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Posted on Wed, May 8, 2013 : 12:44 p.m.

“The Lion in Winter” at Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, Mother’s Day specials at Performance Network and the Purple Rose

By Carla Milarch


The Purple Rose Theatre is offering "buy one, get one free" tickets for "33 Variations" this week, through Mother's Day.

photo by Sean Carter Photograph | courtesy of the Purple Rose Theatre Co.

This week features three great shows for Mom! From a classic drama about familial squabbles, to a poignant story about a mother/daughter struggle to connect in the face of tragedy, to an inspiring fantasy play about Martin Luther King Jr., theater is a great way to show Mom you care while avoiding the chilly weather in Sunday’s forecast.

Both professional theaters, Performance Network and The Purple Rose, are offering "buy one, get one free" specials on a pair of tickets, making it more affordable than ever to treat Mom to an enriching AND entertaining experience. This weekend remind her what a good job she did raising you (or your kids), and give her an afternoon (or evening) she’ll treasure!

Show: “The Lion in Winter” by James Goldman, through May 12
Company: Ann Arbor Civic Theatre
Type of Company: Community
Venue/location: Arthur Miller Theatre, Walgreen Drama Center, 1226 Murfin, Ann Arbor
Recommended ages: 12+
Description: James Goldman’s historical comedy-drama tells the tale of of King Henry II and his estranged wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Driven to imprison his wife for attempting to overthrow him, Henry II brings her to his castle at Christmastime where the verbal sparring and machinations among Henry, Eleanor, and their scheming sons has caused the play to be called "Shakespeare Lite."
Fun fact: The play premiered on Broadway at the Ambassador Theatre on 3 March 1966, starring Robert Preston and Rosemary Harris, who won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Eleanor. It was adapted by Goldman into an Academy Award-winning 1968 film of the same name, starring Peter O'Toole and Katharine Hepburn.
For tickets and information:, 734-971-2228

Show: “33 Variations” by Moises Kaufman, through June 1
Company: The Purple Rose Theatre Company
Type of Company: Professional Equity SPT
Venue/location: The Purple Rose Theatre Company, 137 Park Street, Chelsea
Recommended ages: 16+ (contains adult language and content)
Description: In 19th century Austria, Ludwig van Beethoven works obsessively on a commission he cannot complete. In present day, musicologist Katherine Brandt struggles to solve the mystery behind her professional passion: Beethoven’s oft overlooked “Diabelli Variations.” As she races against time, Katherine not only discovers the true nature of Beethoven’s work, but gains insight into the other mystery in her life: her daughter. Moving between the past and the present, 33 Variations illustrates how the very passions that threaten to overwhelm us can also save us.
Fun fact: David Bendena, Daniel Britt, Lauren Knox, and Richard McWilliams all made their Purple Rose debut in this production.
For tickets and information: 734-433-7673,
Special ticket offer: 2 tickets for the price of 1 for all shows this week (through Mother's Day 5/12). Coupon Code is 33V-MOM.

Show: “The Mountaintop” by Katori Hall, through June 2
Company: Performance Network Theatre
Type of Company: Professional Equity SPT
Venue/location: Performance Network Theatre, 120 E. Huron, Ann Arbor
Recommended ages: 16+ (contains adult language and content)
Description: It's April 3, 1968 at Memphis' Lorraine Motel the night before Martin Luther King, Jr. would be assassinated there. In room 306 King prepares his speech for the coming day, as a thunderstorm rages outside. Chain-smoking Pall Malls and thundering to himself "America, you are too ARROGANT!" he is startled by the mysterious Camae, a motel maid who shows up dripping wet on his doorstep. As they strike up a conversation, sharing cigarettes and laughter, King begins to suspect that her purpose there may not be what it seems. This inspiring drama brings one of America's freshest dramatic voices to the Network stage.
Fun fact: “The Mountaintop” won the Best New Play award at the Laurence Olivier Awards in March 2010, making playwright Katori Hall the first black woman in history to win that award.
For tickets and information: 734-663-0681,
Special ticket offer: 2 tickets for the price of 1 for all shows this week (through Mother's Day 5/12). Just ask for the Mother’s Day Weekend special!