River Raisin Centre for Arts, Meyer Theater announce season offerings

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Local and national theater opportunities abound in Monroe County. Offerings begin now and continue through the spring.

The River Raisin Centre for the Arts and the Meyer Theater at Monroe County Community College have announced their upcoming seasons. Other local theater companies, such as Monroe Community Players and Bedford Community Players, will announce their productions later. MCP is currently working on a readers theater experience called “Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits.”

River Raisin Centre for the Arts

Theater performances, local ballets and musical tributes are among the season’s offerings at the RRCA.

The theater, 114 S. Monroe St., opened its 2022-23 season last week, with performances by The Glenn Miller Orchestra and The Malpass Brothers.

“We are very excited to host our 2022 season,” Claire Bechard, new associate director for the RRCA, said.


Bechard recently replaced longtime RRCA associate director Calley Duffey. Bechard was a ballet student for years at the RRCA-based River Raisin Dance Academy. As a student at Wayne State University, she co-operated the RRCA’s School of the Performing Arts.

This is the first full entertainment season at the RRCA since the pandemic began.

“Our season was essentially cut in half last year. We sold 3,575 total seats for eight performances. This season we will have 12 performances on our primary marquee season,” Bechard said. “I am most excited for É.T.É, a Canadian bluegrass band. I heard them perform in 2021 and thought their sound would fit in Monroe, where we have a strong bluegrass following, as well as French-Canadian heritage.”

An Irish Rambling House: Celebrating St. Patrick is set for March 10 at the RRCA.

The E.T.E. trio offers traditional Québec music, combining folk, jazz, progressive rock and classical.

Other new shows this season include The Music of Mancini, which offers music from films, and Alla Boara, which offers folk music from Italy. An Irish Rambling House in March will provide Celtic song and dance. Leslie McCurdy will deliver a performance called “The Spirit of Harriet Tubman” in February. The Gambler Returns, a tribute to Kenny Rogers, is set for Christmas time.

“We include new shows to broaden our audience and bring different crowds to Monroe. It’s a fun change in our season,” Bechard said. “While our typical audience has never heard of these new bands, they could be their next biggest fans. We are thrilled to bring music from around the globe to our corner of the Midwest.”

Two local ballets will again be produced, including the perennial Nutcracker for the Christmas season.

“I don’t want to spoil any surprises, but we are bringing back the grand pas de deux in act I. The senior role of the Snow Queen, danced by Evelyn Short and Elora Russell, is a technically challenging duet with the Snow King, danced by former dancer and instructor Gabriel Hileman,” Bechard said.

The spring ballet is “Cinderella.”

Local performers also will be featured in “Spamalot,” produced by the River Raisin Repertory Co., under the direction of Tracy Glover.

“We haven’t produced this show since 2013, and this is our first River Raisin Rep show since 2019. It’s a fun show that we know audiences will enjoy,” Bechard said.

RRCA season:

For tickets and more information, visit www.riverraisincentre.org.

Oct. 28-30

Monty Python’s “Spamalot”


The local River Raisin Repertory Co. will perform Monty Python’s retelling of the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable.

Nov. 5

“One Night in Memphis”


Tribute to music legends Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley.

Dec. 2-4

The “Nutcracker” Ballet


The River Raisin Ballet Co. will present its annual Christmas ballet featuring choreography and handmade costumes.

Dec. 9

Alan Turner’s Ultimate Kenny Rogers Tribute Show


Feb. 18

“The Spirit of Harriet Tubman”


Leslie McCurdy, on a barren stage with only a trunk of costumes, offers a one-woman tribute to Tubman.

March 3-5

St. Mary Catholic Central High School’s Spring Musical


Title to be announced.

March 10

An Irish Rambling House: Celebrating St. Patrick


Celtic and folk music accented with Irish step dancing.

April 2

The Music of Mancini$15-39

Celebrate the compositions of Mancini, from his early work with The Glenn Miller Orchestra to music from films such as “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

April 8



An original, lively take on Quebec traditional music.

April 15

Alla Boara


Regional folk music from Italy.

April 28-30

“Cinderella” — The Ballet


The River Raisin Ballet Co. will perform a ballet rendition of the timeless fairytale.

Meyer Theater at Monroe County Community College

The College/Community Symphony Band at Monroe County Community College will perform several concerts this season, including one at the bottom of a quarry.

Monroe County Community College, 1555 S. Raisinville Road, has planned a full entertainment season at the Meyer Theater in the La-Z-Boy Center. One offering will even take attendees to the base of a quarry.

Like the RRCA, MCCC also has a change in staff.

Tom Ryder, who arranged events at the Meyer Theater, in addition to other duties, retired Sept. 1 after 36 years of employment. The search is on for his replacement.


MCCC also is planning its first full season since the pandemic began.

“Last year we started our season in December due to the pandemic, and we had 12 shows,” Joe Verkennes, director of marketing and communications, said.

This year’s full schedule will focus on local talent.

“We are really excited to focus our season on the wonderful cultural arts of our college, local community and the region, a ‘Season of Culture.’ We are featuring local and regional musicians and artists,” Verkennes said. “We will feature a full slate of band concerts, Agora Chorale concerts, four Detroit Symphony Orchestra concerts, dance recited by MCCC’s Inside Out Dance Ensemble, two visiting artists (and more).”

Artist David Hile will visit MCCC Feb. 2.

In May, the College/Community Symphony Band will perform in a local quarry. Band director Mark Felder initially had this concert planned for 2020, but it was canceled, as were other band concerts, because of the pandemic.

“The band did not schedule any performances due to COVID restrictions last year. A joint performance with the Agora Chorale on Oct. 24 will mark the return of the band,” Verkennes said.

The Agora Chorale has a new director this year. Jonathon Lunneberg has replaced Cathy Brodie, who retired last year. Lunneberg is associate choir teacher at Plymouth High School and chair of the Michigan chapter of the American Choir Directors Association.

More performances may be added to the MCCC season in the future, once a new community events coordinator is hired.

“We have budgeted to add up to two to four more acts that are regional or national in nature that may be more of what we have traditionally done (comedians, tribute bands, national country acts, etc.),” Verkennes said. “If we do add any shows, that would likely occur after the first of the year. We are excited to begin a new chapter in programming at the La-Z-Boy Center, as someone else soon will take the helm and pick up where Tom Ryder left off. Tom was pivotal in making MCCC the cultural and entertainment hub of Monroe County by bringing high-quality acts to the La-Z-Boy Center and ensuring that all the events went off without a hitch, and we are forever grateful to him for that. It will be exciting to see what the future holds for theater as we enter 2023 and beyond.”

MCCC season:

For tickets and more information, visit https://www.monroeccc.edu/events.

Oct. 24

College/Community Symphony Band and Agora Chorale concert


Oct. 26

Art presentation by visiting artist Cassy Fallon. Her works will be on display through Nov. 21

Dec. 6

Agora Chorale’s Holiday Concert


Dec. 12

College/Community Symphony Band Holiday Concert


Jan. 13

Detroit Symphony Orchestra concert


Feb. 2

Visiting artist David Hile

Feb. 25

The Big Gig: Monroe County’s Annual Black History Month Blues Concert


March 6

College/Community Symphony Band and Agora Chorale concert


March 17

Detroit Symphony Orchestra concert


April 15-16

Soundtracks, a performance by MCCC’s Inside Out Dance Ensemble

Cost to be announced

May 7

College/Community Symphony Band Concert in the Quarry

Location and cost to be announced

May 8

College/Community Symphony Band Concert


May 12

Detroit Symphony Orchestra concert


June 16

Detroit Symphony Orchestra concert