Thursday, April 28, 2011

Soul Faithfuls MAZE FEATURING FRANKIE BEVERLY ‘Can’t Stop the Love’ In Grand Rapids

To Serenade DeVos Performance Hall on September 10th

Soul sensation, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, will bring all their smash hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s for one unforgettable night at DeVos Performance Hall on Saturday, September 10th at 8PM. The performance is scheduled in part by the diligence of the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority’s Community Inclusion Group (CIG) to provide more diverse programming at the downtown venues.

For any standard, one of the most talented self-contained bands of the past thirty years has been Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly. With their ability to fuse a groove of soul, jazz and mature lyrics that many find addicting, perhaps the band’s best ability is to adapt that solid groove through time. Yet despite their adaptability, it is their commitment to Soul’s basics that has gained them an extremely loyal following among Soul music fans and great respect among their performing peers. The Maze featuring Frankie Beverly concert is part of a commitment that Steve Heacock, the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority Chairman, and the CAA, along with the Community Inclusion Group, have all made to bring entertainment for people of color in the West Michigan Community. We expect that there will be more entertainment to come,” said CIG Chair, Darius Quinn. “We thank Steve Heacock and the CAA board for recognizing the need and helping us to fill the board.”

The Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly catalog sales are still very strong and far better than many of their contemporaries. The strong album sales are a testament to Maze's timeless music and a sound that remains fresh and relevant today. Beyond their relevance, the loyalty form their fans is also a testament to their unrivaled pension for touring—playing crowds worldwide for over thirty years, despite not releasing an album since the early 90s! In that time, the band has been out on the road with the likes of Marvin Gaye, Anita Baker and Natalie Cole to name a few. Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly has had close to thirty hit singles since their 1977 debut, nine of which have been Top 10 R&B charted singles including classics like “Running Away,” “Love Is The Key,” and “Can’t Get Over You.” Eight of the groups 10 albums have gone gold, all the way from their self-titled 1977 Capitol Records debut to the 1993 Warner Bros. album, “Back To Basics.”

Tickets are $51.50, $61.50, $71.50, and $87.50 and go on sale Monday, May 2nd at 10AM. Tickets may be purchased at the DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena box offices, Ticketmaster outlets, and by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

GROUPS OF 10+ SAVE $5 PER TICKET! To order group tickets email or call 616-742-6185. Group discounted tickets are available until September 2, 2011.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

SMG Named Private Manager of McCormick Place Complex in Chicago, Illinois

The Metropolitan Pier and Exhibition Authority (MPEA) has selected SMG, the global leader in convention, arena and stadium management, as private manager of its McCormick Place Complex. The complex includes 9 million square feet in six buildings and is the nation's largest convention center.

"We are proud to have been selected and look forward to working with the Authority to forward their reform agenda," explained Wes Westley, SMG president and chief executive officer. "SMG has both the experience and success to enhance Chicago's draw as a world-class convention destination."

SMG was chosen following a highly competitive bid process for its focus on cost reductions and customer experience enhancements. The company reiterated its large market experience, industry relationships, CVB partnerships and labor relations expertise as hallmarks of its approach to McCormick Place.

Also announced today was the re-appointment of David Causton as General Manager of the facility. "David is an industry leader who has successfully led the most recent efforts to enhance the customer experience at McCormick Place. We are thrilled to have him as part of the SMG team and know that the continuity he will provide will ensure a seamless transition to private management," noted Westley.

SMG is responsible for the management and marketing of more than 220 public assembly facilities worldwide. The company has built a specialized Convention Center Division, including 67 convention and exhibition centers. SMG's seasoned executive team works actively with municipalities, convention bureaus and hospitality partners in offering first class service and fully integrated management and marketing systems. At 2.6 million square feet of prime exhibit space, McCormick Place is the nation's largest convention facility.

"Chicago is one of the nation's most attractive trade show markets because of its size, space, location and the recent reforms put in place," said Gregg Caren, senior vice president of strategic business development. "Having the expertise to manage the facility is critical but understanding how to enhance the customer experience through relationships and industry partnerships is where SMG differentiates itself."

About SMG

Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 220 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theatres, performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 12 million square feet (1.2 million square meters) of exhibition space and over 1.5 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston's Reliant Park and the Louisiana Superdome. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions and catering company SAVOR, currently serving more than 100 accounts worldwide. For more information visit

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Announcing the Broadway Grand Rapids 2011-2012 Season


The 2011-2012 season for Broadway Grand Rapids (BGR) raises the curtain on an impressive new level of performance with show-stopping blockbusters including the 25th Anniversary production of Les Misérables and the high-flying family favorite, Mary Poppins.

The 5-Show Subscription Series is Come Fly Away, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Les Misérables, Million Dollar Quartet, and Mary Poppins. In addition to the subscription series BGR will also offer special engagements of Under the Streetlamp, The Addams Family and Cats. All performances are at DeVos Performance Hall in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. Season tickets are available now at up to 30% off 5-show packages which start as low as $128.

Subscribe today and get great shows, great dates & great rates!

5-Show Subscription Series

Come Fly Away

October 4-9, 2011

Come Fly Away is the new Broadway musical that brings together the legendary music of Frank Sinatra and the creative vision of Tony Award-winner Twyla Tharp (Movin’ Out). This one-of-a-kind experience combines the seductive vocals of “Ol’ Blue Eyes” with the sizzling sound of a live on-stage big band and the visceral thrill of Tharp’s choreography. As 15 of the world’s best dancers tell the story of four couples falling in and out of love, you will experience the exhilaration of a first kiss, the excitement of a first dance, and the bittersweet moments of a first good-bye in a world of sparkling romances and astonishing beauty. Come Fly Away is a co-presentation of Broadway Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids Ballet Company.

Irving Berlin's White Christmas

November 15-20, 2011

Get ready to discover a delightful new show that’s as fresh and rare as newly fallen snow! The classic holiday tradition White Christmas comes to the stage at last, as a brand new Irving Berlin musical direct from Broadway and opening at DeVos Performance Hall this November. Irving Berlin’s White Christmas tells the story of two showbiz buddies putting on a show in a magical Vermont inn and finding their perfect mates in the bargain. Full of dancing, laughter and some of the greatest songs ever written, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas promises to be a merry and bright theatrical experience for the whole family!

Les Misérables

November 29-December 4, 2011

Dream the dream. Cameron Mackintosh presents a brand new 25th anniversary production of Boubill and Schönberg’s legendary musical, Les Misérables, with glorious new staging and dazzling reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo. This new production has been acclaimed by critics, fans and new audiences and is breaking box office records wherever it goes. The New York Times calls this Les Misérables “an unquestionably spectacular production from start to finish.” The London Times hails the new show “a five star hit, astonishingly powerful.” Les Misérables is a co-presentation of Broadway Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids Ballet Company.

Million Dollar Quartet

January 17-22, 2012

Million Dollar Quartet is the smash hit Broadway musical, inspired by the true story of the famed recording session that brought together rock 'n' roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time. On December 4, 1956, these four young musicians were gathered by Sam Phillips, the “Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll” at Sun Records in Memphis for what would be one of the greatest jam sessions of all time. Million Dollar Quartet brings that legendary night to life with an irresistable tale of broken promises, secrets, betrayal and celebrations featuring a score of rock hits including "Blue Suede Shoes," "Fever," "That's All Right," "Sixteen Tons," "Great Balls of Fire," "Walk the Line," "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," "Who Do You Love?," "Matchbox," "Folsom Prison Blues," "Hound Dog" and more.

Disney & Cameron Mackintosh present Mary Poppins

February 21-26, 2012

Mary Poppins is bringing its own brand of Broadway magic to theaters across the country, which has Variety raving, “This is the rare touring production that over-delivers on every level!” Featuring the irresistable story and unforgettable songs from one of the most popular Disney films of all time, plus brand-new breathtaking dance numbers and spectacular stage-craft, Mary Poppins is everything you could ever want in a hit Broadway show! So get swept up in the fun of this high-flying musical the New York Post gives four out of four stars and calls “a perfect piece of musical theater.”

Special Events available to Season Ticket Holders before the General Public

Under the Streetlamp

October 16, 2011

Rock and Roll is here to stay as recent leading cast members of the Tony Award-winning smash hit Jersey Boys deliver the sounds of the sixties in an electrifying evening of unforgettable hits. You’re gonna hear-some-of-that-rock-and-roll-music, as well as doo-wop ditties, Motown melodies, and cool Rat Pack favorites. Amazingly, these four guys, each a gifted performer, met playing in a band onstage and later went on to form a real rock sensation of their very own. They have thrilled sold-out houses throughout the country and each carries with him an impressive list of credits. Between them, they have appeared on Broadway, in feature films, and on your television. Under the Streetlamp offers audiences the rare opportunity to get to know these rising stars of stage and screen as they relate hilarious and touching stories of a life lived in show business. Complete with an orchestra comprised of world-class jazz musicians, Under the Streetlamp is clean outta sight!

The Addams Family

May 22-26, 2012

The weird and wonderful family comes to devilishly delightful life in The Addams Family. This magnificently macabre new musical comedy is created by Jersey Boys authors Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. This is definitely not the same old song and dance. It’s every parent’s nightmare. Your little girl has suddenly become a young woman, and what’s worse, has fallen deliriously in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family. Yes, Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has a “normal” boyfriend, and for parents Gomez and Morticia, this shocking development will turn the Addams house downside up. It’s a family portrait that’s completely off the wall.


June 15-17, 2012

There's no better way to introduce your family to the wonders of live theatre than with the magic, the mystery, the memory of Cats. What began as a musical about cats after Andrew Lloyd Webber picked up a book of poems in an airport bookshop has become one of the longest running shows in Broadway’s history. Winner of seven Tony Awards including Best Musical, Cats features 20 of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s timeless melodies, including the hit song, “Memory.”


Broadway Grand Rapids offers a 5-Show Subscription package that offers up to 30% off individual ticket prices, discounts on Special Events, advance ticket purchasing before the general public for all presentations, easy payment plans, free lost-ticket replacement, no-fee ticket exchanges, personalized service, exclusive privileges, and the same reserved seats for each show. The Subscription Series package price ranges from $128 to $353, depending on seating section and performance day and time. The 2011-2012 Subscription Series may be renewed or purchased from Broadway Grand Rapids by calling 616-235-6285, in person at 122 Lyon Street NW in downtown Grand Rapids or by mail using the order form which can be downloaded at BGR office hours are 9 to 5 Monday through Thursday, and 9 to 4 on Fridays. The subscription renewal deadline is Friday, May 13th, 2011.


All performances are at DeVos Performance Hall located at 303 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Divas take Center Stage as the Grand Rapids Symphony Presents a “Wicked” Evening of Broadway Hits and Popular Favorites

Julia Murney and Jennifer Laura Thompson, stars of the smash Broadway hit “Wicked,” will join the Grand Rapids Symphony for a fantastic concert of diva showstoppers May 13-15. New York Pops Music Director Steven Reineke will lead the Grammy-nominated orchestra as guest conductor in a return engagement to DeVos Performance Hall that will showcase his exceptional artistry and boundless enthusiasm. “Wicked Divas” is this season’s final Fox Motors Pops concert and will feature popular favorites from “Wicked,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Chicago” and “My Fair Lady,” among others. Performances will be held at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 15.

“I am looking forward to being back on the podium with the Grand Rapids Symphony conducting ‘Wicked Divas,’ with the stars from the hit Broadway musical,” Reineke explained. “I have put together a true diva tribute covering all styles of music and many favorite selections from pop, Broadway, Hollywood and more. It is sure to be a wicked fun evening of great music.”

Julia Murney has played the misunderstood wicked witch, Elphaba, on Broadway and on the national tour of “Wicked.” Her other New York shows including Andrew Lippia’s “The Wild Party,” for which she earned a Drama Desk nomination, as well as “Lennon,” “Crimes of the Heart” and others. From the Kennedy Center and Town Hall, she has also performed regionally with the Philly Pops and Cincinnati Pops. Murney also has a number of television credits, including “30 Rock,” “Sex and the City,” “NYPD Blue” and all three “Law and Orders.”

A native of Southfield and University of Michigan graduate, Jennifer Laura Thompson has played Glinda, the good witch, in “Wicked” on Broadway. She was nominated for a Tony Award for her role in “Urinetown,” and also has performed in “Lend Me a Tenor,” “Footloose” and the premier of “Little Miss Sunshine.” She has numerous off-Broadway roles to her credit, as well as appearances with the Atlanta Symphony, Toronto Symphony and others.

Murney and Thompson will sing favorites such as “I Could Have Danced All Night” from “My Fair Lady,” “My Heart Will Go On” from “Titanic” and, of course, “Defying Gravity” from “Wicked.” These classic songs will be interspersed with arrangements from Reineke such as “I Hear A Symphony: Symphonic Sounds of Diana Ross.”

One of the most sought-after pops conductors, composers and arrangers, Reineke was appointed principal pops conductor to the National Symphony Orchestra this season. His guest conducting appearances have included the Hollywood Bowl, where he performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and multi-faceted entertainer Wayne Brady, as well as with orchestras in Detroit, Houston, Toronto and Baltimore, among others. He has also collaborated with rock legend Peter Frampton.

“Our Broadway show is always some of the most exciting and popular music that we perform in the Fox Motors Pops Series,” said Associate Conductor John Varineau. “I am excited that we are featuring two of the leading ladies from the smash hit, ‘Wicked,’ along with the return of the fantastically talented conductor Steven Reineke.

“This will be an entire evening of showstoppers from Broadway and film, a perfect way to end our fantastic season of the Fox Motors Pops.”

Tickets are available at the DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena box offices, weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or on the day of the concert at DeVos Performance Hall three hours prior to the performance. Tickets may also be purchased through Ticketmaster at 1.800.745.3000, online at, or in person at Ticketmaster outlets including D&W Fresh Market and select Family Fare locations.

To learn more about the Grand Rapids Symphony, please visit

Friday, April 1, 2011

Kids’ Night on Broadway at Shrek the Musical

Join us for a special Kids Night with Maranda from WOOD TV 8

With the purchase of a full-priced adult ticket, a child, up to 18 years of age can see the show for free!

Kids’ Night comes to DeVos Performance Hall Wednesday, June 22 at 7:30pm for Shrek The Musical. With the purchase of a full-priced adult ticket, a child, up to 18 years of age can see the show for free! In addition to seeing a Broadway show for free, Kids’ Night guests will be treated to a host of activities with Maranda from WOOD TV 8 including story reading by one of the fairy tale creatures from the show from 6-7:30pm and many other great free activities.

Kids’ Night tickets are now on sale at or charge by phone at 1.800.745.3000.

About Shrek The Musical — DreamWorks Theatricals and Neal Street Productions, Ltd. are pleased to announce that SHREK THE MUSICAL with book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire and music by Jeanine Tesori, directed by Jason Moore and Rob Ashford, will play DeVos Performance Hall, for one week only, June 21-26, 2011.

SHREK THE MUSICAL is affordably priced from $34.50 and will perform 8 shows at DeVos Performance Hall from June 21-26, 2011. The performance schedule is Tuesday-Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 2:00pm & 8:00pm, and Sunday at 1:00pm & 6:30pm. Tickets are available at the DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena box offices, all Ticketmaster locations, or charge by phone at 1.800.745.3000. Groups of 10 or more save 10%! Groups of 10 or more e-mail or call 616.742.6185. Group offer expires June 14, 2011.

SHREK THE MUSICAL tells the story of a swamp-dwelling ogre who goes on a life-changing adventure to reclaim the deed to his land. Joined by a wise-cracking donkey, this unlikely hero fights a fearsome dragon, rescues a feisty princess and learns that real friendship and true love aren’t only found in fairy tales.

SHREK THE MUSICAL features a book and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize® winner David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole), music by Olivier Award-winner Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Caroline, or Change), and is directed by Tony Award® nominee Jason Moore (Avenue Q) and Tony and Emmy Award-winner Rob Ashford (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Promises Promises). SHREK THE MUSICAL has set and costume designs by Tony Award® winner Tim Hatley (Private Lives, Spamalot), lighting design by Olivier Award winner Hugh Vanstone (A Steady Rain), sound design by Peter Hylenski (Rock of Ages); choreography by Josh Prince, music supervision by Tim Weil, music direction by Andy Grobengieser, and orchestrations by Danny Troob & John Clancy.

Important Information for Kids’ Night Ticket Purchasers

KIDS’ NIGHT ON BROADWAY is The Broadway League’s program where kids ages 6 to 18 can see Broadway shows for free when accompanied by a full-paying adult. The program makes theatre accessible, encourages theatre as a form of family entertainment, and builds larger audiences for the future. Adults purchasing a full-priced “adult” ticket will receive one free ticket for a child up through age 18 to the same show. Complimentary tickets MUST be used by a child. Tickets must be purchased in multiples of two; each ticket prints at half-price. Theatre personnel may ask to see identification of child at the door. Every individual attending must have a ticket. Not valid on previously purchased tickets.

Maranda: Where You Live

Where You Live is a weekly half-hour program hosted by Maranda. Each week’s show features a combination of information, inspiration and insights for West Michigan parents. The show is taped in communities through out West Michigan and is about real family life. Where You Live looks at issues impacting families and explores local angles on a wide variety of topics ranging from potty training to puberty and fitness to family fun. Maranda is the recipient of three Gracie Allen Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Women in Radio and Television West Michigan Chapter, an Emmy nomination and the Hope College Distinguished Alumni Award.