Local theater is so exciting in this town, and Grand Rapids Civic Theater leads the way.

With musicals and plays, GR Civic Theater is always "pushing the envelope" so to speak, with fabulous productions always raising the level and quality of theater.

This month is no different.  On January 18th, it's the Michigan Debut of "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter". Playwright Rebecca Gilman adaption of the Carson McCullers’ first novel, a story set in a small Southern town during the Great Depression.

I'm lucky enough to be involved with Civics "Inside Dish" group of local advertising, marketing and media folks.  Before each production, we get to meet with some of the actors and production crew, the director, etc., and learn all about the current show.  We get the "Inside Dish."  A little wine and h'ors deurves never hurts, either, but that's beside the point.

Grand Rapids Civic Theater

This next production, The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, is an extremely thought-provoking play.  At the core is John Singer, a deaf-mute whose compassion and caring nature mask an isolating personal burden. Surrounding Singer are four lonely souls: Mick Kelly, a 14-year-old tomboy who dreams of becoming a concert pianist, Dr. Benedict Copland, the town’s only African-American doctor; Jake Blount, a drunken political activist; and Biff Brannon, a recent widower and owner of the town’s diner and bar.

Each character in McCullers’ story is grappling with something – adolescence, rage, insecurity, depression, prejudice or poverty. Each character takes solace in confiding in Singer. While doing so, each unintentionally overlooks their confidant’s profound isolation in this timeless tale woven from the lives of ordinary people. “This is an amazing story about how even the simplest human interactions are overwhelming in complexity, yet often void of real connection” states the plays director, Bruce Tinker.

Continuing a long-standing partnership between the Civic and Warner Norcross & Judd, the law firm became involved with this production as a part of the Firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Program.

Joining Warner Norcross & Judd, as community partners of this production, are Artist Creating Together (ACT), the Grand Rapids Public Library and The Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Diversity Learning Center.

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, opens on the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre stage on January 18 and runs through February 3, 2013, and it is the Michigan debut of this production. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter stage play was listed on the Time Magazine 2009 - Top 10 List of Plays to see. The adaption is from the Carson McCullers novel of the same name. In 2004, the book had a resurgence when it was featured by Oprah’s Book Club. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter was also a 1968 Academy Award Nominated movie starring Alan Arkin, Sondra Locke, and Cicely Tyson.

For more information just log on the Grand Rapids Civic Theater here, or call 616-222-6650.