The first films to incorporate sound were known as “talkies,” just as the word “walkies” was applied to the first plays not starring cardboard actors. Celebrate theatrical innovation with today’s GrouponLive deal: for $18, you get two tickets to any 2011–12 season show by the Avon Players at their theater in Rochester Hills (up to a $36 value). Seating will be the best available at the time of reservation.
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.