50th Anniversary: First Season Memories

By: Amelia Manley

As we approach Miller Auditorium’s, we are looking back at the many great shows to visit our stage–including Wicked, The Book of Mormon and The Phantom of the Opera, to name just a few. Right now, though, we want to take a look back at our very first season at Miller Auditorium.

In 1968, we had 18 shows that made up our season. Some of the acts included Marcel Marceau, The Association and The Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Out of all of the wonderful shows we had during our Grand Opening season, I chose to highlight a few:

1968 Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra

We’re proud that the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra often performs at Miller Auditorium in 2017 and that the KSO has been performing at Miller since our very first season.

National Ballet of Washington D.C.

This internationally renowned company performed at Miller only five years after it was  founded in 1962.

Ferrante & Teicher

This piano duo was known for their light piano arrangements that included show tunes. They were also known for their rapid fire piano performances. Both artists graduated from the Julliard School of Music, then went on to experiment with traditional piano playing. The duo would add found objects to the piano strings to produce percussion-like noises which made for inventive and memorable performances.

On a Clear Day You Can See Forever

This was the first musical to grace the Miller Auditorium stage. This lighthearted tale was later adapted for the silver screen with Barbra Streisand and was featured on the 100 Greatest Musical films by the American Film Institute.

As we look back on 50 great years of entertainment, we salute all the talented performers who have set foot on the Miller stage.

Broadway Dinner Menu

By: Lauren Hufford

I think we’ve all had this problem: You plan to go to a matinee performance of one of your favorite shows, but don’t know what to do about dinner after the show! Now, you could just go to a favorite restaurant, or try a new place, but why do that when you can have a perfectly themed homemade dinner? Here is my perfect post-show dinner for the whole family.

To start, we have a wonderful Julius Caesar Salad. Are you a fan of Shakespeare? Or do you, perhaps, just enjoy a good, classic salad? This recipe is perfect for a fresh, spring day. Perhaps the Ides of March?

Julius Caesar Salad

After a wonderful show and all the emotions flying throughout the seating area, you just need a good helping of soul food. Our main course for the night is a hearty, warm chili ready to get you through every last heart-wrenching ballad and peppy tap tune. It will make everyone in your family say, “Gimme Gimme!”

Thoroughly Modern Chili

I decided that we needed something a little lighter to compliment the heartiness of the chili and so we have some Kiss Me, Kale Chips! Now be careful when you take these baked treats out of the oven or you’ll be shouting that it’s “Too Darn Hot.”

Kiss Me, Kale Chips

When there is nothing ado, come and enjoy these delicious blueberry muffins. They can inspire wedding vows in anyone! Everyone who tastes them will exclaim, “Get thee a wife!”

Much Ado About Muffin

Now, I know our run of Kinky Boots is done, but you will get a resounding cheer of everybody saying “YEAH!” with these yogurt and kinky fruit parfaits!

Kinky Fruits

The perfect accompaniment to this delicious meal for your “Wandering Child” is some Fanta of the Opera the fizzy orange drink that will have the kids saying “Bravo, Bravo!”
For the adults in the room, Caberet Sauvignon pairs well with chili. It’s so good, you’ll think you’re in trouble and say “Don’t Tell Mama.”


Daniel Tiger and Mr. Rogers

By: Lauren Hufford

This probably shows you how young I am, but I remember watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood on my way to kindergarten. His show was not just about learning to count or the letters of the alphabet, but more about emotional issues and real problems children face. For instance, when Mister Rogers’ goldfish died, he didn’t just replace it with an identical one, but talked to his viewers about death – pretty heavy hitting for a children’s show, I know.

While Mister Rogers’ show ended in 2001, the concept of his show wasn’t forgotten and the Fred Rogers Company decided to bring back the ideas and characters we love in Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. This new show is animated and the main characters are the next generation of kids from the Land of Make-Believe. Daniel Tiger is Daniel Striped Tiger’s son, Prince Wednesday is the second son of King Friday XIII and Queen Sarah Saturday. O the Owl is X the Owl’s nephew, Henrietta Pussycat’s daughter is Katerina Kittycat and Miss Elaina is Lady Elaine’s daughter. The concepts and execution are very similar between the new and old shows. Music is used to reinforce the ideas presented throughout the episode and the most memorable moments of the show – like Mr. Rogers putting on his sweater and shoes – are still in each episode. The spirit of Mr. Rogers really lives on in the new series.

I would highly recommend any parent start their preschoolers on this show. Not to mention Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood LIVE: King for a Day! is coming to Miller Auditorium on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at 2 p.m. Single tickets are on sale now! We look forward to celebrating the spirit of Mr. Rogers with Daniel Tiger in January.