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April 14, 2011 - Image 79

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-04-14

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Meadow Brook Theatre gives a
Shout!-out to songs of the '60s.

Suzanne Chessler
Special to the Jewish News


avid Lowenstein earned
his bachelor's degree in
musical theater at Syracuse
University, but he feels a strong con-
nection to the performing arts pro-
gram at the University of Michigan.
Brent Wagner, chair of the U-M
Musical Theatre Department, taught
at Syracuse when Lowenstein was
enrolled there.
The skills Lowenstein advanced can
be seen in Shout! The Mod Musical,
which is being presented April 20-May
15 at Meadow Brook Theatre. Directed
by Travis Walter, the cast includes Liz
Griffith, Katie Hardy, Allison Hunt,
Renee Turner and Charis Vaughn.
"This show is so positive and so
much fun," says Lowenstein, 49, who
developed the revue with Phillip
George. "It has the music made popu-
lar by the iconic women singers from
the 1960s in England, such as Petula
Clark, Sandie Shaw and Lulu."
With dance and dress of the times,
the singers belt out "Downtown,""To
Sir With Love"Goldfinger" and many
other hits. The storyline follows the
search for advice to the lovelorn.
The idea for the show came from
George, who gave Lowenstein a mixed
music tape and asked for ideas on how
they could bring it to theaters. While
they worked closely on the progression
of music and characters, Lowenstein
created all of the movement — stag-
ing, blocking and choreography.
"I knew early on that I wanted to be
a professional in theater:' Lowenstein
says. "I lived an hour north of New
York City, and the first Broadway show
my parents took me to see was Jesus

Christ Superstar. I was blown away by
the whole spectacle and wanted to be
one of the people on stage."
After participating in community
theaters, Lowenstein was able to get
professional summer stock roles in
his early teens. Dance classes started
in high school, where he was in all the
shows. As a senior, he did directing
and choreography.
After high school, he appeared in an
Up With People traveling performance
tour before entering Syracuse, where he
now teaches along with being artist-in-
residence at nearby Cazenovia College.
"I moved to New York City after
graduating from the university
and went on tour with a revival of
the musical On Your Toes:' recalls
Lowenstein, whose Jewish heritage
and holiday celebrations are based in
his dad's side of the family.
"Dancing was my entree into the
business, and I worked as a dancer in
national tours for five years, including
a production of 42nd Street, which
came to Michigan.
"I landed my first Broadway
show, Jerome Robbins Broadway, in
1988, and worked pretty steadily on
Broadway for the next 15 years."
When one of his two children
became school age, Lowenstein gave
up his performing career so that he
and his partner, theatrical hair stylist
Alfonso Annotto, could raise the boys
outside the city.
"I'm very excited that Shout is hav-
ing this extended life in small the-
aters," says Lowenstein, who worked
with George on Howard Crabtree's
Whoop-Dee-Doo!, a Drama Desk
Award winner. "Shout expresses my
love for the music and choreography
of the 1960s." Li

Shout! The Mod Musical runs April 20-May 15 at the Meadow
Brook Theatre on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester.
Performances are 8 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays, 6 or 8 p.m. Saturdays
and 2 and 6:30 p.m. Sundays with only a matinee on the last Sunday.
There also are 2 p.m. performances April 30 and May 4, 11 and 14.
$24-$39. (248) 377-3300; www.mbtheatre.com .





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April 14 • 2011


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