Resolve to see more live theater in 2014

Photo by Maxwell Bolton
“Gross Indecency – The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde” features a set design by Sarah Pearline, assistant professor of set design at Wayne State University, who has an Master of Fine Arts degree from the Yale School of Drama. The show runs in rotating repertory Jan. 10 to March 22 at the Hilberry Theatre. For more information call 313-577-2972 or go to

Make a resolution in 2014 that will be easy and fun to keep: resolve to see more plays on local stages. Whether your taste and budget runs from Broadway tours to local college and community theater productions, there are shows opening soon for every budget.

If Santa or your loved ones left gift cards in your hands over the holidays, consider using them for tickets to see a touring Broadway show in the coming year.

To order tickets or get more information call 313-871-1132 or go to

Broadway in Detroit offers “War Horse” at the Fisher Theater, 3011 W. Grand Blvd. in Detroit, through Jan. 5, followed by “American Idiot,” a one-act, through-sung stage musical, an adaptation of Green Day’s rock opera, Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 at the Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway in Detroit.

The Gershwin American folk opera “Porgy and Bess” runs March 4 to 9 at the Detroit Opera House, followed closely by “Dinosaur Zoo,” with a human-puppet meld like the “War Horse” equines, March 11 to 16 and “Heartbeat of Home,” an Irish, Latin and Afro-Cuban music and dance spectacular March 18 to 23, both at the Fisher.

The Fisher hosts Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” March 25 to 30, followed April 1 to 13 by the futuristic Queen and Ben Elton musical “We Will Rock You.” Set in the future, “We Will Rock You” follows a group of Bohemians who rebel against a ban on musical instruments and composing and reintroduce rock music to a conformist society.

Spring ushers in “Sister Act” April 22 to May 4 at the Fisher. Based on the 1992 comedy film by the same name, the stage musical received five Tony Award nominations in 2011, including best musical.

The musical “West Side Story,” inspired by Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” runs May 13 to 18 at the Fisher. Both the original and revival were Tony Award-winners, and feature book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and choreography by Jerome Robbins.

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s first collaboration in three decades (since “Evita”) arrives at the Detroit Opera House June 17 to 29 with their version of “The Wizard of Oz.” The musical combines traditional songs from the movie that audiences love with new additions, including songs for the witches.

Wayne State University offers two new shows in January.

“Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde” joins the rotating repertory schedule at the graduate Hilberry Theater Jan. 10 and runs through March 22, with the playwright, Moises Kauffman, directing the producing.

It focuses on playwright and wit Oscar Wilde, who stood trial in 1895 for his relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas for allegedly “committing acts of gross indecency with other male persons.”

The script draws on authentic court documents, diaries and news sources. The show illustrates the ongoing conflict between art and morality in a way that may have appealed to Wilde if he were around today.

Tina Howe’s “Birth and After Birth” opens Jan. 16 for a two-weekend run at the Studio Theater, located in the basement of the Hilberry.

When the parents of a 4-year-old invite another couple — childhood behavior experts — to their son’s birthday party, they become so caught up in their own debates and story-telling that they forget to be parents.

The show runs at 8 p.m. Jan. 15 to 17 and 22 to 24, and features Jordan Fitz of Detroit as Nicky, Hope Morawa of Lincoln Park as Mia, Nelson Shane of Windsor as Jeffrey, Lisa Youngs of Wyandotte as Sandy, and Nick Yocum of Royal Oak as Bill.

For tickets or more information for both shows call the WSU theater box office at 313-577-2972 or go to