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Tag Archive | "Scott Phillips"

CS Community Players present historical comedy by local playwright

by Terri Riggle

During a recent rehearsal, Jacob Hoekzema, as Benedict Arnold, belts out his rendition of “Turn Coat” which was written by Jill Phillips for a play titled, “Burr: The One Who Won,” written by brother Scott Phillips.

The latest offering of Cedar Springs’ playwright Scott Phillips takes a swing at American history and lands a knock out punch. “Burr: The One Who Won” tells the story, albeit with tongue very much in cheek, of Alexander Hamilton’s nemesis, Aaron Burr. It’s American history run rampant, spilling over with humor and rousing fun songs. He is, of course, taking a poke at Broadway’s current golden child, “Hamilton” by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The play has been running since August 2015 where it received unprecedented advance box office sales and enthusiastic critical response. In 2016, “Hamilton” received a record-setting 16 Tony nominations, winning 11, including Best Musical.  It was also the recipient of the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album and the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

In this production, Phillips tells the story of Aaron Burr, a contemporary of Hamilton and at odds with his political machinations. Burr challenges him to a duel after Hamilton helped swing a vote causing Burr to lose a presidential bid in 1800. You can guess the outcome of the duel. Phillips is also directing the play along with Carolee Cole, who is the Music Director. His sister, Jill Phillips, penned all the lyrics and created all the music for the production. 

In cooperation with the Cedar Springs Community Players, “Burr: The One Who Won,” will open on the Kent Theatre stage on May 17 with additional performances on May 18-19; and May 24-25. Performances start at 7:30, with the exception of a matinee on Sunday, May 19, which has a 3 p.m. start time. The box office is open 30 minutes before each performance and tickets may be purchased at that time for $15 for adults and $6 for children under 18. You may also purchase tickets at the Cedar Springs Public Library in advance for $12 for adults and $6 for children under 18. 

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Hometown Happenings

Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.

Original Play at the Kent Theatre

May 25,26: Cedar Springs Players presents “Murder on the American Express” and original play by Scott Phillips. May 18, 19, 25, 26 at 7:30 p.m., May 20 at 3:00 pm at the Kent Theatre. #20,21

CS Historical Society’s Memorial Cemetery Walk

May 27: The Cedar Springs Historical Society is holding its 18th annual Memorial Cemetery Walk on Sunday, May 27th, at 2 pm to honor veterans of all wars. This years’ veterans will be Alfred Sliter, Civil War; Samuel Armstrong, Spanish/Philippine American War; Russell VanDore, World War I; Mark Wheeler, World War II; Don Miles, Korean War; Carl Straub, Vietnam War. Biographical and historical information will be presented at each gravesite. The Glen Hill Post of the American Legion honor guard will assist at the presentation. We will leave from the museum in Morley Park at 1:30 and return there for refreshments. In case of severe weather warnings we will cancel the event. In case of rain we will do the presentations in the museum. #20,21b

FREE Movie at Kent Theatre

May 29,30: En Gedi will present a FREE movie at the Kent Theatre, God’s Not Dead 2, on Tuesday, May 29th and Wednesday, May 30th both at 6:30 pm. The Christ-centered movie tells a story about high school history teacher Grace Wesley (Melissa Joan Hart) who is asked a question about Jesus in class, her response lands her in deep trouble. The ensuing epic court case could expel God from the classroom and the public square once and for all. God’s Not Dead 2 is a powerful call to action. #20,21b

Senior Lunch at Pine Grove Community Church

May 30: Pine Grove Senior Café would be honored for All Seniors age 60 and over to come celebrate our Veterans both those who are still here with us and those who have given the utmost; those who live on in our memory.  We would be honored to share a meal and memories with you as our guest.  We ask our guests who are Veterans to wear your colors.  Guests who wish to display memorabilia may do so.  At Noon Wednesday May the 30th in our Family Life Center on the North West corner of M-82 & Beech. #21

Reader’s Theatre at CS Library

May 31: Join the FUN with Actors del Arte Ensemble for their FREE popular Reader’s Theatre, Thursday, May 31st at 7 pm to be held in the Cedar Springs Library’s Community Room. The Actors will, present “Blade Runner” by Phillip Dick, based on his 1968 book, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” a work of science fiction. Two of his other books were made into major motion pictures. #21

Classic Car Hop

June 1: Rockford Springs Community Church, 5815 – 14 Mile Rd. (about 2.5 miles east of US131) will host a Classic Car Hop on Friday, June 1st (Rain date is June 8), from 5:30 – 7:30pm. Cruise on over! Load up the family truck, van & grocery getter with your family friends and neighbors! Join us for great food and fellowship while you check out some cool classic cars, street rods and antique autos. Free will donations. Proceeds to benefit RSCC Youth Group trip to the RYS Convention in July. For more information call 616-696-3656. #21,22p

Sand Lake HS Alumni Banquet

June 9: The 126th  (1892-2018) Annual Sand Lake High School Alumni Banquet will be held on Saturday, June 9th at Resurrection Lutheran Church, Sand Lake. Social hour at 5 pm and dinner at 6 pm. The cost of the meal is $13.00. Open to anyone who attended Sand Lake Schools. Please RSVP by June 2 by calling your reservation in to Dave Groner 616-557-3098. #20-22p

Red Flannel Queen Pageant

June 10: Attention all young ladies living in, or attending school within, the Cedar Springs School District, including homeschoolers, who will be in the 11th grade in the 2018-19 school year. There will be a MANDATORY parent meeting for any young lady who would like to participate in the 2018 Red Flannel Pageant and her parent(s). The meeting will be Sunday, June 10th at 2 pm at the Springs Church (135 N. Grant St.). For more information or if there is a concern that you can’t make the meeting please contact pageant director Kaleigh Goehler directly at redflannelpageant@gmail.com. #19-23b

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Murder on the American Express

Chief Joseph, played by Russ Cole, in Murder on the American Express. 

The Cedar Springs Community Players (CSCP) is bringing a new mystery to our town in the form of its next performance written by local playwright, Scott Phillips. This is Mr. Phillips’ first mystery, but like all his other plays the script was born from conversations he had with family, friends and strangers.   

“Friends had been asking me to write a murder mystery,” explained Phillips. “I finally had enough stories and ideas to pull it into a script.”   

Murder on the American Express takes place in small Appalachian town. The town is thrown into disruption by the election of outsider Mayor Anita Mann, played by Peggy Snell. To further complicate matters, local millionaire Bobby Buick, played by Rob Kellner. fights to purchase land from Lily Mae, an independent minded woman played by Danielle Phillips. The land is also wanted by her ex-husband, Jeremiah Box, played by newcomer Dan Phelps.  Scott Phillips never fails to bring his audience a cast of delightful and entertaining characters including Georgia, the local bar owner played by newcomer Holly Russell; Jordy, the ambitious local newspaper editor played by Mark Stoll; The VanMeter Brothers played by Steve Hutchins and Dave Schmucker, CSCP local comedic actors; and the naïve parish priest played by Jack Bagins. No mystery can go unsolved without a great criminal mind and Scott delivers that in Officer “Chief” Joseph played by Russ Cole and his forensic team. CSCP member Jerry Hoye is assistant director.

The small town suspects deliver conflict, suspicion and hilarity. CSCP actor James Brosky said, “Mayor Anita Mann is the best villain Scott has ever written. Well…not including the Devil.”

Show dates are May 18, 19, 25, and 26 at 7:30 p.m. and May 20 at 3:00 p.m. at the Kent Theatre, 8 N. Main, Cedar Springs, MI. Tickets are $15.00 at the door and $6.00 for people under 18 years of age.  

Advanced tickets are $12.00 and are available at the Cedar Springs Public Library or by emailing phillips4ba@yahoo.com.

If you are interested in becoming a part of the Cedar Springs Community Players the next meeting will be May 12, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. the Cedar Springs Public Library.

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Pompeii-The Musical

Cleo (Sammi Kunz), Lucy (Ruth Madison), and Brutus (Steve Hutchins) in Pompeii—the musical.

Reviewed by Tom Noreen

Tired of political correctness and looking for a good laugh? If so, then get your tickets to local playwright Scott Phillips’ fresh off the parchment Pompeii-The Musical with music by Jill Detroit and Sean Anthony. As Scott noted in his program, “Another May, another play.”

Set in ancient Pompeii just before the city’s demise in 79 AD by the epic eruption of Mt Vesuvius, the toga clad actors are going about their daily lives. In particular the focus is on the star crossed lovers Cleo (Sammi Kunz) and Augie (Scott Herdegen) who cannot seem to reconcile their religious beliefs. As in most cases, family and friends are doing their best to make the match work, with varying degrees of success. Among these are Cleo’s younger sister, Lucy (Madison Ruth); her brother, Brutus (Steve Hutchins); and Augie’s mother, Titania (David Schmuker). As a result of his efforts, Brutus falls in love with Olyve Gardenia (Jessica Talsma) a Roman who has a phobia for Romans!

Other members of the cast include Bob Kellner as “I, Claudius” and Debbie Irwin as his wife “Cornie.” The local oracle (read shrink) “Nero” played by Doug Christensen and his wife “Gripy” portrayed by Kathy Anderson. The chorus line of statues are Annie Bagin, Savana Williams, Jack Bagin, and Kirsten Bagin.

This performance also premieres the Kent Theatre’s new LED lighting system. After many years of planning and fundraising, the theatre has a state of the art lighting system. Thanks to all of the patrons and donors that made this possible.

Shows for this weekend are Friday, May 26 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 27 at 7:30 p.m.

Adult tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door; tickets for those under 18 years are only $6. Advanced tickets can be purchased at the Cedar Springs Public Library, or reserved by emailing Scott at phillips4ba@yahoo.com.

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Pompeii: the Musical 


The Cedar Springs Community Players will present Pompeii: the Musical, by Scott Phillips, this weekend and next weekend at the Kent Theatre.

A few years ago, a local theater group decided to perform Titanic: the Musical, a Broadway play. To local playwright, Scott Phillips, it seemed rather bizarre someone would take this horrific event and add a lot of song and dance. In keeping with Scott’s tradition of irony and sarcasm, he decided to write Pompeii: the Musical.

The play is set in ancient Rome and tells the story of two young lovers whose romance is in jeopardy. To the rescue comes the dysfunctional family and friends, along with a prominent Roman oracle. Adding to the mayhem is the increasing rumblings of the volcano, Vesuvius. Obviously, things don’t go so well. History tells us how Pompeii ends, but theater can always twist things a bit.

Pompeii is Scott’s 10th play and 5th musical.  Scott’s sister, Jill Detroit, and his nephew, Sean Anthony, wrote the music.  The cast includes:  Sammi Kunz, Scott Herdegen, Steve Hutchins, David Schmuker, Madison Ruth, Rob Kellner, Debbie Irwin, Cathy Anderson, Doug Christensen, Jessica Talsma, Russ Cole, Annie Bagin, Savana Williams, Jack Bagin and Kirstin Bagin.

Performances are at the Kent Theatre, 8 N. Main, Cedar Springs, on

Friday, May 19 @ 7:30 PM

Saturday, May 20 @ 8:00 PM

Sunday, May 21 @ 5:00 PM

Friday, May 26 @ 7:30 PM

Saturday, May 27 @ 7:30 PM

Adult tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door; tickets for those under 18 years of age are only $6.  Advanced tickets can be purchased at the Cedar Springs Public Library, or reserved by emailing Scott at phillips4ba@yahoo.com.

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A House Divided

Audrey (played by Danielle Phillips) with onstage daughter Lily (Annie Bagin) in the Scott Phillips play A House Divided. It’s still playing this weekend at The Kent Theatre. Photo by T. Noreen.

Audrey (played by Danielle Phillips) with onstage daughter Lily (Annie Bagin) in the Scott Phillips play A House Divided. It’s still playing this weekend at The Kent Theatre. Photo by T. Noreen.

Reviewed by Tom Noreen

It’s May and time for another Scott Phillips production! I like Scott’s plays because they make me laugh and we all need to laugh. That’s not to say they don’t have a message, because they do. When I go to a play or a movie, I want to have a good time and that I did at A House Divided.

Not wanting to divulge the storyline, since I want you to see it yourself, it was a hoot. Suffice it to say, we all have a bit of friction in our families that we would like to replace with harmony and understanding. Scott’s stage family is no different. We can all identify with one character or another. There are plenty of funny lines in the script, but it is the cast’s delivery, facial features, gestures, and ability to play off one another that makes it such a great comedy. Phillips did a great job casting the roles.

The matriarch is Patsy (Julie Bratton) and her squabbling family Charlotte (Roshanah Dayton), her husband Jordan (Dave Schmuker) and daughter Sawyer (Madeline Wilcox); Isaac (John Bagin) and his son Albert (Jack Bagin); and Audrey (Danielle Phillips), her boyfriend Stone (Steve Hutchins), and daughter Lily (Annie Bagin). Then there is the nosey, well-meaning neighbor Sandra (Terri Riggle), her husband Roy (Doug Christensen), and son Jordan; and Roy’s friend Nelson (Russ Cole) who becomes Patsy’s “significant friend.” Finally, last but actually first on stage, is Maddie Ruth who goes toe-to-toe with Scott as they remind the audience of proper theater protocol.

What better way to start your Memorial Day weekend then a trip to the theater? Show dates are May 27 and 28 at 7:30 PM. All performances will be at the Kent Theatre, 8 N. Main, Cedar Springs.

Tickets for adults are $12 in advance/$15 at the door; under 18 years of age only $6.  Tickets are available at the Cedar Springs Public Library. You can also reserve tickets at the advanced price by emailing Scott Phillips at phillips4ba@yahoo.com.


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Wedded Abyss

Tony (Steve Hutchins) and Elizabeth (Judy Schultz), both standing, help their daughter, Jessica (Anna Ambrose sitting) plan her wedding in Scott Phillips’ latest comedy at the Kent Theatre.

Tony (Steve Hutchins) and Elizabeth (Judy Schultz), both standing, help their daughter, Jessica (Anna Ambrose sitting) plan her wedding in Scott Phillips’ latest comedy at the Kent Theatre.

Reviewed by Tom Noreen

Wedded Abyss is a comedy that anyone who is married, is in the planning process of getting married, or knows someone who is any of the above can take to heart. At some point, writer Scott Phillips hits on about every aspect of the marriage process from proposal to the fait accompli. Intertwined in the irreverent treatment of the institution of marriage are pearls of wisdom. Jill Phillips’ music complements the dialog like a fine wine with a gourmet meal.

The laughs start with Scott’s instructions on proper audience etiquette and Grace Berlin’s critique of his performance and keep right on rolling until the very last line is spoken. Park people, flasher/bum Jon Gamm and his self-righteous bag lady cohort, Roshanah Dayton, are a hoot as they observe/participate in Kyle’s (Mark Stoll) proposal to Jessica (Anna Ambrose) in the local park. Before Jessica gets home to officially announce the engagement, her domineering mother, Elizabeth (Judy Schultz), has already begun planning the dream wedding of any young lady. Helping her with the details is wedding planner extraordinaire, Ambrosia (Terri Riggle) and Jessica’s teenage sister, Tiffany (Bre’Anna Schultz), who wants to ensure that the standard set is high enough for her own future wedding. All the while, Jessica’s dad, Tony (Steve Hutchins), is counting the pennies in his checkbook.

The first counseling session with Pastor Tom (Russ Cole) turns into a three ring circus, as more and more unannounced folks show up to put their two cents in to the pot.

At the other end of the spectrum are Kyle’s parents, Michelle (Lynda Ambrose) and Jake (Skip Schuster), who were never married and do not live together, yet got along very well.

As the planning continues, with little consideration for either the bride or groom, stress begins to build. The breaking point comes at Kyle’s house as the planning group tries to put their stamp on the rehearsal dinner. At this point the wedding is off.

To find out how it ends, you will have to buy a ticket for one of this week’s performances on either May 22 or 23. Adult tickets are $12 if purchased or reserved in advance, and $15 at the door.  If you are under 18 years of age, the price is $6. Tickets can be purchased at the Cedar Springs Library or by sending an email to phillips4ba@yahoo.com. For more details, please visit the CSCP website at http://www.cedarspringscommunityplayers.org or access the events Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1397681320550106.


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“Wedded Abyss” at the Kent Theatre


May 15, 16, 17, 22, 23

Don’t miss the Cedar Springs Community Players next production, Wedded Bliss…oh sorry for the typo…Wedded Abyss.  This musical comedy is written and directed by local playwright, and CSCP member, Scott Phillips.  Jill Phillips adds some wonderful music to make this a hilariously entertaining show.

The play opens with a proposal and plans for a simple wedding and a wonderful marriage.  Then the bride’s mother, sister and the professional wedding planner get involved and it all quickly changes.  All focus turns to the minute details of the wedding activities, leaving behind the preparation for a lifetime of marriage.

This is Scott’s eighth play. The show features many accomplished local actors, as well as some who are making their debut on the stage. All performances will be at the Kent Theater in downtown Cedar Springs. Performance dates are May 15, 16, 17, 22 and 23. Adult tickets are $12 if purchased or reserved in advance, or $15 at the door. If you are under 18 years of age, the price is $6. Tickets can be purchased at the Cedar Springs Library or by sending an email to phillips4ba@yahoo.com.

For more details, please visit the CSCP website at www.cedarspringscommunityplayers.org or access the events facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1397681320550106.

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“Devil may care” to debut at Kent Theatre

An original musical comedy presented in Cedar Springs

Popular local playwright Scott Phillips has written his sixth production, “Devil May Care,” and it will debut at the Kent Theatre in Cedar Springs next weekend.  In this musical comedy, a missionary destined for Heaven and a politician bound for Hell arrive together at the Pearly Gates. But a mix-up causes them to change places and havoc ensues in the unearthly realms. This engaging show ranges from hilarious to poignant, as the new arrivals discover their eternal rewards and punishments.
This is the second musical that Phillips has written with his sister, professional musician Jill Phillips, who composed the words and music.
Performances will be May 20th, 21st, 27th, and 28th at 7:30 p.m. and May 22nd at 3:00 p.m. at the Historic Kent Theatre, 8 N. Main Street Cedar Springs, MI. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door.  For those under 18 years of age, tickets are $6 for all shows.  Tickets will be available at the Cedar Springs Public Library and at the Alpha Omega Coffee Shop, 32 S. Main, Cedar Springs, MI.

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