Imagine being a kid and leaving the only home you've ever known – in hopes of starting a new life in an entirely new country.
That's the premise of Coming to America, a musical play for kids by Wild Swan Theater in Ann Arbor May 13-15, 2014. This show returns for the first time since 2008, promising a stirring family tale with a variety of southeast Michigan touches.
Sweeping 83 years, Coming to America tells the tales of four immigrant children – all based on actual stories. There's Hedvah, a 12-year-old who travels by herself from Russia in 1890. Bao Dai escapes Vietnam with his mom in 1973. Mario heads to L.A. in 1955 with big dreams of being a big-time percussionist. And, finally, Emileen leaves Lebanon in 1910 and is almost turned back at Ellis Island when she can't pass a health exam.
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Their hopes and aspirations come to life in a tightly woven script by Jeff Duncan, a resident playwright at this professional children's theater. The music is local, too, created by Laz Slomovits of the popular Ann Arbor kids' music duo Gemini. One gem is "Hold Your Memories All the Way Home," a string-filled ballad.
Kids of all abilities are welcome to the show. Wild Swan prides itself on wheel-chair seating, American Sign Language interpreting and audio-description/backstage touch tours (call in advance to reserve special accessibilities).
Coming to America plays at the Washtenaw Community College campus theater at the following times:
- Thursday, March 13: 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
- Friday, March 14: 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
- Saturday, March 15: 2 p.m.
Tickets are $15/adults and $10/kids and seniors; there also are $3 lap passes available for little theatergoers under 2 years old.
Find the basic listing details, including directions, to the March 2014 production of Coming to America by the Wild Swan Theater in Ann Arbor in the Metro Parent calendar listing.