by FINE ARTS SUPER CREW PUBLICITY COMMITTEE The East Rockford Middle School sixth-grade Fine Arts Magnet (F.A.S.C.) will be performing “Annie Jr.” “Annie” is a unique musical play about a young girl whose parents left her at an orphanage when she was a baby. Annie had a note from her parents saying that they would come back for her, so she tries to run away, but Miss Hannigan (who owns the orphanage) stops her. The richest man in New York City wants to have an orphan spend Christmas at his mansion. His private secretary chooses Annie. Annie is amazed by how she is treated with such respect and awed by the wealth surrounding her. Will Annie have to deal with the disrespect from Miss Hannigan ever again? Come and find out! The dates are Tuesday, March 8 at 1 p.m., Wednesday, March 9 at 9 a.m., and Thursday, March 10 at 7 p.m. in the East Rockford Middle School cafeteria. “Annie Jr.” is a book by Thomas Meehan. Music is by Charles Strouse, with lyrics by Martin Charnin. It is presented on Broadway by Mike Nichols, and was originally produced by Irwin Meyer, Stephen R. Friedman, Lewis Allen, Alvin Nederlander Associates, Inc., the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Icarus Productions. “Annie Jr.” is based on “Little Orphan Annie” by permission of the Tribune Media Services Inc.
Arts & Entertainment
Since opening in August 2006, Reds on the River has partnered with Rockford Public Schools on numerous occasions, including co-op work opportunities, numerous fundraisers, benefits for the Rockford Education Foundation, and the Community Unity program with the sports boosters and Youth Initiative Community Service Club. One particular favorite for both Rockford High School students and Reds is hosting the Rockford Chamber singers, led by high school music director David Duiven. For the past three years, Rockford’s top choir students have performed holiday music at Reds in December, in exchange for Reds’ donation to the Choir Boosters to help offset some of their musical expenditures. “The partnership has been tremendous,” noted Reds Executive Chef Glenn Forgie. “The students perform in quartets and meander about the dining room, singing carols. They jazz up their concert attire with fun holiday scarves and hats and really have fun with it. Our guests love the festive spirit they create, and they love the fact that we are showcasing our students’ talent.” The music has become so popular that Reds has expanded the schedule and invited other area schools to perform. The lineup includes: • Thursday, Dec. 2: Northview High School • Tuesday, Dec. 7: Rockford High School Chamber Quartets • Thursday, Dec. 9: Northview High School • Tuesday, Dec. 14: Rockford High School Chamber Quartets • Thursday, Dec. 16: East Grand, Rapids Bella Voce • Tuesday, Dec. 21: Northview High School • Thursday, Dec. 23: Forest Hills Eastern Quartet Holiday carols are peformed from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. each evening.
Have you ever wondered how a mouse can become an angel? “No problem!” says 7-year-old Hanna Prost of Rockford. Who would think that this cute little Valley View Elementary School second grader can make that transformation effortlessly in but a few minutes, from a frightening little mouse who scares the living daylights out of Clara Stahlbaum to a sweet little angel who welcomes Clara to the Land of Sweets. Prost, who also enjoys ice-skating and soccer, has been studying ballet for three years at Rhythm Dance in Belmont. In her first year as a member of the junior company of the West Michigan Youth Ballet (WMYB), Prost has been rehearsing her parts every Sunday for the annual production of Tchaikowski’s Nutcracker Ballet. Prost is joined by another young dancer from her home studio, Mary Camp. Camp is 8 years old and a third grader at St. Patricks. This is Camp’s second year with the WMYB, and she has three parts: gingerbread, big mouse and reindeer. The WMYB has over 90 dancers, ages 6-18, from different dance studios in the Greater Grand Rapids area, Ada, Holland, Muskegon and Lansing. For all of these dedicated and talented young people, rehearsals are a lot of hard work, but also a lot of fun as they prepare to present once again this timeless ballet for our community. Performances will be on Saturday, Dec. 11 at 1:00 and 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 12 at 1 p.m., in the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center, 600 Forest Hills Ave., Grand Rapids. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children aged 10 and under, and can be obtained at www.wmyb.org, at the door, or by calling (616) 682-4853. Saturday at 11:30 a.m., there will also be a special Nutcracker Tea, with crafts and refreshments, photo opportunities with Clara, and meeting some of the Nutcracker characters in costume. Tickets for that event are $12. Prost and Camp would love to have their friends come and see them perform. And they promise they won’t scare off anyone, but they will be as sweet as an angel and a gingerbread man.
“Dead Man Walking,” a play written by actor/director Tim Robbins—who also directed the 1995 Oscar-winning film—is a gripping drama that tells the true story of Sister Helen Prejean’s remarkable journey alongside convicted killer Matthew Poncelet as he faces his impending execution. The play will be performed at the Rockford Fine Arts Auditorium May 6-8 at 7:00 p.m. each night. On opening night, May 6, a panel—including an exonerated inmate, a murdered victim’s family member, and other experts in the capital punishment debate—will discuss their stories and answer questions following the show. This is a powerful evening of theatre you won’t want to miss. Tickets are $6 for students and $8 for adults, and can be purchased at the Rockford Box Office or reserved by calling (616) 863-6031 ext. 7087.
“A Case of Monkey Business” is a musical comedy about a jungle legend and a group of misfits who find themselves lost in the wilds of Africa. Throw in a caveman or two and pirates and you have a fun mixture of songs, laughs and hijinks for the whole family. The musical comedy will be performed at the Old Kent Theatre, 8 N. Main St., Cedar Springs on May 6 and 7 at 8 p.m., and May 8 at 2 and 8 p.m. Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $4 for students, or $8 for seniors, and may be purchased at the door or by calling (616) 874-5264 or (616) 696-7469.