ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (WJBK) - Before a Broadway show can be done by anyone else around the world, the show grants permission for a regional professional theater to put up the production. Here in Michigan, a metro Detroit theater is getting that honor with the show "Atomic."
The cast is preparing to open this rock musical as part of the Meadow Brook Theatre's 50th year of operation. Artistic Director Travis Walter and Managing Director Cheryl Marshall look on with pride.
"Meadow Brook Theatre, to me, is live professional theater that serves our community, that tells a greater story, that gets into our hearts, that makes us think, makes us feel, laugh, cry. All of that," Walter says.
Located on the campus of Oakland University, Meadow Brook is a professional theater company that hires paid equity actors and puts on Broadway calibur shows in a 584-seat theater.
"The theater itself was built as a recital hall," says Walter. "It eventually was converted into a theater." The seating is stadium-style so "there's really not a bad seat in the house," he adds.
"When our subscribers are wanting to change a seat and we ask them where they want to sit, they say, 'It really doesn't matter.' There's not a bad seat," Marshall says.
FOX 2's Lee Thomas was there as the Broadway producers and the musical director were in rehearsal to oversee the production, along with the theater company's management. They say this is a special emotional story that they are proud to tell. You can see scenes and music from their rehearsal in the video above.
"It is a rock opera about the Manhattan Project and the lives of the scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project, which we all know was the atomic bomb. It's the 70th anniversary of having dropped the bomb," says Walter. "This really delves into, not just the bomb itself, but what happened to those scientists after that. They had to live with that decision for the rest of their lives and I can't imagine what it must have been like. So it's really a very touching, very moving story but it does have rock music to it. So, it's really a unique experience."
The curtain is ready to go up at the Meadow Brook Theatre as the cast prepares for this explosively entertaining show.
Atomic opens Wednesday night, February 10, and runs through March 6. Click here for more information.