Let's Hear It From The Girls! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marcia Fulmer   
Thursday, 20 June 2013 18:20

If your instant visualization of a jazz musician is a middle-aged gentleman, possibly with a receding hairline, a slightly wrinkled face and a constantly tapping toe, visualize again!

Bria Skonberg at the 2013 Elkhart (IN) Jazz FestivalNothing could be farther from the reality of two of the most talented jazz musicians being featured in the Elkhart Jazz Festival 2013.

Both are young, very talented, very attractive and very well-versed on the subject of jazz — past and present — and undoubtedly will play an important part in its future.

The only difference is that Bria Skonberg plays trumpet and flugelhorn and Ariel Pocock can be found at the piano.

Both will be familiar to regular visitors at past EJFs.

Bria came to the 2009 EJF as a member of the west coast sextet Mighty Aphrodite, an all-girl group which was a definite plus that year. She not only played but sang. Today she leads the Bria Skonberg Quintet and has changed her “coast of residence” to New York City.

Last Updated on Sunday, 23 June 2013 21:29
'Addams Family' To Visit Kalamazoo PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marcia Fulmer   
Monday, 21 October 2013 19:24

The Addams Family Miller Auditorium Kalamazoo MI“They’re creepy and they’re kooky,

            Mysterious and spooky,

They’re altogether ooky,

            The Addams Family.

Their house is a museum

            When people come to see-um,

They really are a scre-um

            The Addams Family.

   (neat, sweet, petite)

So get a witch’s shawl on,

            A broomstick you can crawl on

We’re going to make a call on

            The Addams Family!”

The familiar theme for the TV version of Charles Addams’ famous cartoons in The New Yorker magazine is one song you won’t hear in composer Andrew Lippa’s score for the touring production set to play Tuesday and Wednesday evening in Miller Auditorium at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich.

All the Addamses — Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, Pugsley, Grandma, Uncle Fester and even Lurch — will be ready to greet visitors at 7:30 pm. Also invited for dinner are Wednesday’s boyfriend Lucas Beinenke and his parents, Mal and Alice.

Word is this will be a ”spooktacular” meal. It seems everyone has something to hide and more than a few skeletons in their closets.

Book for this new Addams Family adventure is by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice who also are responsible for “Jersey Boys.”

Tickets range from $35 to $58. For reservations, call (269) 387-2300 or visit

Last Updated on Monday, 21 October 2013 19:46
Comedy-Thriller Delivers Surprising Turns PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marcia Fulmer   
Monday, 14 September 2015 17:50

“Deathtrap,” a play by Ira Levin, holds the distinction of being the longest-running comedy-thriller on Broadway.

Deathtrap Elkhart Civic Theatre Bristol INIt ran from February 1978 to June 1982, after which it quickly morphed into a very successful film as did the screen versions of his novels “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Stepford Wives” as well as his first play, “No Time for Sargeants” (a comedy but definitely not a thriller).

The answers as to why this particular “one set, five characters” work should sustain such popularity is offered by Elkhart Civic Theatre with its current production of “Deathtrap” on stage at the Bristol Opera House.

For those who have never seen it, on stage or in film, it will provide an evening full of surprises, or rather I should say of shocks, and thrills.
For those who have seen it, sit back and wait for them. I guarantee a bit of a jolt, even when you know what’s coming.

Deathtrap Elkhart Civic Theatre  Bristol INUnder the direction of Dave Dufour and Randy Zonker, the murderous cast is headed by Marc Adams as established playwright Sydney Bruhl, Brett Noneman as aspiring playwright Clifford Anderson and Stephanie Yoder as Sydney’s ever-anxious wife. Brightening up the proceedings is Angie Berkshire as neighboring psychic Helga Ten Dorp, whose forte is criminal cases, with Michael Case as Sydney’s seemingly stodgy attorney Porter Milgrim.

The less-than-comedic atmosphere is established immediately by John Shoup’s menacing set design, a rustic, overwhelmingly brown retreat complete with stone fireplace and a huge wall hung with all manner of weaponry, mostly from medieval times, apparently in usable condition.

The plot is a play-within-a-play-within-a play and the question is who does what to whom and who will do it next and when.

No one, it becomes clear, is what they seem and right to the final blackout, the twists keep turning!

Deathtrap  Elkhart Civic Theatre  Bristol INAdams is properly non-menacing, portraying the playwright in search of another success, living off his one hit, “The Murder Game,” and trying to forget the four failures that followed.

As the money (his wife’s) runs out, his increasingly desperate search leads him to a script submitted by Anderson, a former student seeking advice on his first play titled (not surprisingly) “Deathtrap.”

Bruhl is so desperate that, to his wife’s increasing fear, he formulates scenarios in which he kills Anderson and claims authorship of his play, which he is positive will be the hit he needs.

The tension rises as Anderson accepts Sydney’s invitation to move in with them while they work on the play. In short order, Bruhl puts his fatal plan into action, much to the horror of his wife.

Myra’s fears are not lessened with the appearance of new neighbor Ten Dorp who shares her unsolicited partial visions of the crime and declares she senses terrible pain coming to the Bruhl home. She cautions Myra to be careful.

And that’s just the first act.

As the fatal scenario unfolds it is obvious that no one is entirely innocent when faced with the possibility of gaining fame and fortune. The eventual pile up of bodies, however, does require a sizeable suspension of disbelief.

The cast discharges their assignments with believable dispatch if not a great deal of dramatic tension and the final curtain will leave you still wondering.

DEATHTRAP” plays Friday through Sunday at the Bristol Opera House on SR 120 in Bristol. For performance times and reservations, call (574) 848-4116 or visit

Last Updated on Monday, 14 September 2015 18:07
Comedy From Russia With Lots Of Laughs PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marcia Fulmer   
Thursday, 17 September 2015 18:40

If you think the title “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” is a bit odd, wait ‘til you see the Christopher Durang play on stage in South Bend Civic Theatre’s Warner Theatre.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike South Bend (IN) Civic TheatreThe name of the 2013 Tony Award-winning Best Play is taken from characters in plays by Russian playwright Anton Chekov, as is the setting, even though 9 or 10 trees don’t make an orchard. You don’t, however, need a degree — or even an interest — in Russian theater to start laughing.

After the first few uncomfortably familiar exchanges by Vanya (Bill Svelmoe) and (adopted) sister Sonia (Melissa Manier) as they share (?) morning coffee on the porch of the family home in Bucks County, PA. where nit picking and self-pity have become a way of life, you realize its really OK to laugh, and laugh a lot.

As the duo prepares to spend another day of nothing happening, the forecast gets a jolt from the mostly-manic, part-time cleaning lady Cassandra (Marybeth Saunders), who not only predicts the weather but sees storm clouds in the future and warns them to beware of “pootie pie,” an omen that means nothing to either of them. Cassandra is extremely physical and also wields a mean hatpin.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike South Bend (IN) Civic TheatreSonia and Vanya continue to bemoan lost chances. Both in their fifties, they have spent their lives in the family home caring for their now-deceased parents. Neither has a job and are completely dependent on their sister Masha (Lucinda Gary Moriarty), who left home to follow her dream and became a movie star, albeit in slasher films not classics, and who, not incidentally, owns their home.

The morning ritual is interrupted by the appearance of Masha and her boy toy Spike (Brian Wells), who has a problem keeping his clothes on. His flimsy claim to fame is almost being cast in Entourage 2.

Masha’s visit has two purposes: she plans to attend a big costume party given by well-connected neighbors and expects her siblings to accompany her to complete her costume and, oh yes, she plans to sell the house.

Masha’s insecurity takes a hit with the appearance of Nina (Sam Blevins), the neighbor’s niece, who is an aspiring actor and a contemporary of Spike’s.

Things come to a head the morning after the party when Vanya assembles them all to hear a reading of his play, set after the destruction of earth with Nina as a molecule. Declaring he can “multi-task,” Spike texts during the reading and Vanya literally explodes, delivering a rant that covers everything from technology to global warming to Senor Wences and mourns the loss of culture and shared memories and the disconnection of lives. “I miss the past,” he says. “And I worry about the future.”

There is no sound of falling trees to mark the end of this play, only the quiet re-connection of the disparate family, still hoping for better days ahead.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike South Bend (IN) Civic TheatreDirector Jim Geisel has some of South Bend Civic’s veteran best in his cast and they work well together although some tend to go way over the top and arrive at caricature rather than character.

The scenic design by Jacee Rohick provides a well-detailed setting rather more like Florida than Pennsylvania, and there is no mistaking the Disney influence on the party costumes.

“VANYA AND SONIA AND SASHA AND SPIKE” plays through Sept. 27 in the Warner Theatre at South Bend Civic Theatre, 215 W. Madison Ave. For performance times and reservations, call (574) 234-1112 or visit

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 September 2015 22:45
'Hair' Plays Tonight At Miller Auditorium PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marcia Fulmer   
Wednesday, 27 February 2013 15:30

The Age of Aquarius, it seems, is always with us.

hair  tour Miller Auditorium  Kalamazo MichiganOriginally on Broadway in 1968, the James Rado/Gerome Ragni/Galt MacDermott musical appropriately titled "Hair," returned to the Great White Way in 1977 and 2009, winning numerous awards with each incarnation. The most recent is now on tour, bringing its look at the movement of the '60s and '70s that changed America forever to theaters across the country. From its score, many songs have joined the list of hits on the Great American Songbook. Among these "Let The Sun Shine In," "Aquarius," "Good Morning Starshine" and the title tune.

Claude and his peace-loving friends will be on stage in (and out) of appropriate hippie attire at 7:30 p.m. today in Miller Auditorium at Western Michigan University. For tickets, call (800) 228-99858 or (269) 387-2300 or visit

For those who were "there" — and those who were not— its one way to review past mistakes and keep them from repeating themselves.  

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 February 2013 03:38
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Page 1 of 31


Register or Login
Register by clicking
Create an Account below.

In order to Ask Marcia yourself you will need to register.
I only takes a moment.