1916 silent ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ kicks off busy September at Howmet Playhouse

WHITEHALL — September is upon West Michigan and Howmet Playhouse is all over that.

This year celebrating its 100th anniversary, the historic playhouse (1916-2016) will dive into fall first with a silent blast from the past.

At 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, the playhouse, 304 S. Mears, will offer a free screening of the 1916 silent-film version of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” The movie was first screened at the playhouse in 1917.

Adapted from French novelist Jules Verne’s 19th-century “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas: An Underwater Tour of the World,” the film marked the first time a movie used underwater photography. Also, the story is more faithful to Verne’s original than was the 1954 Disney movie “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” that starred Kirk Douglas, James Mason Paul Lukas and Peter Lorre.

The 1916 movie was filmed by what is now the Universal Pictures studio.

Sponsored by Carmichael Heating and Air Conditioning, the screening will not only have free admission, but also free popcorn and soft drinks.

After the playhouse comes up for air, at 7 p.m. Sept. 10 it will host “West Shore Chorus Presents a Musical Evening of Harmony, 4-Part Barbershop Quartet Style.”

The all-female West Shore Chorus performs songs a capella, in the style of traditionally male barbershop quartets.

The group’s members hail from Fruitport, Grand Haven, Muskegon, North Muskegon, Norton Shores, Spring Lake and Twin Lake.

The show will include a guest performance by the Yonge Guns Quartet.

Tickets at the door are $15.

At 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17, the Corn Potato String Band will bring its traditional American music to the playhouse.

The trio features old-time fiddle-and-banjo music — along with guitar, bass and mandolin — the Corn Potato Band plays music of the Flatlands: the Central and Southern U.S. It has performed in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Mexico and India.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. They are available in advance at Whitehall City Hall, 405 E. Colby.

Howmet Playhouse will exit September with a big finale that will resonate to the playhouse’s roots.

At 7 p.m. Sept. 22-24, the playhouse will offer “Playhouse: A Centennial Celebration Show.”

An original work written by West Michigan actors Kimberly Harsch and Bill Iddings, the play with music will remember the past, salute the present and look to the future of the playhouse.

A century ago, the playhouse was created by writer/director/lyricist Frank Ramsey Adams and Whitehall businessman James J. Nufer. For years it was named the Nufer-

Adams Playhouse.

Directed by Harsch, “Playhouse: A Centennial Celebration Show” will include performances by local musicians, students, alumni of the White Lake Dramatic Club and dancers from the Sean France School of Dance.

Tickets for the production are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Advance tickets are available at Whitehall City Hall.



Categories: Theatre

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