Katie Laban is BroadwayWorld's Detroit Senior Editor and a freelance writer and photographer in the Detroit area. She has a strong passion for all things creative, especially theatre, and loves to support Michigan arts.
The Southgate Community Players are opening their 2018-2019 season with Jason Robert Brown's song cycle show, Songs for a New World, this weekend. Performed by two men and two women, the characters and their stories are tied together by the idea that one moment can change anyone's life. This small but talented ensemble combined with the touching repertoire and intimate venue promise for an evening that will take to a "new world" of emotions you won't want to miss! BroadwayWorld Detroit had a quick moment to speak with Tamara Marla Laflin, one of the four performers in the small ensemble cast about how this is different type of show and why Detroit theatre audiences are going to enjoy it.BWW Review: ON YOUR FEET! at Fisher Theatre was Fresh, Fun, & Will Have You Dancing in Your Seats to the Beat! May 11, 2018
The hit Broadway musical On Your Feet!based on the life of seven-time Grammy winning international superstar Gloria Estefan and her husband 19-time winning producer-musician-entrepreneur Emilio Estefan is currently playing now through Sunday at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit. Gloria Estefan has sold over 100 million records and sold out stadiums around the world. Music is only half their story. From the heart of Havana to the streets Miami came a cultural phenomenon unlike anything the music industry has ever seen. On Your Feet!is the Broadway musical that follows the Estefan's journey to superstardom, set to their chart-topping, smash hits, including "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You," "Conga," "Get On Your Feet," and more. This musical was fresh, fun, and will have you dancing in your seats!BWW Interview: Joshua Whitson of SHE LOVES ME at The Village Players Of Birmingham says It's a Funny Love Story about Two People who Perfectly Wrong for Each Other! May 11, 2018
She Loves Me is currently running at Village Players of Birmingham to close out their 95thseason. The romantic musical comedy with book by Joe Masteroff, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and music by Jerry Bock will play for two more weekends - ending May 20th. The Tony award-winning show premiered on Broadway in 1963 and has had award-winning revivals in 1993, 2000, and 2016. BroadwayWorld Detroit had a quick chance to speak with one of the performers of Village Players' production, Joshua Whitson, about his role and how he feels about She Loves Me- "a classic tale that will keep the audience laughing and smiling throughout!"BWW Interview: Director Karen Connor of INTO THE WOODS at Southgate Community Players says It's Funny and Poignant Sondheim Show! May 1, 2018
The Sondheim favorite, Into the Woods,will close out the 2017-2018 Main Stage productions of the Southgate Community Players and is opening May 4th in Southgate. In this Tony-Award winning book and score, James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim bring together classic storybook characters with a production that is both enchanting and touching. Characters venture 'into the woods' with hopes of having their wishes granted, but later learn the dire consequences of their actions. The musically supplicated show pulls the audience in multiple emotional directions - captivating and bewitching them from beginning to end. BroadwayWorld Detroit had a moment to speak with Karen Connor, SCP's director for Into the Woods,about her love for the theatre and gainsome insight on the show.BWW Review: METAMORPHOSES at Stagecrafters 2nd Stage was an Extraordinary Piece of Michigan Theatre to Experience! April 30, 2018
Have you experienced a theatre show that completely transports you to another world? That was the experience watching Metamorphoseson the Stagecrafters 2nd Stage of the Baldwin Theatre in Royal Oak. Running from April 13th-22nd, it was a show that all the pieces fell into place - from the performers to the set - making it an extraordinary piece of Michigan theatre.BWW Interview: Shawn Handlon of YES WEED CAN Says There Are A Lot Of Laughs To Be Had Here April 28, 2018
Planet Ant Theatreis reviving their original musical comedy, Yes We Can, with a new script and performing the production April 20th - May 12th at Ant Hall in Hamtramck. The original musical satire that tells intertwining tales of conspiracy and redemption. It follows the journey of Tammy, who is compelled to wrestle with the legal ramifications of the legislative vilification of cannabis, while chronicling the scheme of a powerful few who bamboozled America into outlawing a beloved, common crop for personal gain. "There are a lot of laughs to be had here. I don't yet have the empirical data to support this claim, but previous versions of this show have literally averaged a laugh a minute," said Shawn Handlon, co-writer and director of Yes Weed Can."I expect this iteration to do the same, making the cost of your experience pennies per laugh." BroadwayWorld Detroit had a quick chance to talk to Handlon about Yes Weed Cancurrently running atAnt Hall.BWW Interview: Nancy Ticotin of ON YOUR FEET! at Fisher Theatre says Audience is Guaranteed to be Dancing in Their Seats! April 16, 2018
The hit Broadway musical On Your Feet!based on the life of seven-time Grammy winning international superstar Gloria Estefan and her husband 19-time winning producer-musician-entrepreneur Emilio Estefan will arrive May 1st to the Fisher Theatre in Detroit. Gloria Estefan has sold over 100 million records and sold out stadiums around the world. Music is only half their story. From the heart of Havana to the streets Miami came a cultural phenomenon unlike anything the music industry has ever seen. On Your Feet!is the Broadway musical that follows the Estefan's journey to superstardom, set to their chart-topping, smash hits, including "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You," "Conga," "Get On Your Feet," and more. BroadwayWorld Detroit had a chance to talk with Nancy Ticotin, who currently plays the role Gloria Fajardo, Gloria Estefan's mother, on the first national tour about her role and the show. "Detroit should come see On Your Feet!because they are guaranteed to have a good time, guaranteed to be dancing in your seat, guaranteed to cry from being touched emotionally, and will leave the theatre jazzed enough to come back and see it again," said Ticotin.BWW Interview: Iara Nemirovsky of SCHOOL OF ROCK - THE MUSICAL at Fisher Theatre says the Show is Like A Rock Concert Full of Energy! April 9, 2018
Andrew Lloyd Webber's smash hit, School of Rock - The Musicalis coming to the Fisher Theatre starting April 10th and is ready to rock! Based on the film of the same name, the show will make the audience laugh and astound them by the talented cast. BroadwayWorld Detroit had a chance to speak withone of the young performers, Iara Nemirovsky, about her exciting experience making her national tour debut in the show. March 21, 2018
The University Musical Society of the University of Michigan presents writer and street performer Nick Cassenbaum in Bubble Schmeisis at The Schvitz in Detroit, one of the country's few remaining traditional bath houses, which has been in operation for over 85 years. 'This is fun, relaxed storytelling journey to find Jewish identity in modern London centered around schmeising and schvitizing,' said Cassenbaum. It is the U.S. premiere and exclusive U.S. performance of this show about self-discovery and Jewish identity through storytelling, music, and audience interaction. BroadwayWorld Detroit had a chance to speak with Cassenbaum about his experience writing and performing in the show. March 12, 2018
???????The completely new original musical Something Rotten! is appearing in East Lansing starting March 13th as part of the MSU Federal Credit Union Broadway at the Wharton Center series. 'It is just a love letter to musical theatre and theatre in general,' said Nicholas Rashad Burroughs, on tour as the Minstrel in the production. 'It makes fun of things that you love about theatre and things you don't like about theatre and it makes you laugh.'BWW Review: KING LEAR at Little Door Theatre is Dynamic and Visually Beautiful! December 15, 2017
Woman V. Internet, the 2016 Audience Favorite Detroit Fringe Forward Festival winner, opens this weekend at Carrie Morris Arts Productions (CMAP) for a limited engagement is a poignant and somehow hilarious look into our cultural mirror. The show explores what it means to be a female in online and public spaces. It's just sort of a ridiculous look of the things that happen to women when they get behind the screen, said Paige Vanzo, playwright and director. I honestly just got tired of being angry hearing and seeing the comments so I just started writing. Inspired by the Gamergate controversy, and using real text from chat rooms and forums, the show follows one woman who travels down the rabbit hole looking for answers only to find it changes her life in absurd, hilarious and painful ways.BWW Review: CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND at Fisher Theatre is a Holly Jolly Good Time for the Season! December 13, 2017
Christmas Wonderland, a holiday spectacular, opened at the Fisher Theatre on Tuesday night and is an amazing and joyous experience for everyone of all ages to enjoy. The charming show is here in Detroit for nine shows until December 17th and fills the theatre with boundless holiday spirit through song, dance, and plenty of surprises along the way!BWW Previews: Detroit is Filled With Holiday Shows This Season! December 12, 2017
Finding Neverland is coming to Michigan with two tour stops during its first national tour. First up is December 12th-17th at the Cobb Great Hall as part of the MSU Federal Credit Union Broadway at the Wharton Center Series in East Lansing and then February 6th-18th at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit. Based on the Academy Award-winning Miramax motion picture by David Magee, and play The Man Who Was Peter Pan by Allan Knee, Finding Neverland follows the relationship between playwright J.M. Barrie and the family that inspired Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up one of the most beloved stories of all time. This new musical is packed with mesmerizing visuals, irresistible songs, and plenty of laughs. Finding Neverland is a timeless story about the power of imagination and spectacular proof that you never really have to grow up! And BroadwayWorld Detroit had a quick moment to hear from Billy Harrigan Tighe who is currently on tour with Finding Neverland as J.M. Barrie.BWW Review: AN AMERICAN IN PARIS at Detroit Opera House is a Stunning Musical Filled with Exquisite Dancing! December 8, 2017
The Color Purple, the 2016 Tony Award-winning musical adaptation from Alice Walker's best-selling novel, is currently appearing at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit. The powerful production is taking the city over with its dynamite cast and their emotional performances leaving the audience in awe by the time the performance finished. This is the stunning re-imagining of an epic story about a young woman's journey to love and triumph in the American South. With a soul-raising score of jazz, gospel, ragtime, and blues, The Color Purple gives and exhilarating new spirit to the Pulitzer Prize-winning story of Celie and the people in her life.