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Tag Archive | "Kent Theatre"

Switchback benefit concert for the Kent Theatre. Proceeds go to digital projector fund.

The Cedar Springs Theatre Association is pleased to announce a special benefit concert by Switchback, featuring Martin McCormack, Brian FitzGerald and percussionist Nick Hirka, on Thursday, June 28, at 7:00 p.m., in the historic Kent Theatre, downtown Cedar Springs, Michigan. The proceeds will go toward the digital projection fund.

“With Everly Brothers harmonies and FitzGerald’s whirlwind and soulful guitar and mandolin work, Switchback romps and reels with audacity and talent.” – Performing Songwriter Magazine

Switchback TrioThis special benefit performance for the Historic Kent Theatre will feature an eclectic mix of folk, country, blues and Irish music, plus some 30’s and 40’s jazz and a selection of songs from Switchback’s award winning catalog of over 300 original tunes which have been described as “breathtaking scenery for your ears.”

Switchback’s concerts are always a crowd pleaser with lots of audience involvement, colorful stories of their travels around the US and abroad, and a healthy dose of comedy thrown in for good measure. “They don’t play off a set-list, so the eclectic mix of tunes is like no other show I’ve ever seen,” said one reporter. “They started the set with several of their own original tunes, then delivered two heart-pounding Irish rebel songs, a awe inspiring performance of Danny Boy, and ended the set with Folsom Prison Blues and the Beatles’ Hide Your Love Away.  One minute I was clapping along and the next I had a tear in my eye.  They have a way of connecting with the audience on each and every song, no matter what the genre.” Another reporter in Chicago wrote, “I was told Switchback fuses Folk, Irish, Cajun and Blues musical styles. I wasn’t convinced, so I went to check them out. I walked in the door a doubting Thomas and became an immediate fan.”

Tickets are just $15 in advance and $20 at the door for adults, and $10 for students. Tickets are on sale now in Cedar Springs at the Independent Bank, Cedar Springs Library, Chase Bank and at the Kent Theatre box office.

For more info call The Kent Theatre at 616.696.SHOW (7469) or visit www.kenttheatre.org.

Switchback benefit concert for the Kent Theatre. Proceeds go to digital projector fund.

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Area youths will create fairy tale magic

Kira Ward and Danielle VanDyke play Snow White and the evil Queen.

The ever-popular fairy tale, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” will be brought to life on the stage of the Kent Theatre. Plan to attend this summer’s fun musical brought to you by the Cedar Springs Community Players. Come and enjoy the antics of the merry little men as they try their best to protect their Princess, Snow White, from the Evil Queen who is determined to kill her rival in beauty.

Two casts, with a total of 33 talented young people, will take to the stage two weekends in June. Performances are Thursday through Saturday, June 14-16 and June 21-23. Tickets are $10 in advance; $12 at the door; $6 for kids 17 and under and are available at the Cedar Springs Public Library, from any cast member or by calling 616-696-0527. The historic Kent Theatre is located in downtown Cedar Springs at 7 N. Main Street.


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“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!

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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