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2023 Wilde Awards

Flint Repertory Theatre’s World Premiere production of The Magnificent Seven has received four 2023 Wilde Awards from Encore Michigan:

Best Teamwork (for the entire case)
Best Lighting Design (Jake DeGroot)
Best Costume Design (Adam Dill)

And Best Musical!

It’s so lovely to be recognized for all that went into the production (the only world premiere musical on the list!) And it’s especially lovely to see some terrific friends recognized for their work on other projects in Michigan: Michael Lluberes (twice!), Bryana Hall, Elexis Morton, and the powerhouse Flint Repertory Theatre with 25 awards for the season.

It’s all a wonderful cherry on top of the most wonderful experience this year!

But that is joy, and that is life, and that is me

We stuck the landing! After thirteen wonderful performances, we’re leaving behind the Georgia Dome (for now, we hope.)

Bryana Hall, Hana Slevin, Alex Finke, Amanda Kuo, Phoebe Strole (Photo by Jenifer Veloso)
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And a huge thanks to everyone involved in the production: Director Catie Davis, Choreographer Duane Lee Holland Jr., Associate Choreographer Alvon Reed, and Music Director Jeremy Robin Lyons; cast members Bret Beaudry, Alex Finke, Emi Fishman, Beth Guest, Bryana Hall, Scott Anthony Joy, Amanda Kuo, Mary Paige Rieffel, Hana Slevin, Monica Spencer & Phoebe Strole; stage management team Melissa A. Nathan & Rebecca MacCreery; designers Ann Beyersdorfer, Adam Dill, Jake DeGroot, Matt Otto, and Miranda Hartmann (and their associates/engineers Abbey Wiker, Alex Grindey & Emma Orr); musicians Lucas Perro, Terrence Newman & Russ Sauter; the remarkable Flint Rep Staff of Michael Lluberes, Nicole Samsel, Jesse Glenn, Sasha Dudock, Taja Christine Calhoun, Kendra Babcock & Dave Thompson, and show sponsors Dr. & Mrs. Frederick Van Duyne.

(And special thanks to Cynthia at Minerealm Crystals and everyone at the Flint Farmer’s Market for keeping me grounded and happy the whole time!)

I can’t wait to see what’s next for The Magnificent Seven and I’m so grateful to have had this magnificent opportunity to discover the heart of our musical.

And we’re open!

After four weeks of rehearsals and rewrites (and restagings and more rewrites and cuts and new lyrics and more restagings) The Magnificent Seven is open!

This process has been a truly invaluable opportunity to focus our work and see it come to life thanks to the talent and dedication of our incredible collaborators and cast. The care and the joy and the heart that they bring to this piece is so meaningful and I hope you’re able to come to Flint to see it for yourself!

But you don’t have to take my word for it…

“The right idea for a new musical is about half the battle for it to be a commercial success. The other half, of course, is getting the writing and music right. In the case of The Flint Repertory Theatre’s world premiere of The Magnificent Seven, the production team has gotten this work about the 1996 Olympic Gymnastics team very right.

The Magnificent Seven is compelling, draws you in and a very worthy musical storytelling on behalf of extremely hard working athletes who made enormous sacrifices and suffered to represent their country, themselves and their families.”

David Kiley, Encore Michigan

“It is intriguing, entertaining, and most of all a deep dive into the pressure and pleasure of world competition, all set to music. Wonderfully directed by Catie Davis and choreographed by Duane Lee Holland Jr., the play moves smoothly and with rhythmic synchrony.”

Kathleen Kirby, Flint Stages

“Creators Gordon Leary, bookwriter and lyricist and Julia Meinweld, composer, approach the subject matter with great passion, elevating the heroism and elite skill of each girl (the oldest was 19). However, they do not shy away from criticizing the culture and the physical and emotional demands placed on these young women in the pursuit of being champions.

It is a rare stage production that can manage to give equal time and weight to seven different characters, but “The Magnificent Seven” succeeds beautifully. Every gymnast has a story, a dream, a flaw, a heartbreak.

With its mixture of praise for the sport and its athletes and criticism of the abusive aspects, “The Magnificent Seven” can be seen as a nuanced work of cultural criticism. It celebrates the champions of the 1996 Olympics, but it never lets the audience forget the cost.”

Bridgette M. Redman

Theatre Row Photo Call!

MinJi Kim, Libby Servais, Racquel Williams, Holly Gould, Ellen Condon Macy, Allison Posner, Amy Linden
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Production photos are in from The Magnificent Seven‘s summer Equity Showcase production at Theatre Row!

Thanks to Evan Zimmerman and MurphyMade for these beautiful images to commemorate our successful, self-produced run in NYC.