Center Stage fall show offers musical blasts from the past

SWARTZ CREEK – A retrospective look at 37 years of musicals will unfold when Swartz Creek Center Stage presents “Thanks for the Memories,” its fall musical revue, Saturday and Sunday at the Performing Arts Center.

The vocal talents of 23 performers of all ages, from veterans of the stage to newcomers, will spotlight songs and dances from shows like “The Sound of Music,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Raincoat” and “Mary Poppins.”

For the finale, “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” anyone in the audience who has performed in a Center Stage production will be invited on stage to sing along.

“We started with a list of 100 songs,” said Katie Thompson, producer and Center Stage founder.

She whittled the list down to 37 numbers based on audience appeal and how well they fit with the available voices.

“The songs are mostly upbeat,” said Ginny Redmond who, with Teresa Cannon, is directing the show. “There are some love songs and some crowd favorites.”

“It’s an energetic show,” said Cannon. “It’s a happy, hand-clapping kind of show.”

The revue, or in this case, the review, draws from a legacy that began in 1981 in the basement of St. Mary Queen of Angels church. “Once Upon A Mattress” was the first Center Stage production. It was repeated in 2001 for the 20th anniversary.

In 1983, Center Stage presented “Brigadoon” at their new venue, Mary Crapo school. The troupe did 99 shows on the Crapo stage before the Performing Arts Center opened in 2013.

For its first show at the PAC, the theater group presented “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” which is Thompson’s favorite show.

“It’s my favorite mainly because it can involve so many people of all ages,” said Thompson.

It was the fourth time Center Stage performed the rock opera, which is slated to return to the PAC for the group’s 40th anniversary.

Center Stage returned to Mary Crapo in 2014 to present its 100th show, “Clue.”

“We wanted to do 100 shows at Mary Crapo,” said Thompson.

“Thanks for the Memories” – the 114th Center Stage production – also will offer a sneak peek at the spring performance, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

The cast and crew includes Trevor Allen, Jeanne Beville, Teresa Cannon, Kayli Cole, Jacob Dunn, Megan Faris, Marissa Field, Regina Garland, Bill Gifford, Abby Jacobs, Becky Jacobs, Mackenzie Kelley, Kaylie LaClair, Hope Lane, Keith O’Neal, Matt Packer, Ashley Putnam, Ginny Redmond, Haven Rickman, Michael Schweikert, Kyrstin Stadel, Katie Thompson and Caden Wrathall.

Curtain is at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5. Tickets cost $10. For information, call 591-5231 or visit

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