Katie Laban

Katie Laban 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. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram at @NiftyK13.


MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
LAST 30 DAYS

BWW Review: BONNIE & CLYDE Keep the Deadly Passion Alive at St. Dunstan's Theatre Guild Of CranbrookBWW Review: BONNIE & CLYDE Keep the Deadly Passion Alive at St. Dunstan's Theatre Guild Of Cranbrook
Posted: Oct. 9, 2019


BWW Interview: Andrew Clements & Michael Meike Say FRANKENSTEIN is Moving & Captivating at Stagecrafters!BWW Interview: Andrew Clements & Michael Meike Say FRANKENSTEIN is Moving & Captivating at Stagecrafters!
Posted: Oct. 16, 2019


BWW Interview: Erica Gunaca Talks Carol Burnett's HOLLYWOOD ARMS at Ridgedale Players - Layered, Lively, & ExposedBWW Interview: Erica Gunaca Talks Carol Burnett's HOLLYWOOD ARMS at Ridgedale Players - Layered, Lively, & Exposed
Posted: Sep. 26, 2019


BWW Interview: Cody Jenkins Talks All Things RENT Coming This Weekend to the Fox Theatre!BWW Interview: Cody Jenkins Talks All Things RENT Coming This Weekend to the Fox Theatre!
Posted: Oct. 10, 2019


BWW Interview: Dir. Greg Grobis Talks Blood, Camp, & Comedy - Everything That is EVIL DEAD: THE MUSICAL at the City Theatre!BWW Interview: Dir. Greg Grobis Talks Blood, Camp, & Comedy - Everything That is EVIL DEAD: THE MUSICAL at the City Theatre!
Posted: Sep. 24, 2019


LAST 365 DAYS

BWW Interview: Chris McCarrell Talks THE LIGHTNING THIEF on Tour and More!BWW Interview: Chris McCarrell Talks THE LIGHTNING THIEF on Tour and More!
Posted: Feb. 27, 2019


BWW Review: BONNIE & CLYDE Keep the Deadly Passion Alive at St. Dunstan's Theatre Guild Of CranbrookBWW Review: BONNIE & CLYDE Keep the Deadly Passion Alive at St. Dunstan's Theatre Guild Of Cranbrook
Posted: Oct. 9, 2019


BWW Feature: HAMILTON Celebrates History Education By Giving Back to 3,900 Students with EDUHAM in Detroit!BWW Feature: HAMILTON Celebrates History Education By Giving Back to 3,900 Students with EDUHAM in Detroit!
Posted: Apr. 20, 2019


BWW Review: DEREK HOUGH - LIVE! ON TOUR at The Fox Theatre was Exactly Like He Described - Epic! Photos Inside!BWW Review: DEREK HOUGH - LIVE! ON TOUR at The Fox Theatre was Exactly Like He Described - Epic! Photos Inside!
Posted: May. 3, 2019


BWW Review: SILENT SKY at Detroit Mercy Theatre Company is Unexpectedly Brilliant!
October 23, 2019

Raise your hand if you have ever discovered something new, Googled it, found the Wikipedia page, which then made you go off on a flurry of related topics and suddenly time has just passed by? I'll raise both hands because I'm not ashamed to say that this happens to me often. Sunday was one of those days, all thanks to the fantastic production of Silent Sky at Detroit Mercy Theatre Company who educated me on Henrietta Leavitt. The Lauren Gunderson play is the fascinating true story about the 19th century astronomer who was hired to join a group of women a?oecomputersa?? and living in an age when women could neither vote nor express an original idea. Despite not being allowed to touch a telescope, Leavitt and her female colleagues at the Harvard Observatory made ground-breaking discoveries about the universe that remain vital more than a century later. The simplicity and elegance of this production of Silent Sky made the importance of Gunderson's words stand out to the audience and the cast of five worked seamlessly together to bring this impactful and moving production to life. It is a brilliant piece of Michigan theatre.

BWW Interview: Jake Zinke of ZOM-BRIDE at St. Dunstan's Theatre says Join in on the Laughs, Voodoo Magic, & Zombies!
October 22, 2019

St. Dunstan's Theatre Guild of Cranbrook is helping everyone get in the Halloween spirit with their latest show, ZOM-BRIDE, an original comedy Spooktacular! A parody of the 1943 film, I Walked with a Zombie, which was loosely based on Jane Eyre, is an original play wrote by Jake Zinke that he describes as a?oecampy, melodramatic, raucous, and racy fun.a?? The cast of characters is played by a troupe of four actors (Molly Dorset, Paul Dorset, Jeff Foust, and Zinke,) most of whom play several different roles, often moments after one another. This is a fast-paced, madcap comedy with quick changes, mystery, and fake blood. And an important detail if you weren't sold already, St. Dunstan's is presenting the show as a fundraiser to help give the theatre a facelift. BroadwayWorld Detroit had a moment to speak with writer and actor, Jake Zinke, about ZOM-BRIDE, his creative process, and why this show so is so much fun.

BWW Interview: Andrew Clements & Michael Meike Say FRANKENSTEIN is Moving & Captivating at Stagecrafters!
October 16, 2019

Usually when people hear the word Frankenstein one image comes to mind: the inarticulate groaning hulk. Opening this weekend and running through Halloween on Stagecrafters' 2nd Stage is A. S. Peterson's version of Frankenstein, where The Monster is unlike the popular film adaptions that comes to everyone's mind. The play doesn't feature a terrifying and unthinking creature, instead The Monster feels emotions and asks questions that all humans ask themselves a?" according to Peterson, a?oehis Frankenstein is not your mama's Frankenstein.a?? BroadwayWorld Detroit was able to have an in-depth interview with the play's director, Andrew Clements, and the man behind The Monster in the show, Michael Meike, to find out what makes this new version so unique and thrilling, yet still be inspired by the classic Frankenstein story by Mary Shelley that audiences have come to know and love.

BWW Interview: Cody Jenkins Talks All Things RENT Coming This Weekend to the Fox Theatre!
October 10, 2019

RENT is coming back to Detroit! The limited engagement is part of the Fox Theatre series and a stop on the 20th Anniversary Tour. It will here October 11th and 12th at the Fox Theatre. In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson's RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. The Pulitzer Prize and Tony-Award winning master piece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. A reimagining of Puccini's La Bohème, RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. BroadwayWorld Detroit had a chance to speak with Cody Jenkins, who plays the role of Mark in the 20th Anniversary Tour of RENT, about the show, his iconic role, and why RENT is still going strong 20 years later. Check out our conversation below!

BWW Review: BONNIE & CLYDE Keep the Deadly Passion Alive at St. Dunstan's Theatre Guild Of Cranbrook
October 9, 2019

Bonnie & Clyde, the musical about the life of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, is playing until October 13th at St. Dunstan's Theatre Guild of Cranbrook. The show is about the infamous Bonnie and Clyde of the Barrow Gang that robbed banks and committed murders around Depression-era Texas. I'll let the real Bonnie Parker's words kick off my review:

BWW Interview: Erica Gunaca Talks Carol Burnett's HOLLYWOOD ARMS at Ridgedale Players - Layered, Lively, & Exposed
September 26, 2019

Hollywood Arms, the Carol Burnett story, is currently playing at Ridgedale Players. The show kicked the 2019-2020 season at one Michigan's oldest community theatres as Ridgedale Players has been around since 1931. Hollywood Arms is a memoir of Burnett's childhood in California. It's a funny and moving story of three generations of women living on welfare in a one-room apartment, one block north of Hollywood Boulevard. A tale about shattered hopes and realized dreams. 'Layered. Exposed. Lively. Reflective. Hearty.' That is how Erica Gunaca described Hollywood Arms before it closes this weekend. Read what else she had to say in our interview below:

BWW Interview: Dir. Greg Grobis Talks Blood, Camp, & Comedy - Everything That is EVIL DEAD: THE MUSICAL at the City Theatre!
September 24, 2019

Evil Dead: The Musical returns for its tenth and final season in Detroit beginning September 26th at the City Theatre. The hilarious and bloody tradition is packed full of talented local cast members - new and returning - all ready to bring the musical version of Sam Raimi's 80's cult classic film to life. Returning cast members include David Schoen as Jake and Garrett Michael Harris as Ash. Evil Dead: The Musical is the old familiar story: boy and friends take a weekend getaway to an abandoned cabin, boy expects to get lucky, boy unleashes ancient evil spirit, friends turn into Candarian Demons, boy fights until dawn to survive. Why don't we let the director, Greg Grobis, tell you more about the 'splatter comedy of camp and blood' as he describes the show in our interview with him below...

BWW Review: THE IT GIRL Definitely has IT at Meadow Brook Theatre!
June 17, 2019

Sometimes walking into a theatre, you know next to nothing about a show. Now that can end up being an experience where you are counting down the minutes until it is over or where you end up being so enthralled by the production that you are sad when the lights come up. The IT Girl is definitely the latter of those two examples. Playing until June 23rd, the final show of Meadow Brook Theatre's season brings the classic silent movie musical to life with an extremely talented cast lead by Sara Kmiec (Betty Lou Spence) and Nathan Cockroft (Jonathan Waltham) that truly makes you feel like you have stepped back in time right inside a black and white movie. The IT Girl is a wonderful piece of Michigan Theatre!

Photo Flash: MATILDA THE MUSICAL at Macomb Civic Theatre was a Little Bit Naughty & a Whole Lot of Fun!
June 16, 2019

Macomb Civic Theatre was the first community theatre group in Macomb County to perform Matilda the Musical. Performances took place two weekends ago, June 6th through 9th, at Stevenson High School in Sterling Heights. The musical is based on the beloved Roald Dahl book about a gift girl with extraordinary powers. She is the daughter of dimwitted parents and a student of a terrifying headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, which makes Matilda bury herself in books and create her own stories. She takes a stand against the adults around her and teaches strength to her teacher and friend, Miss Honey, and classmates. Those around Matilda learn that life can be tough, but "nobody but me is gonna' change my story," so "sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty." For MCT's production of Matilda the Musical, the role of Matilda was shared by Abigail Patterson and Julianna Fergan. The set was even designed by 13-year-old, Lila Niespolo. It was a wonderful and fun weekend for the whole cast and everyone who came to see MCT's Matilda the Musical!

BWW Interview: Sara Kmiec Talks About THE IT GIRL, A Charming and Witty Musical, at Meadow Brook Theatre!
May 30, 2019

Meadow Brook Theatre is bringing a classic silent movie to musical life with The IT Girl to end their regular season! Currently running until June 23rd, The IT Girl tells the story of Betty (Sara Kmiec), a sassy department store clerk, that has something special. It's enough to win an advertising contest looking for the girl with 'IT,' but will it be enough to charm the heir to the retail empire that employs her? The show is a retelling of the 1937 Paramount Picture, 'IT,' which starred Clara Bow and MBT has paid homage to the era by setting the show in black and white. BroadwayWorld Detroit had a moment to chat with The IT Girl's leading lady, Sara Kmiec about her role of Betty Lou Spence, the charming show, and why the show has 'IT.'

BWW Review: HEAD OVER HEELS at The Ringwald Has Got The Beat and Laughs!
May 16, 2019

Run, don't walk to The Ringwald to see their production of Head Over Heels! The production is the first one since the hot Broadway debut of the show that features songs of the 80s music icons, The Go-Gos, closed in January and will be at the beloved Michigan theatre until June 10th in Ferndale. The hilarious and inclusive musical celebrates love in its infinite varieties and includes iconic Go-Go's hits like 'We Got the Beat,' 'Our Lips Are Sealed,' and 'Vacation,' plus Belinda Carlisle's 'Heaven is a Place on Earth' and 'Mad About You,' and many more! It's the perfect show for The Ringwald's stage and the company does it marvelously. From the fantastic performances to the glorious costumes to the boppin' beat - The Ringwald's, Head Over Heels has it - and it should not be missed!

BWW Interview: Joe Bailey Talks HEAD OVER HEELS at The Ringwald - The First Production Post-Broadway!
May 11, 2019

The Ringwald is absolutely thrilled to present the first production of Head Over Heels, running May 13th through June 10th, after its hot Broadway debut that features the songs of 80s music icons, The Go-Go's. The show was named one of Entertainment Weekly's Top 10 Stage Picks of 2018 and recently closed this January to the heartache of beloved fans. 'Head Over Heels combines The Go-Go's music with a gender-queer sensibility that everyone from 16-60+ will fall in love with,' said Joe Bailey, the director. 'It's energetic, funny, breezy and the perfect spring musical!' The hilarious and inclusive musical celebrates love in its infinite varieties and includes iconic Go-Go's hits like 'We Got the Beat,' 'Our Lips Are Sealed,' and 'Vacation,' plus Belinda Carlisle's 'Heaven is a Place on Earth' and 'Mad About You,' and many more! The show is based on The Arcadia by Sir Philip Sidney and Head Over Heels was conceived by Jeff Whitty and adapted by James Magruder. A modern musical fairytale where once-upon-a-time is right now, Head Over Heels follows the escapades of a royal family who set out on a journey to save their beloved kingdom from extinction only to find love and comedic complications along the way! BroadwayWorld Detroit spoke with Joe about directing Head Over Heels and why The Ringwald is so excited to be the first theatre to present the show since it closed on Broadway. Read our fun interview below!

BWW Interview: Ephie Aardema of WAITRESS at the Fisher Theatre Says It Has A Lot of Heart... And Pie!
May 8, 2019

Brought to life by a groundbreaking all-female creative team that features original music from six-time Grammy nominee, Sara Bareilles, Waitress is playing until May 19th at the Fisher Theatre. Jenna is an expert pie maker and as the title suggests, a waitress, who dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. A baking contest could be chance at a new start along with possibly the town's new doctor, but Jenna has to find to find the courage and strength to try. 'We have pie! There's pie in the lobby,' answered Ephie Aardema, who plays Jenna's friend and fellow waitress in the show, when asked about why Detroit audiences should see the show. 'It also has a lot of heart - more than most musicals.' See what else Ephie had to say about Waitress, tour life, and more below:

BWW Review: DEREK HOUGH - LIVE! ON TOUR at The Fox Theatre was Exactly Like He Described - Epic! Photos Inside!
May 3, 2019

Derek Hough wowed Detroit audiences with his first solo tour on Tuesday, April 30th at the Fox Theatre. The moment the Derek Hough - Live! the Tour began, it was a non-stop, high-octane show that had the crowd cheering and filled with excitement over the eight dancers and a live band on the stage. Before arriving to the Motor City, Derek gave an interview to BroadwayWorld Detroit (click here to read it!) and was asked to describe his show in five words, but he could only narrow it down to six with the answer of 'fun, energetic, funny, exciting, passionate, and epic!' He was exactly right to use those six words as they were the perfect way to describe the night that the city of the Detroit had with the Derek Hough - Live! the Tour.

BWW Interview: Tamara Laflin Talks About What a Spectacular Spectacle BARNUM is at Southgate Community Players!
May 1, 2019

Barnum will be closing out Southgate Community Players Main Stage productions for the 2018-2019 season. Opening this weekend on Friday, May 3rd, this spectacular spectacle brings to life the story of P. T. Barnum the stage at the Davidson Auditorium inside Davidson Middle School in Southgate. Beloved characters based on the real-life performers that Barnum worked with during his career are woven throughout this high-energy musical. SCP's production of Barnum is packed with skills and tricks that will awe audiences of all ages! BroadwayWorld Detroit had a chance to speak with Tamara Laflin, the show's triple threat: director, music director, and choreographer, and she said, 'audiences should come see Barnum because it's a fresh take on a musical theatre classic.' Check out what she had to say below about why audiences will enjoy this spectacular spectacle that SCP has created with Barnum!

BWW Interview: Derek Hough Talks About What an Exciting Show His DEREK HOUGH - LIVE! ON TOUR Will Be at Fox Theatre!
April 29, 2019

Derek Hough is coming back to Detroit! After the sold out successes of Move Live on Tour and Move - Beyond Live on Tour, he is returning with his own solo show, Derek Hough - Live! On Tour this Tuesday, April 30th at the Fox Theatre. It is a brand-new stage production featuring a live band with high-end choreography, and, as always, Derek's magnetic stage presence. It is a true fusion of dance and music as he explores styles ranging from ballroom and tap to salsa and hip-hop and everything between. Creative team and two-time Emmy winners, Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo, also known as NappyTabs, co-created, directed, and supervised choreography for the tour. Derek is an Emmy Award-winning and New York Times Best-Selling author, as well as the only six-time champion winner in franchise history on the hit ABC show Dancing with the Stars. This solo show has already been out on tour for a few weeks and pleasing fans across the country. BroadwayWorld Detroit had a chance to speak with Derek before one of his shows to find out what makes his Derek Hough - Live! on Tour show so unique and why Detroit fans are going to have a night to remember. Check out what he had to say below!

BWW Interview: Talking with Amy & Jen of LIVE MUSIC WITH SINGER-SONGWRITERS AMY PETTY & JEN SYGIT at Riverbank Theatre
April 24, 2019

The Riverbank Theatre is welcoming Amy Petty and Jen Sygit for a special one only event this Saturday, April 27th in Marine City. Live Music with Singer-Songwriters Amy Petty and Jen Sygit with be an evening of acoustical guitar and vocals with two accomplished artist's that Michigan audiences are sure to enjoy. Petty's sound and songwriting skills are compelling, complex and original soundscapes weave a lush tapestry of folk, pop, rock, and blues. Sygit is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with her latest record being labeled as sometimes traditional, sometimes contemporary, yet always raw and honest. BroadwayWorld Detroit had a chance to speak with both Amy and Jen while they are getting ready for their performance. Read below to hear what they had to say about music, being Michigan artists, and what to expect at their concert!

BWW Interview: Anna Owens Talks THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME at Owosso Community Players
April 24, 2019

The Owosso Community Players are presenting the Tony Award-winning play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, starting April 26th at the Lebowsky Center in Owosso. The play by Simon Stephens is based on the novel of the same title by Mark Haddon and the story follows the mystery surrounding the death of the neighbor's dog. Young Christopher Boone decides to investigate, and although he is exceptionally intelligent, he is ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. His pursuit of the truth leads him to far greater mysteries, revealing family secrets he could never have imagined. A number of special visual effects are employed to allow audiences to experience the world in a way Christopher does. 'This heartwarming story follows a young teenager in a quest to find his mother,' said Anna Owens, director. 'It shows that even in a chaotic world, the human spirit is strong.' BroadwayWorld Detroit had a chance to speak with Anna about directing this fascinating and special play and what audiences will experience when they see it. Read what she had to say below:

BWW Interview: Bailey Boudreau Talks ON THE EXHALE at Slipstream Theatre Initiative and Why It's Important Right Now
April 22, 2019

Slipstream Theatre Initiative is having a conversation that is long past due - gun violence. It's one they admit is uncomfortable, upsetting, and can make you cringe, but it is a topic that is long past time and very necessary right now. Now in their fifth season, Slipstream has always been determined to pair its productions with socially relevant issues and On The Exhale is no different. The one-woman play is set in a situation that could be a TED Talk or a college lecture and focuses on a woman whose second-grade son was killed in a school shooting. Through a recounting of the event and her irrational reaction, the audience is forced to question what it takes to become a mass shooter. Instead of describing a monster that none of us could imagine being, she describes the obsession with control, power, and life that goes hand in hand with being a gun owner. She exposes the human instincts behind turning in to a shooter. We realize soon realize that given the right set of circumstances, we are subject to becoming the thing we most fear. BroadwayWorld Detroit had a chance to speak with Slipstream's Artistic Director, Bailey Boudreau, about being director of this significant piece of art and why it is an important for audiences to explore it even though the content may be uncomfortable to them. Take a moment to read our insightful interview with Bailey to understand his passion about On The Exhale and the social issues the it revolves around.

BWW Feature: HAMILTON Celebrates History Education By Giving Back to 3,900 Students with EDUHAM in Detroit!
April 20, 2019

When you see a high student support another high school student that is one of the best moments you can ever witness, but when you see over 2,000 students support one another the experience is astounding and one you will never forget! This was exactly the experience that happened at the Fisher Theatre on Thursday morning for the Hamilton Education Program, better known as EduHam, when the second of the two high school only Hamilton matinee performances happened. The students were greeted by Chaundre Hall-Broomfield, who plays Hercules Mulligan / James Madison, and then selected student took the stage to perform original projects inspired by their analysis of primary source materials and lyrics from the musical. That was followed by a Q & A with some members of the Angelica Tour company of Hamilton that is currently here in Detroit as part of the Broadway in Detroit season and the special matinee student performance. It was an experience that these students will never forget!



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