shock and confound.

Interview With Barry McGovern, Actor And Renowned Beckett Performer With The Gate Theatre Of Dublin

Sunday October 23, 2011: 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Do not miss this special event as actor Barry McGovern, one of the world's leading interpreters of Samuel Beckett's works, is interviewed by U-M Professor Enoch Brater. McGovern will discuss his work with the Dublin's Gate Theatre and his new solo performance adaptation of Beckett's novel "Watt." Ireland's acclaimed Gate Theatre is largely considered the leading interpreter of the great Irish modernist writer, playwright, and humorist Samuel Beckett in the world.

This event is held in conjunction with University Musical Society's double-bill of two one-act Beckett plays (Endgame and Watt) performed by the Gate Theatre and featuring Barry McGovern at the Power Center Oct. 27 - 29.

Performance Network: "Marie Antoinette: The Color of Flesh"

Put this on your calendar: Performance Network is staging "Marie Antoinette:The Color of Flesh" -- historical fiction -- beginning with previews July 28 and running through Aug. 28. The play by Joel Gross is about an imagined love triangle between Marie Antoinette, her portrait painter, and an aristocrat lover to both. A preview is here.

Author Birthdays: Benét, Robbins, Hinton

July 22nd marks the birthday of authors Stephen Vincent Benét, Tom Robbins, and S. E. Hinton.

Stephen Vincent Benét was an American writer probably best known for his short story "The Devil and Daniel Webster." He also won the Pulitzer for his book-length poems John Brown's Body and Western Star.

Benét also wrote an adaptation of the Roman legend of the Rape of the Sabine Women, which he called "The Sobbin' Women." This short story went on to inspire the musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

Tom Robbins is an American author who has been called a "psychedelic son of Mark Twain" by Booklist. He is known for his novels Even Cowgirls Get The Blues and Villa Incognito.

Robbins also has a collection of short stories and essays called Wild Ducks Flying Backward. Many critics have praised his non-fiction essays in the work for their humor.

S. E. Hinton is an American writer of children's, young adult, and adult fiction. She is best known for her teen novel The Outsiders, about friendship, gangs, and families (featuring a character whose name is worth Summer Game points), which was published when she was only 16 years old.

Hinton's adult fiction includes the novel Hawkes Harbor, which is about an orphan raised by nuns, who later goes out into the world to seek adventure, eventually finding an evil monster in a place called Hawkes Harbor.

The Winter's Tale at the Arb

Winter's TaleWinter's Tale Enjoy Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale" in June at Nichols Arboretum. Starring Leontes, Polixenes, Hermione, Camillo, and Perdita! Directed by Kate Mendeloff, all shows begin at 6:30 pm and the box office opens at 5:30 pm. The performances will be held June 9 - 12, 16 - 19, and 23 - 26. For more information, see the website: mbgna.umich.edu or call 734.647.7600. General Admission: $18. Members: $15. Seniors: $16. Students: $10. If you go soon, you may be able to enjoy the Peonies!

Author Birthdays: Lorca, Scarry, Drabble

June 5th marks the birthday of authors Federico García Lorca, Richard Scarry, and Margaret Drabble.

Federico García Lorca was a Spanish poet and playwright who is believed to have been killed during the Spanish Civil War. Some of his unpublished poems and essays were collected in a volume in 1998, A Season in Granada; the overall theme of the collection is Granada, where Lorca was supposedly killed.

Lorca's works also include: In Search of Duende, which describes theories on dance, music, and bullfights; the play Yerma, which was made into a Spanish language film; and a collection of his letters, which gives a sort of autobiography of his life.

Richard Scarry was an American author and illustrator of children's stories. His most well-known works include those about Busytown, a place inhabited by animals.

Scarry wrote for many ages; we have board books, picture books, and readers. We even have some of his works in Chinese.

Margaret Drabble is an English writer of novels and biographies, as well as some other assorted non-fiction subjects. Of these non-fiction works, AADL has a biography of Angus Wilson (a fellow novelist), and a book on jigsaw puzzles, The Pattern in the Carpet.

Drabble's novels include: The Red Queen, which details the story of a London woman who receives an unpublished memoir of a Korean princess; The Seven Sisters, which Library Journal noted as having "a character who describes herself accurately as having 'much to be ashamed about'"; and The Millstone, set in 1960s London.

Performance Network: "Next Fall" running through July 3

The drama Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts -- a 2010 Tony nominee for best play -- is running at Performance Network Theater in Ann Arbor through July 3. The play was produced on Broadway by Elton John and his partner David Furnish. You can read a preview of the PNT production here and buy tickets here.

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