Lake Superior Theatre announces 2017 lineup

The view from the Lake Superior Theatre’s lobby offers a stunning view of Lake Superior and the lower harbor breakwater.

Winter seemed to hang on through much of May but here it is June—and a busy time for Lake Superior Theatre as we transition from boathouse to theatre. All of our peepers and people heading north, the snow is gone revealing green grass, and the trees are literally bursting with buds—all foretelling that summer is coming—our reward for the long winters.

We are all busy with end of the school year events and, we hope, finding time to get your season and event tickets to Lake Superior Theatre! Season tickets are a great buy and if you buy them online you will be assigned the best available seat OR you can call NMU if you are looking for a specific seat. Clip the MM ad for LST as a reminder so you have all the ticket information handy. If you are online, just go to tickets.nmu.edu, pick out your reserved seat and print your ticket. Or you can call 227-1032 for tickets or visit a ticket outlet. Please note that the main ticket office for NMU EZ tickets is now in the Berry Events Center with summer hours from 10am to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can also visit the outlet in the Superior Dome, FRT, or the NMU Bookstore but call ahead for hours to make sure they are open. There is no additional charge for tickets you pick up at the outlets. Additionally, you can call 906 227-1032 to reserve your seats and either have the tickets mailed or waiting for you at will call (the concession stand) at the theatre for the night of the show. Our LST rack cards are available at a variety of places in Marquette, including the Welcome Center and the former ticket office in the lower harbor as well as LST ,and those rack cards can be mailed to NMU with your show selections. Just a reminder that the ticket outlet/phone hours are Monday through Friday until 4 p.m., so please plan ahead if you want to get your tickets with that mechanism. Tickets will be available at the theatre from 6 p.m. to 7:30 each night that we have a show. Of course the online feature is available 24/7 but if you do not have access to a computer and it is after 4 p.m. on Friday and you want tickets for a weekend show, just call the theatre at 227-7625 and we will make it happen. Season tickets are a great bargain, lowering your individual price to the group rate, so take a moment to consider that option. With season tickets if you need to exchange the date you can do so if available in advance of the show. For more information on the shows, visit lakesuperiortheatre.com or our Facebook page.

The theatre floor is brought in with a forklift. Each spring, the Lake Superior Theatre is transformed from a fully functioning boathouse into a beautiful theatre venue.

It seems that spring is always such a rush. It’s almost so busy that we do not take a moment to enjoy our view of the lake—our million-dollar lobby view. Occasionally, we stop to listen to the call of the loons, marvel at the winter work of the beavers, or pick up a beautiful rock washed up by the winter storms. Then we go back to the boats huddled in their blue jackets all winter, awaiting another summer of freedom on the sparkling blue water. With the multitude of tasks involved in transitioning the boathouse after the boats have splashed, such as removing the rails, putting in the leveling floor, adding the chairs and risers, rebuilding the stage, the daunting erection of the enclosure by the Breakfast Rotary Team of Bentlage, Stephenson, and Weinrick, and hanging the lights, sound, and sets, it all seems just about impossible when we begin. It is only when we go back to believing anything is possible that it truly is!

And we so appreciate those who believe in us. Each June we have our annual Lightkeeper Event, a sneak preview for our summer season, as well as supping, sipping, and socializing for those who realize that presenting our past is only possible with their financial present. This year the event will take place at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 7, at the home of Tom and Sue LeGalley. With their spectacular view of the lower harbor we will go back to the ’50’s for musical memories. If you misplaced your invitation, just click on the website to make reservations or call LST at 227-7625. We were thrilled to get a Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs grant for new LED lights, but, as usual, we need to match each dollar. These lights will provide amazing versatility to the magic of lights, decrease heat and the need for as much air conditioning, and help with electrical costs, which have dramatically increased this year. Not only will the event provide matching dollars, but it will help LST at a time when our cash flow needs to increase and our work goes into high gear. Thanks to our supporters, who help us provide outstanding live theatre and make Marquette a desirable place to live, work and play.

Lake Superior Theatre is shown here, with the iconic ore dock in Marquette’s lower harbor in the background.

Speaking of working to earn a living, recently it was announced that the groundbreaking rock opera Rent will be Fox’s official follow-up to their wildly successful Grease Live. “No Day but Today,” from the Rent is one of the great songs about living in the moment (something we are all trying to do). As you relive memories and celebrate the songs of the past in this year’s shows, you will find yourself treasuring new moments and memories. Grease comes close to my idea of a classic. The songs are playful and familiar, and the fun part for all of us is realizing how it has become a classic for successive generations. So we invite you to slip on your cat-eyed glasses or leather jackets, and grab your hair comb, chucks and poodles skirts—LST is going back to the 50’s. This musical with Danny and Sandy will burst onto the LST stage, directed by Dave Dagenais with Jill Grundstrom on board as the joyous choreographer. As usual they have some incredible twists for the show and you can expect terrific music, glossy sparkle and tons of energy so it will no doubt be another sell out! With familiar songs like: “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” “Sandy,” “You’re the One That I Want” and the title number, used as the show’s big, energetic opening, you will be humming all the way home! Grease is the story of young adults finding their identity while creating lifelong friendships as they move on into the next chapter of life. And this might be a good time to talk to younger kiddos who are trying to figure out if it is better to conform and fit in than to be true to who you are and be left out—the typical teenage conundrum.

There are some parts of Grease to which you might prefer not to expose young ones but if you like a little rock-n-roll and teen spirit, all taking place a few decades ago, then Grease is the word for you and you will be loving the memories of this show

Our collaboration with Superior Arts Youth Theatre is also going to be bringing back some great memories. One of musical theatre’s brightest and most innovative shows, it is based on the Emmy Award-winning 1970s educational animated TV series. Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr.uses the familiar songs from the cartoons to teach grammar, math, science, history, social studies and political science while telling the story of Tom, a young teacher nervously anticipating his first day on the job. Now, Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. brings the magic of “Schoolhouse Rock” to the stage. From the opening notes of “A Noun Is a Person, Place or Thing,” through the rousing closer, “Interjections!” Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. delivers hit after hit to the delight of audiences and performers of all ages. This is going to be an LST family favorite!

Steel Magnolias is also a truly fantastic favorite. There may be no play that better epitomizes the bond of female friendship than Steel Magnolias. Set in the world of Truvy’s beauty salon, it starts out by introducing us to the everyday life of women in a small town. Truvy is brash, colorful and unlikely to let a bit of gossip pass her by. You will love the hilarious repartee and verbal collisions such as “I’m not crazy: I’ve just been in a bad mood for 40 years.” As the women must realize their mortality they draw on their love to survive, which gives the play a special quality that is truly touching. With care, and with heart, Director Denise Clark will bring together a talented cast that portrays the silliness, the love, the sadness and the unquenchable strength of these women. This is a play of “laughter through tears,” which LST will bring to life in a production you won’t want to miss.

Nor will you want to miss the Magic To Do Cabaret. Once again LST will bring an amazing group of artists to the stage as they wow you with their talents. The challenges and joys of relationships are woven into the wonderful scores as the performers focus on some Bob Fosse favorites. Opening with “Magic To Do” from Pippin, Jeff Bruning brings us another feel-good evening we all need to lift our spirits.

As we prepare for the season there are so many things LST is thankful for. One of them is the generous gift of time, talent, and treasure of our cast and crew. Each of you—board members, directors, those who donate so we can thrive as well as survive, and those of you who fill those new comfy seats—gladden our hearts with gratefulness. You’ve probably heard about the health benefits of practicing gratitude—how it can boost your mood, help you treat others better, improve physical health, and lower your health-defeating stress level. Now, here’s a little trick for how to automatically infuse more gratitude into your life: Spend more money on experiences, and less on material objects. We want to support our local merchants too, but when you buy a night at a local restaurant and the theatre you are going to leave feeling blessed that you got to go. People not only express more gratitude about events and experiences than they do about objects—studies also found that this kind of gratitude results in more generous behavior toward others. So be grateful, get outdoors and restore your energy and vitamin D.

See you at the boathouse!

MM

Editor’s note: Frazier is a producer for Lake Superior Theatre. This is the first in a series of articles to appear throughout the summer on LST in Marquette Monthly.

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