Penny Seats Theatre Company Presents Elektra

The Penny Seats Theatre Company presents the Greek Tragedy Elektra at 7 pm July 11 – 12, 17 – 19 and 24 – 26 in Ann Arbor's West Park, 215 Chapin St. between Miller and Huron, Chapin and Seventh. The show, recommended for ages 16 and up, was written by Sophocles and translated by Anne Carson. A description of the play from Wikipedia: "Set in the city of Argos a few years after the Trojan war, it is based around the character of Electra, and the vengeance that she and her brother Orestes take on their mother Clytemnestra and step father Aegisthus for the murder of their father, Agamemnon." Tickets are $10 and picnic dinners are available. More information is here.

Bletchley Circle

Do you love watching mysteries but feel like the genre is a little heavy handed with the male detective? If so, check out Bletchley Circle! With an extraordinary flair for code breaking and razor-sharp intelligence skills, four seemingly ordinary women become the unlikely investigators of a string of grisly murders in this original thriller, set against the backdrop of post-war London.

Season 1 introduces us to Susan. Her conventionality masks a sharp, inquisitive mind. She may appear every inch the typical 1950s wife and mother, but when she hears about a string of unsolved murders in London, Susan’s old Bletchley spirit is ignited. Secretly, Susan reconvenes the formidable foursome – bohemian and streetwise Millie; Lucy, with her brilliant photographic memory and Jean, the methodical no-nonsense organizer. A race against the clock ensues as the women work to outwit the culprit. Can they rekindle their singular expertise and discover the killer’s next move – before he strikes again?

Season 2 opens with the episode Blood on Their Hands. Former Bletchley Park girl Alice Merren is in prison awaiting trial for murder. Jean stands behind her innocence and tries to reunite the circle in an attempt to help one of their own. Lucy is now getting on well in a clerical job at Scotland Yard and keeping her head down, and Millie is working as a German translator. Susan is reluctant to get involved after the occurrences in season 1. The second episode Uncustomed Goods, Millie branches out into what she believes to be a harmless sideline of dealing in uncustomed goods. This endeavor leads to her being kidnapped and held in a seedy hotel by some gangsters. On discovering this, Alice goes to Jean and Lucy to help. The girls start to investigate in order to save their friend and, as they do so, uncover a much darker, hidden world of crime.

Michigan Shakespeare Festival

Monday August 4, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

Are you a Shakespeare buff? Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth – do you feel akin to these characters and plays? Shakespearian plays and characters drew capacity crowds centuries ago at London’s Globe Theatre, yet these classic plays still draw tremendous audiences at theaters throughout the world today. What is it that still makes these plays resonate with audiences in today’s complex society?

Join Janice L. Blixt, award-winning Artistic Director of the Michigan Shakespeare Festival, as she discusses why we still produce and attend classical theatre, why Shakespeare is still the draw he is, and why it is important to have Shakespeare in our schools.

Blixt will also discuss the 20th Anniversary Michigan Shakespeare Festival Season, featuring productions of Hamlet, Cymbeline, and Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.

Janice Blixt has been a professional director and classical actor for nearly 20 years, having played most of the great female roles from Lady Macbeth to Twelfth Night’s Olivia. Entering her fifth year as the MSF's Artistic Director, Blixt will direct Hamlet, Prince of Denmark and Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest.

The Michigan Shakespeare Festival inspires and entertains a diverse audience while further developing an appreciation for professional performances of Shakespeare's works and other classical plays.

Young Actors Guild: Macbeth

The Ann Arbor Young Actors Guild is gearing up for its presentation of Macbeth May 16-18 at the U-M Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre. In this classic play by William Shakespeare, an 11th century Scottish nobleman is led by an evil prophecy and his ruthless wife to the treasonous act that makes him king Ticket information is here.

Ann Arbor Civic Theater: Noises Off

Ann Arbor Civic Theater will present Noises Off May 8-11. From the synopsis on the A2ct web page: "Noises Off finds a dysfunctional theater troupe mounting a classic farce entitled Nothing On. This comedy-within-a-comedy offers the audience a glimpse behind the scenes during dress rehearsal, the opening performance, and a performance toward the end of the run." Ticket information is here.

Pioneer High School Spring Musical: Rent

Theatre Guild at Pioneer High School will present the musical Rent by Jonathan Larson April 25 - May 4. From the AADL website: "A year in the life of a group of friends who love, fight, and laugh together as they face important social issues such as AIDS, homosexuality, drug abuse, and homelessness." More information is
here. The show is not for young children.

Skyline High Spring Show: Moon Over Buffalo

Skyline High School in Ann Arbor will present Ken Ludwig's comedic farce Moon Over Buffalo April 25-27. More information is here. The New York Times had this to say about the stage production: "Ken Ludwig is one of those rare contemporary playwrights who thinks in terms of old-fashioned knockabout farce, and that’s something to be cherished."

Performance Network: Richard III Re-imagined

Performance Network Theatre in downtown Ann Arbor will present a reimagined version of William Shakespeare's classic play Richard III from April 24 - June 1. From the PNT website: "... One of Shakespeare’s most famous histories gets an innovative ... treatment in this boldly re-imagined tale of power, treachery, seduction and fate. Performance Network Associate Artistic Director Carla Milarch stars as Richard, the ruthless and conniving Plantagenet, whose ascent to power is littered with corpses. This revolutionary take on the age-old classic explores the themes and fate of gender, power, and government set in the distant yet ominous future." Ticket information is here. The theater is located in downtown Ann Arbor at 120 E. Huron Street.

New TV shows on DVD @ AADL

The library is always acquiring additional TV shows, be they hot and new, or oldies but goodies. Here are some new mystery series from the UK on their way to AADL:

Broadchurch, Season 1
When the body of eleven-year-old Danny Latimer is found on the beach in Broadchurch on the Dorset coast, Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller and her newly-appointed boss, Detective Inspector Alec Hardy, are called to investigate. As suspicions mount and the mystery deepens, a national spotlight descends upon Broadchurch, threatening to pull the town, its residents and their secrets apart.

The Broker's Man, Series 1
Jimmy is an ex-cop turned insurance investigator whose cunning and insight are well-suited to the business of exposing con men and fraudsters. With his police training, he's able to take on any case, no matter how dangerous. Fresh off a divorce and a breakup with his colleague and mistress, Jimmy still hasn't learned when to shut his wandering eyes and turn off his rakish charm. As he struggles to rebuild his family, keeping them safe from the perils of his work proves to be his ultimate test.

Fore more TV shows, be sure to check out AADL’s lists for HOT TV shows, as well as NEW TV shows.

Purple Rose Theatre: Spring Comedy Festival

Mark your calendars! Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea is presenting a Spring Comedy Festival: Lovers, Liars & Lunatics, through May 24. Directed by Guy Sanville, this is a collection of world-premiere short comedies looking at the nature of loss, love, revenge, and renewal. New plays by Jeff Daniels and other Purple Rose favorites will be presented. Language and content are geared for adults. For ticket information, click here

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