Kalamazoo Civic Theatre

Katherine Mumma

Director Steven Carver, marketing director Janet Gover, Este'fan Kizer (Sebastian), and Lizzy Stone (Ariel) join Cara Lieurance to preview the Kalamazoo Civic's production of The Little Mermaid, which opens on Friday. The familiar Hans Christian Anderson story, made famous in the 1989 Disney movie, was adapted to stage in 2007, but took a few years to reach its current version, says Carver. Lizzy Stone, who starred as Eliza in the Civic's My Fair Lady, says that as a redhead, she loved Ariel as a girl, going on to say that the part requires some unusual acting challenges, including wordless acting and a flying harness. Este'Fan Kizer, who was last seen in Sister Act, plays the crab Sebastian, and sings the most recognizable song in the musical, "Under The Sea."


Mel Brooks' now-classic film spoof of old horror movies, Young Frankenstein, was adapted to stage by Brooks himself in 2007. It follows the story of Frederick Frankenstein (pronounced "frahn-ken-shteen"), the grandson of the original Dr. Frankenstein. Fate drags him back to Transylvania, where he re-creates his grandfather's nefarious experiment, and all manner of antics ensue. The stage version retains many of the movie's best laughs and bawdy humor, and adds catchy songs and dance numbers, according to director Art Nemitz. He and actors Troy Thrash (Frederick Frankenstein), Kris Allemang Stahl (Inga), and Dwight Trice (Igor), joined Cara Lieurance for a preview of Young Frankenstein, which opens the 89th season of the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre this Friday.


Kalamazoo Civic Theatre

The final production of the 2016-17 Kalamazoo Civic Theatre season is Sister Act, the stage adaptation of the 1992 film, with lyrics and music by Glenn Slater and Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid).  Former managing director Jim Carver, at a vigorous 85 years old, is directing the show, which stars Christie Coleman as Deloris Van Cartier, Ron Ware as Curtis Shank, Este' Fan Kizer as Eddie Souther, and includes Janet Gover as Sister Mary Theresa. They joined Cara Lieurance for a preview of the show, which, they agreed, "is about love."


Kalamazoo Civic Theatre

The cast and crew of Disney's Beauty And The Beast, Jr, which opens this Friday at the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre, is comprised of over ninety young people between the ages of 10 and 18 years old, according to director Nicki Poer. She joined Cara Lieurance in the studio for a preview, along with music director Kellee Love Haselton and cast members Daye Alexander (Belle) and Ben Eiler (the Beast).


Kalamazoo Civic

Side Show, a 1997 musical by Bill Russell and Henry Krieger, has been on director Jay Berkow's dream list of shows he's like to to direct. Based on the true story of conjoined twins Violet and Daisy Hilton, who became performers on the vaudeville circuit, Side Show is a musical about acceptance, love, and embracing one's uniqueness. 


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