Saturday, November 28, 2015

Muskegon Civic Theater Turns to Raw New Talent to Save Its Season, Debuting Amber Gould in Accomplice by Rupert Holmes.

Amber Gould made her acting debut in "Accomplice" at Muskegon Civic Theatre. Gould has so much talent in her voice, and I was reminded of a vintage classical violin from Cremona Italy every time she spoke. Plus, she has the raw stage presence of Sophia Lauren. She's new on the acting scene and yet, you can see she brought her natural intensity to her rehearsals for this show. Watch Amber Gould go. Show tonight at 7:30 PM. I love MCT and yet, I would prefer to see the troupe f...ill the Beardsley Theater seats at 12 dollars a ticket than only sell fifty seats at almost 25 a ticket. 12 * 250 seats is 2100 dollars a night as opposed to the grand taken in for Friday's performance. And I curse myself for saying that because who works harder than MCT to provide theater for Muskegon County, other than the Howmet Playhouse? Teri Gust, the President of MCT, made an appeal to the audience before the second half, hoping new donors could make an end of the year gift. It was a passionate appeal said in a very vulnerable way. MCT is really an inheritance from the past, combining the energy of the Port City Playhouse, the Civic Opera and one more theater company. We can't afford to lose it. And yet, the intimate black box theater show, an extra outside of the subscription series, failed to make the lineup for this year. What's up for that. The Black Box sold out or came close to it numerous times. Or to quote a line from Accomplice, "It had wall to wall box office".

Proof, Rabbit Hole and Leaving Iowa and Time Stands Still all were performed in that series. MCT faces benevolent competition from the West Michigan Symphony, who fielded two plays this year, Love, Loss and What I Wore and the School for Scandal, plays that filled most if not all of the house. As Gust said, the biggest expense for the MCT is rent, and I wonder if Carla Hill has a better deal for them? The seats of the Beardsley Theater make my knees throb everytime. And why exactly is the Community Foundation for Muskegon County charging rent to the MCT anyways? Gould wasn't the only new face to the MCT. Now here's the REAL scandal. Has MLive and Dave Alexander condescended to send a critic over to the show? Does MLive care about culture outside of ArtPrize. I had a long talk with a prominent food and beverage executive in Grand Haven on how he had to tweak MLive's nose to get coverage for Grand Haven Art Walk. Problem is, MLive has never enjoyed better audience penetration than last year, especially in the Grand Rapids market.

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