You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 6:50 a.m.

'The Seagull' at Kerrytown Concert House, 'Les Miserables' at Encore Musical Theatre

By Carla Milarch

Some call it Christmas in July, others call it Julember. Personally, I call the recent chill in the air a delightful weather anomaly that puts me in the mood for the fall, college football, and the exciting season of theater to come!

With this week’s rollover to the last month of summer, it is officially time to start planning your theater season. Many theater seasons are being announced, including this week’s announcement from the Purple Rose.

So, in the midst of signing up for soccer and taking last-chance vacations, make sure to sit down with your favorite theaters’ websites and season brochures, and make plans to take in some of the amazing offers coming soon in the fall.

Show: “The Seagull” by Anton Chekhov, translated by Tom Stoppard, through Aug. 3
Company: Brass Tacks Ensemble
Type of Company: Pre-professional
Venue/location: Kerrytown Concert House
Recommended ages: 16+
Description: Vacation by the lake—a summer idyll, or a train wreck!? Will the young playwright romance his muse? Will the diva get a ride to the station? Can the doctor get rid of his patients? Answer these and other questions you haven’t asked yet! It’s soap opera with Russian dressing with love, poetry, intrigue, valerian, rubles, kopeks, fishing rods and feelings, as the Brass Tacks brave Chekhov through a new translation. Traditionally done in a serious/ dramatic fashion, this production approaches the classic play with a lighter touch.
More information
Fun Fact: The playwright himself thought most productions were too heavy-handed and Brass Tacks Ensemble typically approaches things with a “less is more” attitude.
For tickets and information: 734-769-2999,

Show: “Les Miserables,” based on the novel by Victor Hugo, music by Claude-Michel Schonberg, and English libretto by Herbert Kretzmer, through August 18
Company: The Encore Musical Theatre Company
Type of Company: Professional Equity Special Appearance Contract
Venue/location: The Encore Musical Theatre Company, 3126 Broad Street, Dexter
Recommended ages: 12 +
Description: Set in early 19th-century France, it is the story of Jean Valjean and his quest for redemption after serving nineteen years in jail for having stolen a loaf of bread for his starving sister's child. Valjean decides to break his parole and start his life anew after a kindly bishop inspires him to, but is relentlessly tracked down by a police inspector named Javert. Along the way, Valjean and a slew of characters are swept into a revolutionary period in France, where a group of young idealists make their last stand at a street barricade. Songs include "I Dreamed a Dream", "On My Own", "Bring Him Home", "Master of the House", "Castle on a Cloud", and many more!
Review from
Fun fact: Valjean's character is loosely based on the life of Eugene François Vidocq, an ex-convict who became a successful businessman widely noted for his social engagement and philanthropy. Vidocq helped Hugo with his research for Claude Gueux and Le Dernier jour d'un condemn (The Last Day of a Condemned Man). In 1828, Vidocq, already pardoned, saved one of the workers in his paper factory by lifting a heavy cart on his shoulders as Valjean does.
For tickets and information: 734-268-6200,

Show: “Miles & Ellie” by Don Zolidis, through August 31
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: 17+ (contains adult language and content)
Description: Miles and Ellie are two teenagers in love when a youthful misunderstanding breaks them apart. Flash forward 20 years and a disenchanted Ellie has come home for what she expects to be a typical dysfunctional family Thanksgiving. Not long into the family shenanigans, however, Ellie learns that Miles is still in town and carrying a torch for her. Is it possible to get a second chance at your first love? This charming romantic comedy will make you wonder “what if?”
Fun fact: Home Improvement was the #1 TV show in 1991, the year the play's Act I is set
For tickets and information:, 734-433-7673.



Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 12:42 p.m.

Does KCH still use metal folding chairs for seating? We haven't been there for a few years. Has seating changed?