Oct. 28 through Nov. 7, 2021
8:00 pm on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays,
and 2:00 pm on Sundays.
General admission tickets for this limited engagement fundraiser are $30. Preview on 10/28-half price tickets
For the health, safety, and well-being of our patrons, staff, and artists, patrons must bring proof of vaccination and wear a mask while in the building. Unvaccinated patrons will not be admitted.
Tickets will be sold at 50% capacity to allow for social distancing between parties, and concessions will not be sold. Please check our current COVID-19 policy before attendance.
Thurs., Oct. 28, 8:00 p.m. Preview
Fri., Oct. 29, 8:00 p.m. Opening
Sat., Oct. 30, 8:00 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 31, 2:00 p.m. Limited tickets
Thurs., Nov. 4, 8:00 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 5, 8:00 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 6, 8:00 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 7, 2:00p.m. SOLD OUT
THEATRE NOVA PRESENTS
a celebration of the work of Broadway’s famous duo,
Kander and Ebb.
with musical arrangements by R. MacKenzie Lewis
Theatre NOVA, Ann Arbor’s resident nonprofit professional theatre presents a limited engagement of Sing Happy!, a celebration of the work of Broadway’s famous duo, Kander and Ebb. An ensemble of singers will take the stage with showstoppers from Cabaret, Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman and many others while weaving a tale of strength and determination.
Directed by Diane Hill, with music direction by R. MacKenzie Lewis, Sing Happy! features Justin Scott Bays, Kristin Clark, John DeMerell, K Edmonds (The Revolutionists, The Devil's Music), Diane Hill (The Lifespan of a Fact, A New Brain, Follies in Concert, Admissions, The How and the Why, The Stone Witch, The Totalitarians, and The Revolutionists), Elizabeth Jaffe (The Elves and the Schumachers), and Roy Sexton (Follies in Concert).
The production and design team includes Monica Spencer (scenic design), Tiff Crutchfield (lighting design), and Briana O’Neal (stage manager).
PULP: Arts Around Ann Arbor
While the show leads off with the encouraging “Sing Happy” from Flora the Red Menace, the show’s best moments are the wistful, introspective, and sad songs. The singers come and go throughout the 70-minute revue with no intermission. The tentative story they tell is one of guarded hope, which seems appropriate to our current situation.
Director Diane Hill keeps it simple and the singers respond with performances that grasp the conflicting emotions that are at the heart of Kander and Ebb songs.
John DeMerell brings a meditative quality to his rendition of “I Don’t Remember You,” a song about a once-close relationship that now seems lost forever. Justin Scott Bays brings more heat to a plaintive yearning for a lost love in “Sometimes a Day Goes By.” The two voices sing in counterpointed empathy.
Perhaps the best-known song in this mood is the comic sad “Mr. Cellophane” from Chicago. Roy Sexton sings the mournful tale of a man who wonders how invisible he seems to be. Kander’s music is a shuffle and Sexton glides across the stage making like a sad, dancing clown.
Kristin Clark brings that wistful quality to “Colored Lights,” another song about what might have been.
K Edmonds brings her big voice and expressive face to a rollicking showstopper from Chicago, “When You’re Good to Mama,” a warning to inmates about how things work on the inside.
Elizabeth Jaffe has fun with a sassy celebration of a daytime lover in “Arthur in the Afternoon.”
Theatre Nova is alive and it wants to stay alive and offer a chance for everyone to come and see fresh, new, exciting plays at a reasonable price. In the music and words of Kander and Ebb, “what’s good is sitting alone in your room, come hear the music play, life is a cabaret, old chum, come to the cabaret.”
The Detroit Jewish News
“Sing Happy!, among other recent productions, is Theatre Nova’s way of making a comeback after a long hiatus, Jaffe says. “It’s been really hard for everyone,” she says of COVID’s impact on the theater industry, which left many performers and venues without work or revenue for months. “This is Theatre Nova’s way of saying ‘we’re still here.’”
...she calls Sing Happy! an upbeat, energetic production that will be fun for the audience to experience. “Because it’s Kander and Ebb music, it’s so great, and a lot of it is not very well known,” Jaffe says. “The audience will probably be hearing a lot of the songs for the first time.”
For Jaffe, who has been performing with Theatre Nova for several years, she appreciates the theater’s embracement of other cultures and willingness to step outside of the norm. As a Jewish performer, she often felt unrepresented in holiday productions, which tended to focus on Christmas. Yet Theatre Nova, she explains, has put on Chanukah-centric shows.
“For the first time during the holiday season, I felt included,” Jaffe says. “I was really excited when Theatre Nova reached back out to me to be a part of Sing Happy!”
Theatre Nova will require proof of vaccination and the wearing of masks during the show to keep patrons and performers safe. “The show will be happy and fun,” Jaffe says. “It’s going to be great for the community.”
“'Maybe This Time,' by John Kander and Fred Ebb is full of heart-felt hope, and any time you can hear Liz Jaffe sing it…buy a ticket! Jaffe made that song her own when she played Sally Bowles in Cabaret at The Dio Dining + Entertainment theatre in Pinckney. Today and tomorrow, she sings it at Theatre NOVA in Sing Happy!, a revue of Kander and Ebb music. Jaffe is not the only jewel in the cast of course. John DeMerrell, Justin Scott, K Edmonds, Roy Sexton, Kristin Clark and Diane Hill perform duets and trio songs and group pieces that illuminate the songwriting duo’s best work from Cabaret, Kiss of The Spider Woman, Chicago, New York New York, and other shows.
It’s a lovely time out.”