Sit Back, Relax, and Enjoy: A Theater Preview

When the holiday season nears a close, we embrace the opportunities of the New Year and look forward to the warmer days ahead. The Capital Area hosts a variety of community events to help get us through the final stretch of winter and celebrate the arrival of spring, including a wide array of theater entertainment. Listed below are the upcoming local productions put on by mid–Michigan theater companies.

All-of-us Express Children’s Theatre

P.O. Box 1871 East Lansing, MI 48826 517.333.2580 Ticket price: $5; $7

Robin Hood

Feb. 10-11 and 17-18 This classic tale unfolds as Robin Hood, the outlaw of Sherwood Forest, gathers his fellow foresters to help him rescue England from the tyranny of King John and sleazy intentions of the Sheriff of Nottingham.

The Little Prince

April 20-22 and 27-29 A disenchanted Aviator finds himself stranded in the desert, where he meets a mysterious Little Prince who tells stories of his adventures across the galaxy. After two insightful weeks, both gain a new understanding of how to love, laugh and cry again.

Jolly Roger and the Pirate Queen

July 27-28 and Aug. 3-4 When conventional Roger Goodman discovers that his new wife would rather be married to a pirate, he makes every effort to transform himself into the daring Captain Blood. Meanwhile, in her own attempt to find a pirate, his wife turns into the Pirate Queen and raids ship after ship.

Holt & Dimondale Community Players

1784 Aurelius Holt, MI 48842 517.694.3411


February This comedy follows bachelor Robert through a series of encounters with various women, as well as with his married friends. On the night of his 35th birthday, Robert weighs the pros and cons of marriage and realizes he is “alone, not alive.”

Lansing Community College

Gannon Building 517.483.9300 Ticket price: $5-$10

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change

Feb. 10-11, 14 and 17-18 This comical dramatization of Off-Broadway’s longest–running musical celebrates the contemporary mating game and explores the joys of modern dating, romance and relationships.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

March 16-18 and 23-24 William’s Pulitzer’s prize–winning classic depicts a powerful Southern family gathering at patriarch Big Daddy’s birthday celebration, all but Big Daddy aware that he is dying of cancer. The drama explodes as greedy, lying family members vie for a piece of Big Daddy’s estate.

The American Spirit

April 5-7 LCC’s annual spring dance concert, directed by Vickie Diebold.

The Joint is Jumpin’

April 13-15 Ragtime, gospel, jazz, blues and rockabilly songs from various Broadway musicals are woven into an entertaining revue highlighting the early influences of classic rock ‘n’ roll.

Mid Michigan Family Theatre

440 Frandor Ave. Lansing, MI 48912 517.339.2145 Tickets: $4-$6

Actor’s Showcase

Feb. 10-19 This presentation showcases a variety of one–act performances and features talented local actors of all ages.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

March 16-26 This enchanting dramatization of the fairytale by the Brothers Grimm follows the traditional storyline and features all of the classic characters, including Princess Snow White, the wicked queen, the magic mirror, the seven dwarfs and, of course, the handsome prince.

Sarah at Sea

June 15-24 This play brings to life the story of a young English girl in the 1700s who flees to an uncertain future in America by impersonating a boy. Peppermint Creek Theatre
3115 Cedarbrook Ave. Lansing, MI 48915 517.927.3016 Ticket price: $15

The Boy in the Bathroom

Jan. 19-22 and 26-28 David has lived in his bathroom for more than a year, but when Julie comes into his safe existence, a relationship begins that makes David question whether there’s finally a reason to stop hiding, step outside and take a chance on life.

Next Fall

March 22-25 and 29-31 Taking a witty and provocative look at faith, commitment and unconditional love, Next Fall focuses on the relationship between Adam and Luke, but goes beyond a typical love story by forcing the audience to examine what it means to “believe” and what it might cost not to.


April 26-29 and May 3-5 This powerful play follows a shrewd businesswoman (protecting or profiting) from the women she shelters in a land torn apart by civil war. How far will she go to survive and can a price be placed on a human life?

Riverwalk Theatre

228 Museum Drive Lansing, MI 48933 517.482.5700 Tickets price: Varies

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

Jan. 12-15 and 19-22 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern travel through Hamlet, leaving the audience to question life, art and the Law of Probability.

Smokey Joe’s Café

Feb. 16-19 and 23-26 The longest running musical revue in Broadway history, this exciting musical showcases 39 Rhythm and Blues, Pop and Rock and Roll songs written by Lieber and Stoller, including such favorites as Love Potion Number Nine, Hound Dog, On Broadway, Spanish Harlem and Stand By Me.

Two Beers and Hook Shot/Death Knocks

March 2-4 and 9-11 A young man, leaving home for the first time, meets his father on the basketball court for a farewell game, which escalates into a competitive flare, fueled by years of family friction.

Becky’s New Car

March 15-18 and 22-25 Lost in the midlife doldrums, a wealthy customer at the car dealership assumes Becky is a widow — and when she doesn’t correct him — she finds herself leading a double life that accelerates out of control.


May 4-6 and 11-13 The 1941 Copenhagen meeting of physicist Walter Heisenberg and his mentor Niels Bohr; the memories collide and change, illustrating the fundamental mystery of both human motivation and subatomic physics.


May 31 – June 3 and June 7-10 Regarded by theatergoers as one of the finest musicals of the 70s, this play is one of the most lushly romantic and vivid scores of all time.

Stormfield Theatre

201 Morgan Lane Lansing, MI 48912 517.488.8450 Ticket prices: $10 – $24

Romantic Fools

Jan. 4-22 Influenced by the likes of Monty Python, Saturday Night Live and The Marx Brothers, this comedy examines love, lust and romance and celebrates the inherent farce of male–female relationships.


March 7-25 Featuring Carmen Decker as Grace, who embodies the essence of her name, this play offers and uncanny balance of gallows humor and grave ruminations of family, identity and the human condition.


May 9-27 Kristine Thatcher celebrates the life and work of the late poetess Lorine Niedecker, often referred to as the mid–western Emily Dickinson. This low–key drama depicts Lorine’s marriage to a hard–drinking, working man who takes no interest in her “scribbling.” Starlight Dinner Theatre
3131 W. Michigan Ave. Lansing, MI 48917 517.243.6040

Let’s Murder Marsha

March 16-17 and 23-24 Marsha reads too many murder mysteries and lets her imagination run away with her. The comedy unfolds when Marsha convinces herself that her family is planning to murder her and she must turn the tables.

The Red Velvet Cake War

May 11-12 and 18-19 A red velvet cake–making competition commences at an eccentric family reunion, held on the hottest day in July in the middle of Texas tornado season. The Studio Performing Arts Center
The Hannah Center 819 Abbott Road, East Lansing Tickets, $10

The Seven Wonders

Jan. 20-21 This original piece of work for actors and dancers was written and directed by P.K. Van Voorhees, edited by Stan Takis and produced by The Studio Performing Arts Center. It is based on the children’s story The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs by Betty Birney.

Wharton Center for Performing Arts

Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 48824 517.432.2000 Ticket price: Varies

Million Dollar Quartet

Jan. 10-15 Inspired by the true story of the famed recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time.

The Addams Family

Jan. 31-Feb. 5 The weird and wonderful family comes to devilishly delightful life when Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has a “normal” boyfriend, and for parents Gomez and Morticia, this shocking development will turn the Addams’ house downside up.


March 27-April 1 Inspired by actual events, Memphis is about a white radio DJ who wants to change the world and a black club singer who is ready for her big break — filled with laughter, soaring emotion and roof-raising rock ‘n’ roll.

Les Miserables

April 3-8 Set in early 19th-century France, the plot follows the stories of many characters as they struggle for redemption and revolution. An ensemble that includes prostitutes, student revolutionaries, factory workers and others join the lead characters.


June 27-July 8 Long before that girl from Kansas arrives in Munchkinland, two girls meet in the Land of Oz — this is the story of how these two grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch.

Williamston Theatre

122 South Putnam Williamston, MI 48895 517.655.SHOW Ticket prices: $10-$24

Dead Man’s Shoes

Jan. 26 – Feb. 26 The notorious outlaw Injun Bill Picote has escaped from Prison, along with a hard-luck drunk named Froggy and these two unlikely partners endure trials and bizarre misadventures as they set out to right a terrible wrong in this outrageous new dark comedy about life, friendship and the vengeance in the Wild West.

The Usual: A Musical Love Story

March 22 – April 22 Two strangers, each unhappy with their love lives, have a chance encounter in a bar where “the usual” isn’t usual at all.

The Understudy

May 17 – June 17 A mid-level action film star acting in a Broadway play, plus a middle-aged journeyman actor bitter about understudying a mid-level action film star equals theatre professionals struggling to balance ego and art.

Red, White and Tuna

July 12 – Aug. 19 The 4th of July in Tuna, Texas means it’s time for the Tuna High School Class Reunion, and the return of some of your favorite Tuna residents, like Petey Fisk and Reverend Spikes, as well as some outlandish newcomers!

Tags: 2012, calendar, events, spring, theater, theatre

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