4 Holiday Shows to See at The Whiting this December

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The Whiting is open year-round, but there’s something especially cozy about the 2,043-seat theater in the winter months.

Like the rest of the buildings in the Flint Cultural Center, the Whiting was designed in the International style, featuring open spaces and rectilinear forms. Guests walking into the building are welcomed by the well-known “Golden Sun” sculpture, which hangs from the ceiling and is valued at $5 million.

Since opening nearly 50 years ago, the venue has hosted thousands of performances by the Flint Symphony Orchestra, Flint Youth Theatre, touring Broadway acts and other guest artists. This December, the Whiting will host four performances that are sure to put visitors in the holiday spirit.

These include:

The Nutcracker, Dec. 5-6

The Collage Dance Collective of Memphis will take the stage with dancers from the Flint School of Performing Arts for this two-act ballet, performed to music by the FSO.

It’s a Wonderful Life: Live From WVL Radio Theatre, Dec. 10

This adaptation of Frank Capra’s holiday classic is portayed as a live radio broadcast. In this version, it’s Christmas Eve in 1945, and only a handful of WVL Radio’s actors have braved the blizzard to perform the evening’s broadcast.

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, Dec. 15

Grammy Award winner Chip Davis has created a show that features the beloved Christmas music of Mannheim Steamroller along with dazzling multimedia effects.

Holiday Pops featuring The FSO, Dec. 19-20

The Flint Symphony Orchestra performance will be conducted by Maestro Enrique Diemecke and hosted by ABC12’s Angie Hendershot and Matt Franklin.

The Whiting is located at 1241 E. Kearsley St., Flint. On performance days, the ticket center is open two hours prior to curtain and 30 minutes after.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.thewhiting.com or call (810) 237-7333.

Wonder what else is going on in #flintandgenesee? See What’s Possible right here.

Flint Cultural Center to Host 32nd Annual Holiday Walk

Holiday WalkAs part of the 32nd Annual Holiday Walk, the community is invited to tour the Flint Cultural Center’s 33-acre campus on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

The free event will begin at 5:15 p.m., when City of Flint Police Chief James Tolbert and Santa Claus will lead the annual tree lighting ceremony. From there, Santa will make his way to The Whiting for family visits and free photos.

The Flint Institute of Arts will offer live music as well as the opportunities for kids to meet with PBS’ Sid the Science Kid. There will also be a holiday film shown in the FIA Theater as well as a children’s activity in the FIA Art School.

Applewood will host ice-carving demonstrations and carolers, and the Buick Gallery will have Santa’s classic car on display.

Visitors can also swing by the Flint Public Library, where they can make a holiday ornament, listen to the bell choir from Goodrich United Methodist Church or watch a Punch & Judy performance.

There will be a number of musical performances at the Flint Institute of Music (in both the atrium as well as MacArthur Recital Hall) as well as a holiday comedy show and staged reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas at the Flint Youth Theatre. 

Longway Planetarium will kick off its showings of Cosmic Christmas: The Light Show. Both the Sloan and Whaley Historic House museums will host holiday crafts.

The MTA will provide a free shuttle bus that runs from the Flint Farmers’ Market, at the corner of East 2nd and Wallenberg streets, to the Flint Cultural Center. The bus will run every 15 minutes, starting at 5:15 p.m. and ending at 7:45 p.m.

Admission is free, although donations of non-perishable food or personal care items are encouraged. Proceeds will benefit the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.

The Flint Cultural Center campus is located along Kearsley Street off I-475 at Longway Blvd. in Flint. For more information, call 810.237.7333 or visit www.FlintCulturalCenter.org/holidaywalk.

The New McCree Theatre Announces Upcoming Concerts, Plays

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The New McCree Theatre – a 220-seat auditorium with a focus on the African American story – has released its schedule for the 2015-16 season.

Upcoming productions and concerts include:

Sophia Janell Taylor – Sept. 12
The songstress, author, and reality television host will sing selections from her newest album, “Audio Biography,” and read excerpts from her latest book, “Faithful Liar.” Tickets are $15.

Dreamgirls – Oct. 1-17
The six-time Tony-award-winning musical follows the Dreamettes and the challenges they face as their manager takes over creative control of their girl group.

The Gospel Divas – Nov. 21
Lynne Calloway will sing songs from her latest album, “Secret Place,” and Lydia Seale will render selections from her album,”13:13.” Tickets for this dynamic gospel concert are $15.

Black Nativity Revisited: Christmas at a Crossroads – Dec. 3-12
Written by the theatre’s executive director and producer, Charles H. Winfrey, this Classic Christmas musical challenges our resolve to return to the season’s true meaning.

The Heartbeats – Feb. 13-14
The Heartbeats return, singing Motown hits from the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, the Miracles, Stevie Wonder and the Four Tops. Tickets are $15.

For Colored Girls Who Consider Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf – March 3-19
This play uses narrative, poetry and dance to tell the story of seven women, represented by seven different colors, who have suffered oppression in a racist and sexist society.

Sanctified – May 5-21
Javon Johnson’s musical satire pokes fun at the trials and tribulations of a church choir in an African American church.

For more information about the theater, at 2040 W. Carpenter Road, Flint, call (810) 787-2200 or visit www.thenewmccreetheatre.com.

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Fenton Village Players to Perform ‘Addams Family: The Musical’

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You know what they say about the Addams Family: They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky. They’re all together ooky, and starting this Thursday, their story will be told by the Fenton Village Players.

In this musical tale, Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family. And if that weren’t upsetting enough, Wednesday confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother.

Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before – keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents

Performances be held from Aug. 6-9, Aug. 14-16 and Aug. 21-23. All performances will be held at 7 p.m., with the exception of Sunday shows at 2 p.m.

For more information about the play, directed by Stevie Visser and produced by Joy Carr and Jill Tomlin, click here.

Wonder what else is going on in #flintandgenesee? See What’s Possible right here.

‘Shakespeare in the Park’ to Kick off County-wide Tour

Guests enjoy an outdoor showing as part of "Shakespeare in the Park."

Guests enjoy an outdoor showing as part of “Shakespeare in the Park.”

Flint’s “Shakespeare in the Park” is back for its 11th year, this time bringing one of the playwright’s most popular comedies to various venues throughout Genesee County.

Twelfth Night – which opens at Kearsley Park with evening performances Friday, June 12, and Saturday, June 13, and an afternoon matinee on Sunday, June 14 – focuses on twins Viola and Sebastian, who are separated in a shipwreck. Disguised as a boy, Viola falls in love with Duke Orsino, who in turn is in love with the Countess Olivia. Upon meeting Viola, Countess Olivia falls in love with her thinking she is a man.

With the exception of the opening night fundraising gala at Kearsley Park, admission to all performances is free. Gala tickets start at $25 per person, and include strawberries and cream before the show and champagne with the actors afterward.

The full list of performances is as follows:

  • June 12, Kearsley Park Pavilion – “Opening Night Gala” – 8 p.m.
  • June 13, Kearsley Park Pavilion – 8 p.m.
  • June 14, Kearsley Park Pavilion – 3 p.m.
  • June 18, ForMar Nature Preserve – 7 p.m.
  • June 19, Linden County Park – 7 p.m.
  • June 20, Flushing County Park – 7 p.m.
  • June 21, Max Brandon Park – 3 p.m.

Guests are asked to bring their own lawn chairs to the shows at the ForMar, Linden, Flushing and Max Brandon parks.

Directed by Kay Kelley, Twelfth Night is part of the “2015 Theatre in OUR Parks,” a collaboration between the City of Flint Parks and Recreation Department and Genesee County Parks and Recreation Commission, funded by a grant from the Ruth Mott Foundation.

For more information, visit www.kearsleyparkplayers.com.

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Fly-Town Puppet Theatre Pens, Performs Original Sci-Fi Fantasy

Students Eli Wilson (left)  Kody Saunders  master a puppet on stage.

Students Eli Wilson (left) and Kody Saunders master a puppet on stage.

The public is invited to attend the premiere of REM, an original sci-fi fantasy written and produced by Mott Middle College High School’s Fly-Town Puppet Theatre, on Saturday, June 6.

Using the tradition of Bunraku puppet theater and European-style puppetry, REM follows the story of a man who is visited in his dreams by a mysterious glowing seed that takes him on a series of magical and mysterious adventures. He must find objects of unknown origin and power that could affect life, space, time, the present, past and future.

Fly-Town Puppet Theatre – a program designed by two of the school’s fine arts teachers – allows students to explore humanity and its condition through creating original Bunraku-style puppets, plays and performances. Bunraku is a form of traditional Japanese puppet theater.

In class, students learn about movement, acting, puppet performance techniques, anatomy and physiology, playwriting, drawing, painting, sculpting, mask-making, costume and make-up, sound and light design, puppet and prop design, engineering, construction and performance.

The show will be held at 7 p.m. in the Mott Memorial Building Auditorium on the campus of Mott Community College in the. Admission is free.

Wonder what else is going on in #flintandgenesee? See What’s Possible right here.

Open Auditions for Kearsley Park Players Set for this Month

Kearsley Park Players

Kearsley Park Players

Calling all actors: Open auditions for the Kearsley Park Players’ Theatre in our Parks will be held April 13-14, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Flint Institute of Music.

Parts are available for performers of all ages in:

  • Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” (June 12-21)
  • “Jack and the Beanstalk” (July 9-12)
  • Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The Mikado” (Aug. 12-23)
  • Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest.” (Sept. 24-27)

Those auditioning for “The Mikado” should prepare a song from the musical. A piano accompanist will be available. Audition sides will be available for the other productions.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Ruth Mott Foundation, all members of the company will be paid $50 per production.

Various productions will be staged at Kearsley Park, Linden County Park, ForMar Nature Preserve and Flushing County Parks. “The Mikado” and “The Importance of Being Earnest” will be performed at the Colwell Opera House at Crossroads Village.

For more information about Theatre in our Parks, presented by the Genesee County Parks Commission and the City of Flint Parks Department, visit www.kearsleyparkplayers.com or contact Artistic Director Kay Kelly at 810-845-4050 or [email protected].

Wonder what else is going on in #flintandgenesee? See What’s Possible right here.