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Tag Archive | "Kent Theatre"

“Ragweed blues” makes local debut


Brian Thomas, Tracy Strome and PJ Bevelacqua, characters in the Play “The Ragweed Blues.”

The era of Prohibition, speak-easies and wide-lapelled mobsters comes to life with the upcoming production of The Ragweed Blues, an original American comedy presented by Rogue River Community Theater.

Nearly four dozen actors are participating in the play, which runs April 26-29th at the Kent Theatre in Cedar Springs.

Set in New York City, Ragweed Blues mimics the classic, old, black and white gangster movies of the 1920s and 1930s, featuring legendary Hollywood actors like James Cagney, Pat O’Brien and Humphrey Bogart, explained Director Patricia Rose.

“The gangster movies from Hollywood’s golden era are American treasures and there’s been renewed interest in the noir, especially with the success of “The Artist,’’ she said, referring to black-and-white melodrama which earned five Academy Awards last month, including best picture.

“Taking it a step further, we’ve included slap-stick comedy based on many of the old Hollywood matinee idols of that era,’’ Rose said. “There is romance, a sting operation, a movie set and gangsters all caught up in The Great Depression in New York City circa 1930.’’

Audiences will especially enjoy a memorable fight scene that includes Tommy guns, brawling and bawling.

Era-specific costumes and music, along with plenty of high-jinx and a surprise ending “will have the audience laughing throughout the show,’’ she said. “Many of the characters are based on real-life figures viewers will know.’’

The local theater group, established over 20 years ago, includes award-winning actors of stage and film who’ve been rehearsing for the spring show since early February.

Proceeds from a special matinee performance on Sunday, April 29 will benefit the Rockford Historical Society in its quest to purchase the former Rockford District Court building at 105 Maple Street, to house its historical museum.

“Being able to help the Rockford Historical Society with a stage production that honors a bygone era of American history seems like a perfect idea,’’ Rose said. “We are honored to be a part of this effort.’’

The Ragweed Blues will be performed Thursday, April 26, Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28 at 8 p.m. with a special matinee production scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday. The April 29th benefit play for Rockford Historical Museum is 2 p.m. Shows will take place at historic Kent Theatre , 8 N. Main Street in Cedar Springs.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $4 for students. They can be purchased in advance at Independent Bank of Rockford and the Cedar Springs Public Library. Tickets are also available at the door at Kent Theatre.

For information, call (616) 874-5264.

 

 

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The Importance of Being Earnest at the Kent


Algoma Christian School  presents The Importance of Being Earnest, this weekend at the Kent Theatre.

Jack (Miles Brillinger) likes to travel to the city to escape his dull country life. So, as not to ruin his (Jack’s) reputation, he calls himself Earnest and claims to be Jack’s irresponible brother. Gwendolen (Angela Counts), despite the wishes of her mother Lady Bracknell (Brittany Morris), has fallen in love with Earnest and intends to marry him. But when Algernon (Wade Harrier) discovers that his friend Earnest is actually Jack, and that Jack has a pretty young ward named Cecily (Sarah Van Hoven) in the country, he decides to take a trip, donning for himself the persona of Earnest, Jack’s irresponisble brother. Cecily, in turn, also falls in love with Earnest. As Jack returns home and Gwendolen drops in unexpectedly, it soon becomes clear that Jack and Algernon may have been a bit too earnest in their courting.

Showtimes are at 7 p.m. Friday, March 23, and Saturday, March 24. Admission is $6.

 

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Story of Fanny Crosby at the Kent


Songs in the night Feb. 3-4

Songs in the night, a historical biography depicting the life of one of America’s most well-known and beloved song writer’s—Fanny Crosby—will be performed at the Kent Theatre on February 3 and 4 by the Senior High Koinonia Players.
The play, written by Robert Henninger and directed by Ruth Andrus, tells how while overcoming the tragic accident that blinded her, Crosby saw deep into the heart of God and shared that vision in songs. As the story follows this woman’s life through the mid 1800s, there is both humor and tragedy. The play brings an eternal message of perseverance and love, and will be a memorable experience for both the cast and audience.
Showtimes are at 3 and 7 p.m. on Friday, February 3; and at 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, February 4. Tickets are $5.
For more info, call Ruth at (616) 901-0749.

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Two Idiots and a Cheat


Jan. 19, 20, 21

The Kent Theatre will play host to a student-written and directed play by the talented Shayna Gross, in collaboration with the Tri County Theatre Group. Her clever comedy is titled “Two Idiots and a Cheat.”
Gross, the Kent Theatre and the Tri County Theatre Group have worked together for the past four years to present performances of horror, family comedy, British Classics and now a sure-fire hit—a political satire targeting the foibles and follies of those seeking office. Each scene presents the characters in a light in which they need to display their charm and wit, which may or may not add a positive tone to their political aspirations. Nevertheless, they never fail to amuse. Even if politics puts a pit your stomach, Shayna Gross’ quick-witted humor will surely fill it with laughter.
Performances are January 19, 20 and 21 at 7:00 p.m., with a matinee performance at 4 p.m. on January 21. Tickets will be $5 with student identification and $10 for all other seats.
Seating is general admission. Proceeds will assist the Kent Theatre in collaborating with creative groups and their endeavors and the Tri County Theatre Group’s future efforts in play performances.

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Movies at Kent Theatre in jeopardy


By Judy Reed

A $3 Saturday matinee with friends or family, the smell of fresh popcorn, a bag of candy, a fountain pop—it’s the stuff memories are made of.  But a year from now, families in the greater Cedar Springs area may not have the chance to make those memories at the historic Kent Theatre.
The theatre was built as the Hubbard Opera House in 1880, and over the years was used for all types of entertainment and gatherings, including movies (both silent and talkie). It closed as a theater in 1975. The current CSTA bought it in 1998, and the volunteers have worked non-stop, despite financial difficulty, to fundraise and make improvements to this historic landmark. A dedicated group of volunteers brought the theatre back to showing low-cost, first run 35mm movies two years ago, but with the advancements in technology, that is now in jeopardy.
According to Wanda Holst, film buyer for Goodrich Theaters, 35mm films are being phased out in favor of digital downloads, which uses a digital projector—something the Kent Theatre doesn’t have. And it costs between $50,000 and $60,000.“The experts are saying that by the end of 2012, or sometime in 2013, 35mm is going away,” explained Holst.
The Kent has already felt the pinch, with not enough 35mm prints available to go around. They had to delay the showing of “Courageous” about a week in November, and turned away about 50 people expecting to see it the week it was originally scheduled.
And it’s expected to only get worse in 2012.
That’s a problem for the nonprofit, a 501-3c, who makes most of their money for operations from the films (about 50 percent of ticket sales) and concessions.
There are only a handful of theaters left in West Michigan without digital projectors, and the Kent is one of them. While projectors are costly to purchase, savings in volunteer time and quality of the movies is immense. “We could download a clean, undamaged copy,” explained Len Allington, president of the Cedar Springs Theatre Association. He said that currently it takes many hours for volunteers, such as theater manager Dan Randall, to put the film together and then watch it to make sure there are no bad spots.
“Although film projectionists love what they do and love to hear the click-click-click of the rolling film, by switching to the digital we will get a more consistent high quality movie and be able to show it almost immediately instead of putting it together and then tearing it down,” he said.
Allington trusts what Goodrich is telling them about the future of film. “They have been one of our most generous and longtime supporters,” he explained. “They helped set up our original sound system, and donated thousands of dollars worth of equipment. They’ve been invaluable in showing us how to get movies.”
Raising money for the projector will need to come through grants or donations.  “We don’t often ask for money, but we really need donations from those that can do it,” said Len Allington. “We really don’t want to raise ticket prices,” he added.
If you’d like to donate to the Kent for a new digital projector, you can take a tax deduction if you donate by the end of the year. Make the check out to the Cedar Springs Theatre Association, and designate it for the new digital projector fund. Mail it to the CSTA, PO 237K, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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Please visit the Kent Theatre


On Sunday, November 13th, I went to the  Kent theater. They have some good movies. I wish they had more people so they would make more money to help them out. If they don’t have any people they would close, I do not want them to close cause I love to go there. Plus if  you get there first like I did, you might get a  tour of the projector room. You will be amazed!  And the service was great! The popcorn was delicious! Thank you Kent Theater!

Sincerely
Bailey Rose Robydek, 10 yrs old
Nelson Township

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Stage play brings area families together


Jennifer Ninds and son Michael, of Howard City, are two family members that are enjoying working on Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”

A Christmas Carol debuts at the Kent Theatre Dec. 9

Christmas is certainly a time when most people gather with family and friends for fun and frivolity. Families look for creative ways to enjoy the tidings of the season. Some volunteer their time at a soup kitchen, some might wander their neighborhood streets singing Christmas carols and some might hop in the car one evening and drive miles just to look at thousands of Christmas lights.
But, for a small group of people in northern Kent County, they’ve chosen to celebrate their Christmas holidays by taking to the stage. The cast and crew of “The Christmas Carol,” which numbers well over 40, is comprised largely of people who just happen to be related to each other.
The production director boasts that it’s truly a family affair.
“It’s wonderful to see so many families involved in such a fashion,” said Terri Riggle, production stage director. “They’re having fun and spending a lot of time together in a worthwhile project.”
Ebenezer Scrooge is played by Rockford’s Virgil Hubbard, and his wife, Kathleen, who’s making her acting debut on the Kent Theatre stage, is playing the wife of the character Fred, Scrooge’s nephew. Cedar Springs resident Russ Cole, who is Bob Cratchit, is also given singing direction under the guidance of his wife Carolee, who’s the production’s music director. Laura Johnson, who plays Christmas Present, also enjoys being on stage with her son, Tom, who plays Young Scrooge.
And the list continues. There are two mother and daughter combinations, Judy and BreAnna Schulz of Howard City and Eva Walters and her daughter, Mystic also from Howard City. Then there’s the Price family, all from Cedar Springs, who have four out of their five members involved in the play. Jon, the father, is playing dual roles of Mr. Fezziwig and the Ghost of Christmas Future; his wife, Tammy, is Mrs. Fezziwig; son Jordan is Dick Wilkins; and daughter Grace is Martha Cratchit.
Then there’s the sister and brother combination of Leah and Andrew Woltansus, from Kent City, who are playing the Ghost of Christmas Past and Peter Cratchit, respectively. Howard City resident Jennifer Nind is the production stage assistant and mother to Michael, who is playing the Young Errand Boy. Cedar Springs resident Scott Phillips plays ghoulish Jacob Marley, and his wife Dani is a special effects and lighting technician.
“This production promises to be an engaging evening of live stage performances, which includes not only acting, but singing and a little dancing thrown in just for fun,” Riggle said. “Bring your family. There’s no better way to start the holiday season than seeing this Christmas classic brought to life.”
Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” adapted by Brian Way and produced through special arrangements with Baker’s Plays and the Cedar Springs Theatre Association, will be opening Friday, Dec. 9 at 7:30 on the Kent Theatre stage in downtown Cedar Springs. The production runs through Dec. 11 with performances at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, the 10th, and a final matinee at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for kids 11 and under. They’re available at the Cedar Springs Public Library or by calling 616-696-0949 or 616-696-SHOW or before each performance at the Kent Theatre box office, which opens at 7 p.m. for evening performances and at 1:30 p.m. for matinee performances.

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Light of Heaven’s Dove


Rogue River Community Theatre presented “The Light Of Heaven’s Dove,” a musical drama about the life of Christ, at the Kent Theatre in Cedar Springs last weekend.
It is a message play about Jesus the Christ, whose life and travels have touched all of humanity throughout history and will continue to do so in the times to come.
Jesus, of Nazareth, was played by John Hogan and Mary was played by Teresa Lautenbach. Patricia Rose, of Rockford wrote, staged, choreographed and directed the show.
Their next and last performance for this show will be Dec. 6, at 7:30pm at Basilica of St. Adalberts Cathedral, 701 4th St. NW, Grand Rapids.

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“The Light of Heaven’s Dove” at the Kent


The Rogue River Community Theatre will perform The Light of Heaven’s Dove at the Kent Theatre Nov. 17-19. Pictured left to right are Teresa Lautenbach as Mary, Hunter Simon as Boy Jesus, and PJ Bevelacqua as Joseph.

The Rogue River Community theatre presents The Light Of Heaven’s Dove, a drama about the life of Christ. Dress rehearsal show is Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. at Freshman Center Rockford. Showings at the Kent Theatre in Cedar Springs will be Nov 17, 18 at 8 p.m., and Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. You can also see it on Dec 6 at St Adalbert’s Basilica in Grand Rapids Charity Christmas Show at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets available at the door-all performances. Please call 874-5264 for ticket information. Tickets also available at Cedar Springs Post newspaper office on Maple St.

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Red Flannel prince and princess


Princess Penelope Belk and Prince Diego Caballero.

Excitement filled the air at the Kent Theatre last Wednesday night, September 21, when kindergarteners and their families gathered to see who would be this year’s Red Flannel Prince and Princess.  “It is our biggest turn-out yet”, said Angie Slagter, chairperson. “I was excited to see more of our youth participating than in years past, it made for a very entertaining evening.”
The prince and princess are chosen through a random drawing of ticket entries.
Prince Diego Caballero, son of Schalese and Alvin Caballero, stood tall while being crowned and Princess Penelope Belk, daughter of Krystle and David Belk, looked gorgeous as she was crowned.  It was a magical night for these two and they have made their debut at the Queen’s pageant and will be in the Grand Parade on Saturday, and are hoping all other contestants will join them.

 

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