Miller Staff Profile: Faith Wicklund

Name: Faith WicklundfaithbuddyBUDDY

Title: Business Manager

Years at Miller Auditorium: 14

Hobbies: Hiking and kayaking.

Favorite Miller Shows: Wicked was here for two weeks the first time and I never missed “Defying Gravity.” So many great shows over the past 14 years, but some of my favorites include Hairspray, Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia!, Once, Peter and the Starcatcher and In the Heights.

One of the craziest experiences you’ve had while at Miller: I worked the meet and greet for Ted Neeley when he was here for Jesus Christ Superstar and he had a long, personal chat with everyone in line and signed as many souvenir items as they carried.  It was great for the fans–though it did last for several hours and his driver had to leave so I drove Ted Neeley back to the Radisson at 2 a.m.

-Compiled by Clayton Dusendang

Behind the Scenes: Miller Broadway Karaoke

By: Jimmy Brand

As you may or may not know, Miller has been having quite a bit of fun over the past few months putting together Broadway Karaoke videos for our upcoming PNC Broadway season. It has been a blast getting to hang out with theatre loving members of the Kalamazoo community. Armed with just a cast album and a few GoPro cameras, we’ve really enjoyed spreading the word about the great Broadway shows coming to Miller this season.

We started off with some of our favorite songs from Dirty Dancing–The Classic Story On Stage, coming to Miller from Sept. 30-Oct. 2 and our special guest, WRKR Morning Show host Stefani Bishop:

Next up was RENT, coming to Miller Nov. 11-13, and WMU grad Mark Jackson joined us. Mark has played Tom Collins on Broadway and on tour for over 2000 performances!

We also got to feel the magic with Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, coming to Miller from March 24-26, 2017. Lori Moore, host of CW7’s The Lori Moore Show, made an excellent Fairy Godmother.

And coming soon is Motown the Musical Broadway Karaoke with some very special guests!

(And in case you were wondering, yes, we do travel with tiaras.)

LORI

 

Miller Season Brochures: Coming Soon to a City Near You!

By: Jimmy Brand

It’s summer at Miller Auditorium, which means it’s time for one of our summer traditions: hitting the road! Every year we create our Miller season brochure to showcase all of the great events coming soon to Kalamazoo. Many brochures are mailed and some are distributed at summer events like the KIA Arts Fair, but we also travel to other communities to spread the word about what will be taking the stage at Miller this season.

So far, we’ve traveled to South Haven, Comstock and of course, businesses in Kalamazoo and Portage. We had a fun afternoon in South Haven talking to business owners and we may have stopped at the beach for a minute or two, too. Our travels continue this month as we visit Three Rivers, St. Joseph, Schoolcraft, Constantine and Grand Rapids. Have any requests for where we should bring Miller season brochures next? Send us a message: http://www.millerauditorium.com/contact-us

Now Open: Miller’s Tavern on the Plaza

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By: Bethany Gauthier

Opening night of Miller Auditorium’s Tavern on the Plaza took place last night and though rain made a brief appearance, we had a great turn out and enjoyed visiting with all who attended.

Located on the Miller Veranda and overlooking the beautiful Western Michigan University campus setting and Miller Fountain, the Tavern will be open Thursday and Friday evenings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with complimentary snacks and a full cash bar through August. We welcome the community to stop by after work to relax in a fun and beautiful outdoor setting. (And if rain does come, the fun moves inside to our Grand Tier.)

Beginning in August, Miller’s Tavern on the Plaza will offer domestic beer specials and live music. Every Thursday and Friday through August, jazz fusion group H.O.M.E. will join us and patrons are welcome to bring their own musical instruments along to take part in the jam session.

Though Miller’s Tavern on the Plaza will not have regular hours after August, watch our website for special pop-up events to be announced this fall.

Miller Staff Profile: Jimmy Brand

Name: Jimmy Brand

Title: Marketing Assistant

Years at Miller Auditorium: May 2015- Present

Hobbies: Some of my hobbies include singing, running, cooking, hunting Pokémon and use of the oxford Comma.

Favorite Miller Shows: Some of my favorite shows at Miller include Once The Musical and Alton Brown’s Eat Your Science Tour.

One of the craziest experiences you’ve had while at Miller: Getting to meet and hear all of awesomeness that is Neil Degrasse Tyson.

One of your favorite experiences while working at Miller: One of my favorite experiences at Miller was being able to meet Alton Brown and have him sign my own apron!

-Compiled by Clayton Dusendang

New Edition is Coming to Miller!

NewEdition_COL

By: Thomasina Guidry

Boy bands. There’s something about a good boy band that just makes your heart swoon. Whether you’re crushing on the shy one, the mysterious one, the cute one, the handsome one or the bad boy, the whole group gives you life every time you hear them sing your favorite song. You’re getting goosebumps just thinking about it, right?

Well, imagine my fan girl squeal when I heard New Edition was coming to Miller Auditorium on Sunday, July 17.

*squeal* (Sorry, had to get that one out, too.)

I LOVE them. I don’t remember how it came about, I was so young, but what I do know is that New Edition has had me since Candy Girl.  They had this boy next door thing about them. Like I could run into them playing basketball down the street. Then they would break into song while Ronnie holds hands with me. And as I type this, I realize I’m totally describing the Cool It Now video.

Even though I didn’t get to hang out with them in my neighborhood, I did get a chance to see them when they came to Kalamazoo back in the late 80s. Bobby Brown had gone solo, and NE had a new member– Johnny Gill.  I had this black and white checkered skirt outfit just for the occasion. It was the best night of my 7th grade life.

28 years later, I’m just as excited to see them in concert as I was back then.

But to call New Edition a throwback would be an insult. While each one of them, at one point, has topped the music charts individually – Bell Biv DeVoe: Poison; Johnny Gill: Rub You the Right Way; and Ralph Tresvant: Sensitivity; they, together as a group, have matured and successfully evolved into that “Grown Folks” music genre that I used to once shake my head at. That my kids now shake their heads at.

They may have grown up, but New Edition is just as energetic as they were back then – if not more. There’s no denying their voices are just as magnetic and their moves are still on point. To this day, no group since their inception has been able to duplicate their success and continuity. And this is no shade to New Kids on the Block, I am a huge fan of them as well but let’s be real, without NE there would be no NKOTB.

Not many artists have managed to accomplish this feat of having a music career span more than three decades. The way they look, I’m sure they have many more years to come. I just love knowing they are still around making music that has not outgrown me.

If you can’t take my word for it, just watch their recent Steve Harvey performance: https://youtu.be/v10GpLvozO8

Or better yet, see them in person for yourself on Sunday, July 17 at 7 p.m.  I’ll be there for sure. Down in front. The 40-year-old screaming like a 12-year-old.

 

Sponsor Spotlight: Lake Michigan Mailers

Print

By: Bethany Gauthier

A proud sponsor of the Lake Michigan Mailers Spotlight series for over 15 years, we value Miller Auditorium’s partnership with local business, Lake Michigan Mailers, Inc.

Lake Michigan Mailers, Inc. is a leading provider of document creation, mail assembly, mail processing, presorting, data management, document management, digital marketing, fulfillment, and distribution solutions to companies, schools, colleges and universities, health care providers, governmental entities, and organizations throughout the world.

A family owned and managed company since 1977, Lake Michigan Mailers services their customers through our state-of-the-art facilities located in Kalamazoo, Michigan and South Bend, Indiana. Their integrated facility network provides customers with secure, redundant capabilities that ensure expedited processing through the use of cutting-edge technology.

David Rhoa, President of Lake Michigan Mailers Inc., is an active community member and a vocal supporter of Miller:

David Rhoa“We are proud to have Miller Auditorium as a strategic marketing partner.  Not only has our sponsorship of Miller Auditorium assisted us in effectively reaching our customers, and prospective customers, it has allowed us to actively engage with our community at a personal level. Our partnership with Miller Auditorium has provided us with an ideal venue through which we can exercise our company’s core values and make a positive impact on the quality of life in our region.”

-David Rhoa, President of Lake Michigan Mailers Inc.

For more information on Lake Michigan Mailers, Inc., visit http://barcodemail.com/

Community Commencements at Miller

By: Jimmy Brand

We’re closing out another busy graduation season at Miller Auditorium! In addition to hosting Western Michigan University’s Commencement three times a year, Miller also hosts many community graduation ceremonies every year.

Local high schools we host annually include Mattawan High School, Gull Lake High School, Parchment High School, Hackett Catholic Prep and Portage Northern High School. Miller also hosts Commencement ceremonies for Kalamazoo Valley Community College twice a year and an annual graduation ceremony for the WMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine. That’s a lot of great grads crossing the Miller stage every year!

This past weekend, we hosted over 1260 grads for WMU’s Summer Commencement Ceremony. The weather was perfect and it was a wonderful day for new grads to celebrate with their families and friends. We send a special congratulations to all the grads who walked across our stage to embark on the next stages of their respective lives and we wish them the best of luck in all their future endeavors!

 

 

 

2016-17 Lake Michigan Mailers Spotlight Series

By: Bethany Gauthier

We recently announced our current 2016-17 Lake Michigan Mailers Spotlight series, which, together with our  previously announced PNC Broadway series of Dirty Dancing–The Classic Story on Stage, The Book of Mormon, RENT, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella and Motown the Musical, completes our current list of 2016-17 Miller season events.

Lake Michigan Mailers events coming to Miller during our 2016-17 season include:

New Edition: Sunday, July 17, 2016 @ 7 p.m

Peppa Pig Live!: Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016 @ 6 p.m.

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas: Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016 @ 8 p.m.

MercyMe: Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016 @ 7:30 p.m.

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker: Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016 @ 7 p.m.

Complexions Contemporary Ballet: Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017 @ 7:30 p.m.

Little River Band with special guests Ambrosia: Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 @ 8 p.m.

Annie: Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 @ 7:30 p.m.

DRUMLine Live: Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 @ 7:30 p.m.

Menopause the Musical: Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 @ 2 p.m.

The Willis Clan: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 @ 7:30 p.m.

And this is just the beginning! As in seasons past, we will continue to add great new shows throughout the season and the best way to hear about them first is to join our Miller e-club.

Interested in tickets? A few shows (New Edition, Dirty Dancing and Peppa Pig Live!) have single tickets available now, but all shows can be purchased as part of a PNC Broadway subscription or by being a Friends of Miller member. Subscriptions can be ordered online at http://www.millerauditorium.com/subscribe and you can contact the Miller Ticket Office with questions at (269) 387-2300. Group tickets are also available for all shows with your group of 10 or more people via (269) 387-2312. Here’s to another great season and we’ll look forward to seeing you at the shows!

Tonys Wrap Up 2016

By: Bethany Gauthier

The 70th Annual Tony Awards aired on CBS last night and this annual celebration of Broadway showcased the amazing array of entertainment now playing in New York City and across the country on tour. Host James Corden, of The Late Late Show, helmed the three-hour plus ceremony and kept Broadway’s biggest night consistently engaging.

In honor of the Tonys, some of the Miller Auditorium staff gathered for a Tonys watch party in our Edward Jones VIP Lounge. There were Tonys-themed games and cheers when our Miller 2016-17 Broadway season commercial aired.

The big news of the night was Hamilton. The hit Broadway show made history with 16 nominations and ended the evening by taking home 11 Tonys including Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical for Hamilton star and mastermind, Lin-Manuel Miranda.

You can find a full list of winners here: http://www.tonyawards.com/en_US/nominees/winners.html

And watch (or re-watch) your favorite performances here: http://www.tonyawards.com/en_US/multimedia/watch_online.html