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  • Great Review of Tibbits Summer Theatre

    Posted by Ken Delaney

    Encore Michigan, the leading theatre website in Michigan, had a great review for the current Tibbits Summer Theatre British farce "Out of Order". It's fun when a show can put us on the map!

    Tibbits orders an evening of merriment

    By Bridgette M. Redman  

    Director Charles Burr demonstrates the secrets to successfully staging a British farce: Pacing, pacing, pacing.

    In the Tibbits Opera House production of Ray Cooney's Out of Order, the pacing is breakneck and slows down only long enough for the audience to recover from its laughter, and then just barely. The 10 performers jump in and out of three doors and a window, perform numerous pratfalls, lose their clothing and generally make a confusing mash of everything as Conservative Parliament Member Richard Willey (Aaron Mann) tries to dispose of a body (Dave Sucharski) without revealing his illicit one-night stand with secretary to a Labour minister, Jane Worthington (Amy Lamberti).

    Willey calls in his personal secretary, George Pigden (Greg Pragel), to fix everything for him and things quickly spiral out of control. Mann and Pragel are perfect foils for each other as reluctant partners in crime. As the farce progresses they nearly switch roles with Mann starting out as the comedic Lothario and Pragel playing the straight man. By the end, George observes that he's been wasting himself as his role takes on ever greater comedic proportions and "Mr. Willey" is forced to play along.

    Burr never lets any of his characters rest. Even the "body" contributes to the physical comedy of Out of Order and performs a great number of visual jokes. The doors slam. The window slams. Identities are mistaken. It is a night of pure farce that races from lights up until after the curtain call.

    Each of the actors is committed to the over-the-top characterizations and executes the timing with precision. The humor is so delightful that we can even forgive Cooney for having hotel employees behave in completely unprofessional manners and for forgetting to put locks on the doors.

    Mann and Pragel own the stage with all of the action spiraling around them with increasingly insane antics. They make the most of every joke and are equally comfortable with the verbal and physical humor. But while the stage is their real estate, the other performers are more than equal as visitors to the property. Tony Milder's Manager is conventionally disapproving, Ricky Wenthen's Waiter/Bellhop milks every stereotype with increasing fervor as the night progresses, Lamberti's Jane is sweetly naughty and flustered in her fright and Sucharski is surprisingly and fittingly lively for a dead body.

    Mix in Dick Baker's angry spouse, Katherine Lozon's non-English speaking maid and Katie Quigley and Lindsey Spencer's second-act surprise and sultry appearances and the farce is a smorgasbord of fun that keeps the audience laughing through the entire show.

    While the actors hold most of the attention, the technical aspects are also worthy of note. Andy Broomell created a set with a window that actually slammed on cue and doors that worked perfectly under demanding circumstances. The set held up well to the abuse of the script and was beautifully appointed as an upscale London suite. Jessica Snyder clearly had a blast with the costumes, especially the nighties and "wedding" suits.

    Out of Order is well worth the trip to Coldwater. It's a great way to escape the heat and spend an evening in ribald merriment.

    SHOW DETAILS: Out of Order continues at Tibbits Summer Theatre, 14 S. Hanchett St., Coldwater, Wednesday-Saturday through July 30. Contains adult themes. Tickets: $20-$26. For information: 517-278-6029 or www.tibbits.org.

     

    Performance Information

    Show times

    Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm
    Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 8:00 pm
    Friday, July 22, 2011 at 8:00 pm
    Saturday, July 23, 2011 at 8:00 pm
    Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm
    Thursday, July 28, 2011 at 8:00 pm
    Friday, July 29, 2011 at 8:00 pm
    Saturday, July 30, 2011 at 8:00 pm

     

  • Follow the AEWE Hikers in the Grand Tetons

    Posted by Ken Delaney

    48 Branch County area students and over a dozen advisors are on the annual Agri-Environmental Wilderness Expedition.  This year's trip is to the Grand Tetons.  Follow their progress on the group's blog

     

  • Cheryl Clark wins the Great Grillin' Giveaway

    Posted by Ken Delaney

    Congratulations to Cheryl Clark of Coldwater, who won a Holland Heritage Grill from Nottawa Gas Company of Tekonsha, in the "Great Grillin' Giveaway" as part of our Summer of Fun!

    Look in the Promotions section of www.wtvbam.com for all the details on our next Summer of Fun priz package:  the "Great Golfing Giveaway"

  • Charlotte Deal-Birthday Club Winner

    Posted by Ken Delaney

    Congratulations to Charlotte Deal, who was selected this week to win our $25 gift card from Meijer for being a member of the WTVB Morning Birthday Club!  Charlotte's birthday was Tuesday, June 28.  Listen for the Birthday Club every Monday-Friday at 7:30 am.

  • Entertainment Under The Stars Is Coming

    Posted by Ken Delaney

    Jim Stout is the opening act for Entertainment Under The Stars next Tuesday, July 5.  Here's the official press release:

    The 2011 Entertainment under the Stars Concert Series is sure to be a winner this year with four great bands ready to perform.

    Kicking off the season on July 5th will be entertainer extraordinaire, Jim Stout.  Jim never disappoints anyone with his great variety of music and comments.  Stout brings to the series an outstanding sample of excellence in music.  Jim will perform original and tried and true blues, folk and country tunes.  Jim Stout is no stranger to the Coldwater community, having performed over the years all over the county.  Whenever Jim performs the crowds are large and appreciative.  So plan on getting there early to get a good seat.  Again this year, the Branch County Association of Realtors will be providing FREE ice cream as a thank you to the community.

    The July 12th concert will feature the Daybreak Trio.  This group consisting of Dan and Barb Hefner and Rob Cooper has been playing and singing together for over 25 years and enjoys a wide variety of music styles.  Be ready to tap your toes to such favorites as Bus Stop, I’m Into Something Good, and Run River Run.  Habitat For Humanity will have a Taco Bar at the United Methodist Fellowship Hall from 5 to 7 pm.

    The July 19th concert series will feature the 50s rock band - The Haskells.   Band members include Shawn Petersen on guitar, Mark Budd on bass, Matt Budd on guitar and Jack Scrimger on guitar and will be performing such tried and true songs as “Johnny Be Good,” “Hello Mary Lou,” “Blue Suede Shoes” and much, much more that will be sure to get everyone in the dancing and toe-tapping mode.  The United Methodist Men’s Club will be dishing up ice cream sundaes in the Fellowship Hall before the concert.

    The final concert of the season on July 26th will definitely be a Grand Finale!  Jim Voss and Friends will bring  back music by the Shades of Gray, with original members Jim Voss, Chris Edwards, Toy Puyear and a guest appearance by vocalist Jeff McGinnis from Battle Creek.  The Branch Interfaith Hospitality Network will have a hog roast prior to the concert.

    New this year, Branch County Farm Bureau Farmers Care will be at each concert providing information on where our food comes from.  The group will focus on the products found in the food available prior to the music.  Concert goers can learn about dairy products, grains, potatoes, vegetables, meats and much more!  Producers from the county will also be on hand to answer questions.

    So bring your lawn chairs or blanket and come enjoy some great entertainment and food.  Some chairs will be available thanks to Putnam Funeral Home.

    Entertainment Under the Stars is made possible this year through the kind support of Southern Michigan Bank and Trust, Dairy Queen, Infinisource, Branch County Community Foundation and Monarch Community Bank.

  • New Website for Branch Area Food Pantry

    Posted by Ken Delaney

    Since we talk about the activities of the Branch Area Food Pantry on the air so much (and I'm on the board of directors), I thought we would provide a link to their updated website. Click here

  • Ken Is Airborne!

    Posted by Ken Delaney

    Sunday evening I had one of the coolest experiences of my life.  Tom Miller (owner of Wilbur's Furniture) invited me to ride along in his two-seater "experimental" plane.  As you can see from the picture, there's not a lot to the plane. 

    But I never felt unsafe.  In fact, it was a lot like riding in a balloon (which I've done several times).

    Here's how the take-off and first part of the flight looked from my co-pilot seat.

    Tom also gave me a tour of the new Branch County Memorial Airport Building, which is a fantastic new facility.

     

  • NASCAR Driver Practice at MIS

    Posted by Ken Delaney

    Check out the sights and sounds of the Nationwide Series drivers on the track Friday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway.

  • Michigan International Speedway-Delaney at the Races

    Posted by Ken Delaney

    Some of the photos we snapped Friday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway during our "Delaney at the Races" show.

    The ARCA race

    The ARCA, Nationwide, and Sprint Cup trophies, plus the Fan Favorite trophy

    Jimmy Johnson coming into the garage area during practice

    Carl Edwards being interviewed in the Media Center