Concerts in Rochester

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The Avon Players have transported audiences to alternate worlds with full-scale, community-sourced theatrical productions since 1947. Tony Award–winning musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (January 13–28) spins an uproarious tale of a group of adolescent misfits competing for first place in the titular bee, and Mixed Nuts (March 2–17) sets the perspective of a Midwest transplant and aspiring writer against a zany New York apartment complex. Secret Garden recreates Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic children's novel on the stage, wringing sniffles from even the happiest of comedy masks and sending haunting music emanating from the enchanting Yorkshire estate where the story unfolds. The theater's dramatic double A-frame building stands out against a scrim of trees and forces tardy, helicopter-bound guests to land in the parking lot like everyone else.

1185 Washington Rd
Rochester,
MI
US

As part of Meadow Brook Theatre's fourth annual children's series, the World Music Tour with Guy Louis embarks on a high-energy waltz around the globe. Without leaving the intimate, 500-seat theater, music fans journey from continent to continent alongside riff guru Guy Louis, whose instrumental prowess and vast knowledge of foreign tax codes help celebrate a variety of worldly cultures. Fast fretting draws out the differences and shared traits between European lutes, Indian sitars and tambouras, and modern electric guitars, and infectious beats take over in explorations of Native American and African percussion. Louis' animated performing style pulls young audiences into the action and motivates even the most bashful shadows to twist and shout.

207 Wilson Hall
Rochester,
MI
US

Shakespeare in the Park in Royal Oak bills itself as Michigan's only professional outdoor Shakespeare event, and for two remaining weekends this summer, the professional players will take to the open-air stage in a re-imagined version of the Bard's classic comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona. The 1960s-styled production features a cast of actors that bring the 16th-century play to life through vibrant, sleek, Mod-motifs. The lawn-style seating of the outdoor theater allows visitors to bring blankets or lawn-chairs to enjoy the arts in casual, summer style, with free parking nearby. Water Works is offering a special August 6 performance of the production, specifically designed for the hearing-impaired, in which costumed members of TerpTheatre's shadow actors interpret the lines onstage while the action plays out.

320 W 7th St
Royal Oak,
MI
US

Thomas and Friends Live! stars the beloved characters of Thomas, Percy, Diesel, and all their friends in a fun-filled theatrical extravaganza. The latest production, Thomas Saves the Day, follows the gaggle of anthropomorphic trains as they prepare for the annual Magic Lantern Festival on the island of Sodor. As the engines work together to repair the lighthouse that guides visitors to the island, children will learn important lessons in discovery, friendship, cooperation, and how to slip loose from a giant octopus while scuba diving. The 90-minute musical's brand-new songs will have tots clamoring in adulation for an encore and throwing gummy bears onto the stage, the highest form of pre-K praise.

7774 Sashabaw Rd.
Clarkston,
MI
US

Music director Dr. Gregory Cunningham brings his agile baton-wielding skills to the podium of the Warren Symphony Orchestra for a second year. Teaming up with the Oakland Chorale—Oakland University's elite, competitive touring choral ensemble—the orchestra will usher in the holiday season with a program that awakens cheer in Yuletide lovers and Grinch collaborators alike. Selections from Handel's Messiah send the spirit soaring on famous choruses, and a slew of popular wintery tunes keeps the auditorium cozy as hot cocoa drunk from a hand-knit mitten.

4504 E 9 Mile Rd
Warren,
MI
US

Voted No. 4 in the Top 10 Birthday Chains for Kid Birthday Parties in 2010 by Parents magazine, Pump It Up pulses with inflatable play sets and actually encourages kids to bounce off the walls. Within the indoor playground, a stalwart staff oversees the neighborhood of bounce houses and air-filled playthings, such as a classic bounce castle and slick inflatable slide that cushions children's heartfelt reenactments of Cool Runnings. Throughout the week, families can pop in for open play, or tote along their own mini entourage for birthday-party packages complete with private rooms and complimentary invites. Parties come as straightforward packages or as themed events that place the birthday child in structured story adventures where they take on the role of a mighty and clever superhero or pirate captain that drank too much saltwater.

28373 Beck Rd
Wixom,
MI
US