From intimate dramas to Broadway musicals to slapstick comedy, Greater Lansing serves up another diverse season of local theater. City Pulse has compiled the region’s biggest theater events into one master calendar, along with some staffpicked season highlights.


IT = Ixion Theatre LCC = Lansing Community College Theatre Program MSU = Michigan State University Department of Theatre OCP = Owosso Community Players

PCTC = Peppermint Creek Theatre Co.

RT = Riverwalk Theatre SDT = Starlight Dinner Theatre WC = Wharton Center WT = Williamston Theatre

Lord of the Flies

Aug. 25-Sept. 4, 2016 — PCTC
Peppermint Creek Theatre Co. selects a theme each year, and this season it will investigate what it means to be “Ladylike.” It may throw audiences to see the name of the season opener: an adaptation of the classic novel “Lord of the Flies.” In case you’ve forgotton your high school freshmen lit class work, this is the story of a group of young British schoolboys stranded on an island who lose their sense of society and humanity. It will be fascinating to see how directors Devin Faught and Sally Hecksel present the sweeping story on a small stage with a big twist: an all-female cast.

— Mary C. Cusack

Sept. 8-18, 2016 — RT

Rock of Ages
Sept. 9-18, 2016 — OCP
Forget the Tom Cruise movie. The original Broadway version of “Rock of Ages” is a tongue-in-cheek, campy sugar rush of ‘80s hair rock and power ballads that celebrates the decade’s brash style — with lots of hair spray and spandex, of course. While Owosso Community Players may not be a touring group of Broadway professionals, the group regularly casts some of the best local talent from the Greater Lansing area. There is a plot — a boy and a girl and complications — but this musical is all about the music, and the story never upstages the larger than life songs. This is a show with built in audience interaction that’s designed for maximum nostalgic entertainment. So take off your theater snob hat, let your crimped hair down and, in the immortal words of Quiet Riot, “Cum On Feel the Noize.”

— Paul Wozniak

Sept. 22-Oct. 23, 2016 — WT

The Amazing Jesus
Sept. 24-Oct. 2, 2016 — IT

Burn This
Sept. 30-Oct. 9, 2016 — RT

None of the Above

Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 7-8, 2016 - LCC

Punk Rock
Sept. 30-Oct. 9, 2016 — MSU

The Odd Couple
Oct. 14-23, 2016 — SDT

Mamma Mia!
Oct. 14-16, 2016 — WC

Are You Being Served?
Oct. 20-30, 2016 — RT

Nov. 3-13, 2016 — PCTC

Inherit The Wind
Nov. 4-13, 2016 — OCP

Serious Money
Nov. 4-5, 11-13, 2016 – LCC
There is one thing more wild and wooly than the British financial market free fall of the ’80s —and that’s a play about it called “Serious Money.” The Caryl Churchill script contains a crazy and conniving collection of Continental and globe-circling characters. “Serious Money” is perhaps Lansing Community College Theatre Program’s most ambitions production this season. It features a cast of fifteen who must handle multiple roles, international accents and vocal calisthenics. Two tricky ensemble songs and a script that includes overlapping lines and rhyming couplets must be mastered. The musical itself is a very dark comedy about financial greed and predatory capitalism run amok, written by one of England’s leading feminists. In other words, “Serious Money” should be some serious fun that’s worth the money.

— David Winkelstern

Nov. 9-27, 2016 — WC

The Tempest
Nov. 10-20, 2016 — MSU

Every Breath You Take
Nov. 12-20, 2016 — IT

The Nerd
Nov. 17-Dec. 18, 2016 — WT

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Dec. 9-11, 2016 - LCC

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder
Dec. 13-18, 2016 — WC

Beautiful-The Carole King Musical
Jan. 10-15, 2017 — WC

The Hemingway Play
Jan. 12-22, 2017 — RT
Based on the life of Ernest Hemingway, “The Hemingway Play” explores the complexities of the American author’s personality. Through a nonlinear script, four Hemingways find themselves together in a Madrid watering hole. We meet Wemwedge, the young Hemingway returning home from war; Hem, a budding novelist intrigued by Spanish bullfights; Ernest, who is recovering from two plane crashes; and Papa, the aging Nobel Prize winner. Young Hemingways spar with their older selves, as youthful idealism clashes with end-of-life cynicism.

— Ty Forquer

Cheaper by the Dozen

Jan 13-22, 2017 — OCP

A Painted Window
Jan. 26-Feb. 26, 2017 — WT

Blood at the Root

Feb. 3-12, 2017 — MSU

Heathers-The Musical
Feb. 9-19, 2017 — PCTC

Superior Donuts
Feb. 16-26, 2017 — RT

Theatre Film
Feb. 17-26, 2017 — MSU

The Snow Queen
Feb. 17-26, 2016 - LCC

Feb. 21-26, 2017 — WC

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Feb. 24-March 5, 2017 — OCP

March 10-19, 2017 — RT

Rent (20th Anniversary Tour)
March 17-19, 2017 — WC

American Hero
March 17-25, 2016 - LCC

Askew, Askance, A Squirrel!: An Evening in Lisa Konoplisky’s World
March 18-26, 2017 — IT

March 23-April 23, 2017 — WT
Williamston Theatre does some of its best work when tackling serious drama. This season, the company takes on “1984,” based on George Orwell’s dystopian novel about a bureaucrat who begins to question the system. Originally composed as a literary commentary on the threat of communism and fascism looming in the 1940s, the novel’s descriptions of fear mongering and double speak feel just as relevant in today’s polarized political climate. Williamston Theatre somehow manages to create vast worlds in its intimate space, using lighting and sound effects to stimulate our imaginations. If past shows like “Oedipus” and “The Lion in Winter” are any indication, “1984” should be a powerhouse play to watch out for.

— Paul Wozniak

Wonder of the World
March 30-April 9 — RT

March 30-April 9, 2017 — PCTC

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
April 11-16, 2017 — WC

Urinetown, the Musical
April 14-23, 2017 — MSU
Something like a cross between “Soylent Green” and “Waterworld,” “Urinetown” is a dystopian satire set in an extended worldwide drought. A mega-corporation, Urine Good Company, controls the world’s limited water supply by recycling urine, which is collected at mandated pay-to-pee facilities. Those who choose to pee outside of these facilities are sent to Urinetown, a mysterious penal colony no citizen has ever seen.

— Ty Forquer

Peter and the Starcatcher
April 21-30, 2017 — OCP

Fool for Love

May 12-21, 2017 — RT

Man of La Mancha
May 12-21, 2017 — SDT
The last time Starlight Dinner Theatre tackled a really beefy musical was two years ago. It was “Camelot,” directed by Linda Granger. “I prefer to direct shows with meat on them,” said Granger. “Every once in a while I like to sink my teeth into a good show.” This year, Granger bites off “Man of La Mancha,” a complicated story about an “impossible dream.” The director hopes to make this dream possible with the help of music director James Geer and choreographer Fran

— David Winkelstern

May 13-21, 2017 — IT
After the success of last season’s “She Kills Monsters,” Ixion Theatre is doubling down on geek theater. This season’s version of the group’s annual playwright spotlight features the theme “Geeked!” Local writers are encouraged to submit one-act scripts that explore “the world of geeks, fan girls, gamers and others obsessed with alternate worlds or fantasy lives.” Submissions are accepted until Sept. 30; see for details.

— Ty Forquer

Taking Shakespeare
May 18-June 18, 2017 — WT

Luna Gale
June 1-11, 2017 — PCTC

Fun Home
June 6-11, 2017 — WC
“Fun Home,” a coming-of-age story based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir of the same name, features a book written by Lansing native Lisa Kron. The show earned 12 Tony award nominations and took home five, including best musical and best original score.
The play focuses on Alison’s coming of age and her acceptance of her homosexuality. Alison’s father is a closeted gay man who dies — possibly by suicide — shortly after Alison comes out to him. This family dynamic is the musical’s emotional core.
“Every musical needs to be driven by a primal human desire,” Kron said. “In the first lines of ‘Fun Home,’ this girl sings ‘Hey daddy, come here. I need you.’ That desire, to be connected to her parents, that is what drives the show.”

— Ty Forquer

Catch Me If You Can
June 8-18, 2017 — RT

Sister Act
June 16-25, 2017 — OCP

Murder for Two
July 13-Aug. 20, 2017 — WT

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