Lake Superior Theatre has provided the Marquette community with musical plays and dramas for over a decade and they aren’t about to stop now. This summer, the theatre is featuring four productions: “Pippin,” “I Do, I Do,” “Narnia” and “King Lear.”
This summer, nine Northern Michigan University students are working for Lake Superior Theatre as anything from actors and house managers, to technical crew members and counselors for the youth theater summer camps.
“The talent that we have this summer is unbelievable, both from NMU and the community,” Nikke Nason, business manager for Lake Superior Theatre and executive/artistic director for Lake Superior Youth Theatre, said. Nason has worked with Lake Superior Theatre since 1999, when the theatre first opened. During that time, she was a student at NMU and ran the soundboards.
Kicking off the summer of musical productions is “Pippin.” While based on the book by Roger O. Hirson, the music and lyrics are by Stephen Schwartz. It focuses on a young prince (Pippin) and his journey seeking happiness and fulfillment.
“Pippin” will run 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 9 through Sunday, July 13 and Wednesday, July 16 through Sunday, July 20 and “features a strong vocal and dance cast of both NMU students, community members and Lake Superior Youth Theatre high school students,” Nason said.
“With a cast over 20, the production calls for larger and splashier dance numbers than the more intimate production of ‘I Do, I Do,’” said Nason.
“I Do, I Do” will run 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 23 through Sunday, July 27 and Wednesday, July 30 through Sunday, Aug. 3. The production is based on Jan de Hartog’s book “The Fourposter,” lyrics are by Tom Jones and music is by Harvey Schmidt.
With a cast of four, the ups and downs of two soul mate relationships are exposed through a series of events that prolong 50 years. Former NMU student Patrick Bradley and a mother/daughter duo are featured.
“‘I Do, I Do’ features a more intimate cast,” Nason said.
Lake Superior Youth Theatre brings C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” to life in the musical “Narnia,” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 through Sunday, Aug. 10 and Wednesday, Aug.13 through Sunday, Aug. 16. NMU sophomore theater and communication studies double major Jill Vermeulen is co-directing the youth musical.
“I’m extremely honored and excited for the opportunity to co-direct Narnia with David Bashaw,” Vermeulen said.
Vermeulen has been involved in “Les Miserables,” “Comedy of Errors,” “An American in Paris” and “She Kills Monsters” at NMU’s Forest Roberts Theatre and has been with Lake Superior Theatre since third grade. Vermeulen is also an actor and dance captain in “Pippin.”
“I’m simply looking forward to creating two marvelous shows with a talented community of people in a remarkable summer environment,” Vermeulen said. “I love sharing the cast and artistic staff’s story and talents.”
Shakespeare’s “King Lear” will wrap up the summer productions and will feature the Westwood Shakespeare Company. “King Lear” is the story of a British King who constructs a plan to split his kingdom. Shakespeare’s play lives on 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 19 through Friday, Aug. 22.
Productions will take place at Frazier Boat House in Marquette’s lower harbor. Parking is available at Ellwood Mattson Lower Harbor Park. For more information, visit www.lakesuperiortheatre.com. Ticket rates and discounts vary based on advancement.