by Stephi Wild – September 29, 2021
Season 13 at The Encore brings back a popular tradition – the Tribute Concert Series. First in the season lineup is QUEEN, chock full of the hits we all know and love like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You,” “We are the Champions” and so many more.
As Artistic Director, Dan Cooney, explains, “Our Queen Tribute was one of the events we were forced to postpone in 2020, when the pandemic shut down the world. A year and a half later, here we are, operating at half capacity, but thrilled to be bringing this concert back in our new venue.”
Freddy Mercury, British singer, songwriter, record producer, and lead vocalist of Queen, was regarded as one of the greatest singers in the history of rock music. Known for his flamboyant stage persona and four-octave vocal range, Mercury defied the conventions of a front man with a highly theatrical style that influenced the band’s artistic direction.
The Queen cast includes Flint native, Jason Briggs, who last appeared in the Encore’s summer concert, Broadway Rocks!, and who is currently bringing down the house in their season 13 opener, Smokey Joe’s Café. Detroit native and powerhouse vocalist, Arielle Crosby, returns to The Encore stage after her star turn in this summer’s Be Our Guest – The Songs of Disney. Ann Arbor native, Chris Joseph, who appeared this summer in both Simply Sondheim and Standard Time, is currently making audiences swoon in Smokey Joe’s as well. Newcomer Hope Elizabeth Schafer comes to The Encore from New York City to add her impressive voice, and, rounding out the cast is Encore favorite, Tyler J. Messinger. Last seen in the summer concerts Some Enchanted Evening and Broadway Rocks!, Tyler is currently “Dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock” in Smokey Joe’s Café.
“We’re stoked to have some of Michigan’s finest musicians bringing Queen’s music to life,” said music director, R. MacKenzie Lewis. “They’re going to blow the roof off!” Along with MacKenzie Lewis on keys are Billy Harrington on Drums, Mike Harrington on guitar and Sam Collins on bass.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.theencoretheatre.org/, by calling 734-268-6200, or by visiting the box office at 7714 Ann Arbor Street (see website for current box office hours).
The Encore Musical Theatre Company adheres to all CDC and State of Michigan guidelines concerning COVID-19, and asks that all patrons wear masks while inside the theatre.