The Bonstelle Theatre, Detroit’s Premier Undergraduate theatre, has announced its 60th season. This ambitious season will challenge its actors and designers alike while captivating audiences. The Bonstelle has been, for 59 years, a leading entertainment venue in Detroit with seasons mixed with drama, comedy and of course, musicals.
The 2010-2011 season begins with The Caucasian Chalk Circle, by Bertolt Brecht. In this imaginative retelling of the judgment of King Solomon, former village recorder Azdak has mistakenly risen to power and must decide the fate of a child as two women claim him as their own. One woman had endured great risks for the security of the child; the other woman is of wealth and able to provide for the child in ways the first cannot. What does Azdak decide? This tale of danger, romance and political upheaval plays out October 15, 2010 – October 24, 2010.
Following will be To Kill a Mockingbird, dramatized by Christopher Sergel. In this adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, racial tensions swirl in the pressure cooker of 1935 Macomb, Alabama. In the midst of this turbulent era, compassionate attorney Atticus Finch attempts to defend a black man who is falsely accused of rape. Told through the memories of a grown up Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, the play explores the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class. Through her memories, Scout recounts the consequences of “doing the right thing” and illustrates how Lee’s ideas of hope, humanity, and justice are just as resonant today as they were when her novel was written. This enlightening drama will run December 3, 2010-December 12, 2010.
The season will continue with Flow, a rhythmic fusion of drama and performance art conceived by Will Power. In the Michigan premier of this acclaimed 2003 Off-Broadway show, the oral tradition of American storytelling will be turned on its head! Broadway veteran and Detroit native Aku Kadogo will direct an ensemble cast (a new spin to this previously performed solo work), to create a new-age tribe of American griots. This production is sure to be heartening and high-energy with six significant life lessons intertwined with cultural and social commentary. Underscored with hip hop rhythms and rhyme, this family friendly show will play February 18, 2010-February 27, 2010.
The award-winning musical The Full Monty, book by Terrence McNally and music and lyrics by David Yazbek, will close the season. In this fun-filled story adapted from the popular 1997 film, six unemployed Buffalo steelworkers, suffering from the aftermath of economic turmoil, ponder the idea of creating a strip act ( à la The Chippendales or Detroit’s own Henry’s Palace) in an attempt to make ends meet. This out-of-the-box idea leads to a greater understanding of both manhood and brotherhood. You can see their show-stopping numbers April 15, 2010-April 24, 2010.
The Bonstelle Theatre is a Broadway-style stage with a 1,143-seat auditorium featuring a balcony. Here, future stars of theatre, film, and television follow in the footsteps of such successful alumni as Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning S. Epatha Merkerson (NBC’s Law and Order, Lackawanna Blues), Lily Tomlin (9 to 5, ABC’s Desperate Housewives) and Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters, NBC’s Heroes).
Season tickets are on sale beginning February 26, 2010 for as low as $60.00. The Bonstelle Theatre is located at 3424 Woodward Avenue, one block south of Mack Avenue at Eliot. The box office at the Bonstelle Theatre is only open one hour prior to each performance.
Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Hilberry Theatre box office at 4743 Cass Avenue. For more information or to order a season subscription, call the Bonstelle Theatre box office at (313) 577-2960 or visit the website at www.bonstelle.com.