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Stories written by Michael H. Margolin

33 stories found. Showing page 1 of 2.

Painting the stage: Dayton's dancers bring Lawrence to life

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 2/7/2007

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Dance

Choreographers put novels, poems, even legends on stage, but it is rare to make dances from an artist's paintings. Jacob Lawrence is an artist who, in his depictions of everyday life, expresses intense emotion and movement. His bright and lively urban scenes are populated by statuesque, exager...[MORE]

Sights and sounds of evil: Descending into darkness with high technology

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 11/29/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Theater

A skriker, if you haven't had the privilege of hearing one, is a horrific, unearthly sound. The Oxford English Dictionary describes it as a cross between a scream and a shriek. Caryl Churchill's 1994 play by the same name depicts a shape-shifter in an urban fairy tale about the nature of evil....[MORE]

The Bard in our backyard: Royal Shakespeare Company takes the stage in Ann Arbor

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 10/25/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Theater

With three complete Shakespeare productions, 75 actors and 140 lectures, readings, roundtables and demonstrations in just three weeks, the residency of England's Royal Shakespeare Company in Ann Arbor is, arguably, the largest theatrical venture to take place in southeastern Michigan. This yea...[MORE]

Graham ascendant: New leader revives a famed (and troubled) dance company

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 10/11/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Dance

Just like a Greek goddess in one of her renowned dances, defying the gods, legs splayed, torso close to the ground, Martha Graham’s spirit has transcended time. The modern dancer and choreographer lives on in legend, still celebrating on the stage with the current incarnation of the Martha Graham Da...[MORE]

Social intercourse: Sexual obsession and dirty talk ain't all in staging of Closer

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 10/4/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Theater

Patrick Marber's Closer is a rare thing — a good play with lots of dirty talk. There are even shouting matches about sexual positions and human effluvia. There's partial nudity. And there's lots of unhappiness among the four main characters. A success in Britain, a hot ticket on Broadway a...[MORE]

Premiere theater: Local stages promise a season of discoveries

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 9/20/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Theater

Take a deep breath: The theater season is upon us, promising original plays, emerging actors and twists on revivals to entice us into the dark. This season is stronger than ever in classics — with such American works as Arthur Miller's The Price and Eugene O'Neill's great Long Day's Journ...[MORE]

‘A fun, demented girl’

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 6/7/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Opera

Marquita Lister is a young soprano. She refuses to say how young (early 30s is a good guess), yet she has already made herself recognizable to Michigan Opera Theatre audiences — as Aida in 1997 and as the murderous, passionate Tosca in an incandescent performance in 2000. She's also tak...[MORE]

Vintage vixen: A Salome to lose your head over

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 6/7/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Opera

In the couple of decades since the triumphantly villainous film Heathers, the machinations of teenage girls — specifically, princesses with raging hormones and lousy parents — have become a cliché. But back in 1894, when Oscar Wilde wrote the one-act play Salome, it was not comm...[MORE]

Down-home modern: Ailey's groundbreaking troupe dances on

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 5/24/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Dance

It was the first time for many Detroiters, and most of America: lithe young dancers performing modern moves with a difference. Their hips and shoulders had an attitude out of the deep South, the ghetto or a smoky late-night club, but definitely not a dance studio. The year was 1968, the Alvin A...[MORE]

Fire flight: Roni Benise's improbable combo of Vegas show and Spanish guitar

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 5/10/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Dance

Some have described Roni Benise's Nights of Fire! as a cross between Latin Riverdance and Cirque du Soleil. The man himself, who's in the middle of his first national tour, chooses to describe his performance as the "United Nations of music." No matter what you call it, Benise's Nights of Fire...[MORE]

An ABC of opera: Verdi’s masterpiece rises at the fully restored Detroit Opera House

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 4/26/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Opera

After stepping out of Michigan Opera Theatre's winning, million-dollar production of Aida last Saturday night, it's difficult to remember those first couple of seasons in the Detroit Opera House. When restoration began a decade ago on what was to be the first permanent home for Michigan Opera ...[MORE]

The Odissi-philes

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 4/12/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Dance

Mick Jagger dropped by, and so did modern dance mavens Paul Taylor and Mark Morris. They all showed up in Bangalore, India, to visit Nrityagram, the artistic community that gives its name to a dance company. The name, quite literally, means dance ('nritya') village ('gram'), says Surupa Sen, ...[MORE]

Acting absurd: Zeitgeist is back, promising more theater of abuse

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 4/12/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Theater

Troy Richard is sick about Detroit theater. He says so while having a beer at the Cass Cafe.At the table is John Jakary, with a similar malady. The cure they propose is reviving their "little theater that could," Zeitgeist, which closed down in 2004 after seven years and 35 productions. In a pr...[MORE]

More than love: Kylián proves ballet can be about other things

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 4/5/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Dance

"The Jiri Kylián ballets are not banal stories of 'I love you, why don't you love me?' They're beautiful paintings in lighting, costumes and music," says Gradimir Pankov, artistic director of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal. And this weekend, the Detroit Opera House hosts the bigg...[MORE]

From Berlin to Detroit: A transvestite sings, swills and sobs about life and love

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 3/22/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Theater

Before the wall dividing Berlin into East and West fell, some people risked their lives crossing that deadly no-man's-land. Hansel, a self-proclaimed "girlie-boy," escaped by marrying an American soldier named Luther. Upon his lover's request, Hansel gave up his penis, changed his name to Hedwig...[MORE]

Dances with Ives: Peter Sparling meets the New England modernist

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 3/15/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Dance

For a long time, dancer and choreographer Peter Sparling has had an affinity for prewar America. Before coming to Ann Arbor some 22 years ago, he was a featured dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, where he performed as a preacher in "Appalachian Spring," inspired by early 20th century ...[MORE]

Trading races: Seminal black film gets a flavorless staging

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 3/8/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Theater

Abreact Theatre, situated in a Greektown loft, half living space, half theater, deserves applause for trying to put on an ambitious project on a shoestring budget. Unfortunately, it comes across as a failure of imagination. The original Watermelon Man is a 1970 film directed by Melvin Van Pee...[MORE]

Sail away: Pappa Tarahumara takes us on a voyage through time

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 2/22/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Dance

Sensuous images, childhood memories and scuttling creatures come out to play in A Ship in a View, an event by the Japanese troupe Pappa Tarahumara that blends dance, music and theater into a multimedia performance. A large pole represents a ship on a shore; its silk flag flutters in a breeze. ...[MORE]

Ohio Players: A new Jeff Daniels play hits close to home

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 2/22/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Theater

If you want your heart and soul tested, visit Steubenville, Ohio. That's where Jeff Daniels has set his newest play Guest Artist, in which two men — a jaded, alcoholic Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and his young apprentice — challenge each other to a duel of wit and will. The ti...[MORE]

Playing on the past: Kim Carney’s Moonglow hits close to home

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 2/15/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Theater

When Kim Carney's mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and needed to go into care, the Michigan playwright took that experience and carved out a plot. Moonglow is her sad, poignant and mercilessly funny play about growing old and losing your mind. Maxine is a sick and elderly woman who...[MORE]

Lady on the edge: The life of Billie Holiday in a new Plowshares production

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 2/8/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Theater

Billie Holiday, one of America's greatest jazz singers, lived a life of hardship. She was forced to contend with racism her whole life, and died at age 44 after years of drug abuse. Her bittersweet story is told in Lanie Robertson's short, sweet and sorrowful play Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and...[MORE]

Dance music: A salute to faculty composers at U-M

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 2/1/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Dance

One of the "Big 10" when it comes to music as well as football, the University of Michigan is celebrating the 125th anniversary of its School of Music this year. This weekend, the University Dance Company salutes the music school with dances set to music by nationally and internationally k...[MORE]

Sipping tea and a simple plea: Two women talk tragedy at Detroit Rep

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 2/1/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Theater

Detroit Repertory Theatre has nabbed one of the best plays of this or any other season, presenting it in a fine production, with two damn fine actors. The title for Going to St. Ives, written by Tony Award-winning playwright Lee Blessing, comes from a child's nursery rhyme that is really a rid...[MORE]

Killer’s kiss: Mothers, sons, a love interest, music and mayhem at Meadowbrook

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 1/25/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Theater

There are worse ways to kill an evening than at a musical about a serial killer. In Meadow Brook Theatre's production of Douglas J. Cohen's No Way to Treat a Lady, murder is, well, sort of funny. This show's musical numbers are attractive, and the jokes, if not original, feel comfortingly fami...[MORE]

Classic approach: This Elektra is your typical dysfunctional family from ancient Greece

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 1/18/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Theater

Some 2,400 years ago, the Greeks invented modern drama, and just a few days ago, Hilberry Theatre revived Sophocles' Electra. One of a trilogy of plays about a ruling family that comes to grief just after the Trojan War, it is about mankind's lust for revenge and revenge's failure to resolve h...[MORE]

Amazing feet: José Limón’s company dances on decades after his death

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 1/11/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Dance

It took bare feet and a lot of guts. Since its inception in the early 20th century, the modern dance movement has made its mark as a rebellion staged against classical dancing, against all the corps of dancers who perform in unison en pointe, with flowing arms, long, extended legs and airborne ...[MORE]

Acting out: Fat City aims to be edgy and accessible

By Michael H. Margolin

Published: 1/11/2006

Types: Arts, Performing arts, Theater

In contemporary theater, there are few playwrights who really know how to mess with audiences’ minds by dramatizing touchy ideas. A couple of names that come up are Alan Ball, writer of the Academy Award-winning film American Beauty and creator of HBO’s Six Feet Under, and Craig Luca...[MORE]

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