Arts & Entertainment

Rockford theater group presents Edgar Allen Poe

November 15, 2012 // 0 Comments

A Rockford theater group will be presenting the works of Edgar Allen Poe in a stage production entitled “In The Eye Of The Raven.” Presented by Actors del Arte Ensemble, the comedy-drama offers several short stories by the famed American author. Actors will be portraying characters from several of Poe’s classic works. Two shows will be presented in November. The first will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18  at Kent Theater in downtown Cedar Springs. Tickets can be purchased at the door. Prices are $8 for adults and $4 for students. A second performance is planned at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27 at The Rogue River Winery, 10 East Bridge St. in Rockford. For information on both these shows, call (616) 874-5264.  

A “Ship of Dreams” tells story of infamous shipwreck

November 8, 2012 // 0 Comments

By John Hogan   The story of the most infamous shipwreck in history will be retold Nov. 15-17 in “A Ship of Dreams,’’ an original play about the RMS Titanic’s doomed maiden voyage 100 years ago. It is the first play presented under the newly-formed Rogue River Community Theatre Company and includes more than 40 performers. “No other ship in the history of ocean travel has demanded as much interest as the Titanic,’’ said Director of Theatre Patricia Rose, who wrote the play. “This is the 100th commemorative year of the sinking of that great ship.’’ Deemed “unsinkable,’’ RMS Titanic left Southampton, England April 10, 1912 on its maiden voyage to New York. Sailing near the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, the massive vessel struck an iceberg and sank into the frigid north Atlantic early the morning of April 15, 1912. Of the 2,228 crew and passengers on board, only 705 survived. “The play is pretty intense,’’ said Randy Galaszewski, a veteran stage and screen actor who portrays Capt. Edward J. Smith. “My favorite line comes from the first scene when the captain says: ‘I assure you, this ship is sound. There is no way the Titanic will founder.’ History, of course, proves otherwise.’’ A Ship of Dreams tells the stories of its eclectic mix of passengers -from the rich and famous to poor immigrants searching for a better life. Actors ranging in age from 6 to 60 convey stories of courage, cowardice and compassion. Filling the stage at Kent Theater will be a 12-foot long by four-foot wide replica of the Titanic deck, complete with period-appropriate furnishings and equipment. Several hundred feet of PVC pipe donated by Rockford Ace Hardware was used to construct ship railings. Theatre board members Brian Thomas and PJ Bevelacqua spent countless hours building the set, which will be transported to the Cedar Springs theater on a flatbed trailer.The platform rises to give the visual effect of a sinking ship, Thomas said. “Having the set rise five feet off the stage floor during the last portion of the play has a powerful visual impact,’’ Thomas said. “It helps set the mood for the horrific final moments aboard RMS Titanic.’’’ Performances are being dedicated to the more than 8,300 seamen and officers […]

Rockford Education Foundation Presents Cameron Blake For Annual Fund Raising Event

November 8, 2012 // 0 Comments

Tickets on Sale Now   The 17th annual concert event is scheduled for January 26, 2013 in the Rockford High School Fine Arts Center and will feature Rockford’s own Cameron Blake. The talent of Cameron Blake is refreshingly honest and rare in an age of predictable music. A graduate of the Peabody Institute of Music, Cameron first began his career as a classical violinist. After a near mental breakdown at the conservatory in 2006, he began paving a new path as a performing songwriter by teaching himself to play the piano and guitar. Cameron has since released four records of original music and has performed in many of the great folk and rock venues throughout the United States, as well as in Europe. His nuanced vocals and soulful lyrics have garnered praise from The Washington Times, Baltimore City Paper, Revue Magazine and Maryland’s NPR station where his songs have been described as “refreshingly poetic,” “evocative” and “profound.” Cameron was recently honored for his contributions to culture and the performing arts as an inductee into the 2012 Rockford Public Schools Hall of Fame. REF is a non-profit organization, created in 1991, to raise money and award grants for creative and innovative ideas in education within the Rockford community. Since the beginning, the REF has awarded more than $1 million in grants to the community. Reserved seating is available for $28 per ticket. For infor-mation regarding REF or the annual event please contact REF at 616-863-6317 or

Second annual Idol a smash at RHS

November 8, 2012 // 0 Comments

It’s no secret that the young musicians at Rockford High School are consistently among the best in the state. Rockford students shine every year in the annual musical, marching band competitions, local bands, Solo & Ensemble, Band and Choir Festivals, Variety Show, and many other activities. Add to that Rockford Idol: on October 25th, RHS crowned its second Rockford Idol, junior Lindsey Normington. This solo singing competition featured the finest Rockford student singers in a two-night competition. The event was hosted by the Rockford Aces, a cappella men’s group, who gave performances to close each evening. Celebrity Emcee Catherine Behrendt from WZZM kept the event moving along as each competitor performed and interacted with the judges. The celebrity judges included Michael Crittenden of Mackinaw Harvest Studios and local band Troll for Trout, WZZM reporter Brent Ashcroft, and RHS teachers Susan Clements, Kaelynn VanBuren, and Bob Wells. On October 23, the audience and judges heard from over 35 talented students; the judges selected 12 finalists to move on to the Finals. On the 25th, these finalists performed with tracks or accompanied by piano, guitar, or ukulele. The final results were: Cash Maciel (10) in third place; Baileigh Aldrich (9) in second place; and winner Lindsey Normington (11). The top three were selected by audience voting, with last year’s Rockford Idol Marley Ferguson performing original songs from her new EP “As It Turns Out” while votes were tallied. A variety of musical styles were heard at the finals, with the top-three performing songs by R. Kelly, George Gershwin, and Bob Dylan (Normington sang “Don’t Think Twice” by Dylan, accompanying herself on ukulele). The top three received cash prizes and Normington won a grand prize consisting of four hours of recording generously donated by Mackinaw Harvest Studios in Grand Rapids and a photo shoot donated by Studio D2D in Rockford. All ticket proceeds from the evening benefited the Rockford Aces, who are finishing work on their second CD, due out in December.  

Zombie Dash Pits “Survivors” Against the Undead in 5K Run through Downtown GR

October 25, 2012 // 0 Comments

Halloween Weekend Night Race is One of Only a Handful in the World The Zombie Dash will be held Saturday, October 27, 2012, at Ah-Nab-Awen Park in downtown Grand Rapids. The run, with waves from 6:30 to 7:00 pm, will feature a five kilometer course along the Grand River, including “Apocalypse Avenue” east of the 6th ST Bridge which will feature cars full of suitcases and clothing, abandoned as residents fled the city. The cost for runners is $39 and zombies eat for free (or $13 if they want the shirt). A Halloween Hellraiser concert at the park from media partner WGRD will follow the event. It features Dead Sara, with special local guests Bangups and Fine Fine Titans. Free, for all ages. There’s a twist to the run. First, runners/survivors must wear two “life strips,” or flag football flags, tucked in their waist and avoid zombies hiding out along the way, bent on yanking the strips away and giving the runners a time penalty. There’s another twist. The race takes place from sunset to darkness. Those beginning before sunset can almost make it home before dark if they are quick. Survivors at later start times will race as darkness falls. All runners will be required to wear a headlamp or flashlight for safety (and comfort!). And a third twist. Runners must survive a post-apocalyptic street called “Apocalypse Avenue,” a lung-burning climb up “Kill Hill” at Belknap Park and “Look-out! Park” in the Belknap Hill neighborhood which will present a frightening maze of boxes for survivors to escape through. Friends, family and the general public are welcome to cheer on their survivor(s) and pick up the pieces left behind. The charity partner for this race is the Michigan Blood Stem Cell Program, which educates the public about the importance of the Be The Match registry and marrow/stem cell donation. The stem cell program recruits potential marrow/stem cell donors for the National Marrow Donor Program’s Be The Match registry. Michigan Blood is also a regional collection site for stem cell donations. 70% of patients suffering from illnesses like leukemia, lymphoma and 70 other blood related diseases, turn to the Be The Match registry for a matching marrow/stem cell donor. Every year around 10,000 patients look to […]

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