The theme for National Women’s History Month 2014 is “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment.” During this time, we pause to remember women like Mother Theresa, who exemplified all three qualities we honor. We also remember women who have blazed their marks in history in specific ways – such are the likes of Cleopatra VII, Anne Frank, Emily Dickinson, Joan of Arc, Oprah Winfrey and Marilyn Monroe. A complete brochure detailing the honorees for 2014 are available to download for free at NWHP.org. Join others who band together to celebrate women of achievement at these favorite local venues.
“Beauty and The Beast”
3011 W. Grand Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48202
Dates: March 25-30, 2014
Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve was the female equivalent of the Charles Perrault (author of “Mother Goose”); her fairy tales have entertained millions throughout the centuries, especially “La Belle et la Bête,” the earliest version of “Beauty and The Beast.” The Disney version of the story arrives on the legitimate stage during National Women’s History Month, and great seats are still available. The Nederlander production is extravagantly staged and makes for a magnificent spectacle. Chosen by expert theatre producers on Broadway, this touring show will amaze and delight patrons of all ages.
The Berman Center for the Performing Arts
6600 W. Maple Road
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
Date: March 20, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
Molly Ringwald has been called “greatest teen star of all time” and gained national acclaim in teen angst films like “The Breakfast Club,” “Sixteen Candles” and “Pretty in Pink.” She is now all grown up and is a ravishing, sultry, auburn chanteuse. She makes her way to the Berman Center for one night only, performing selections from her jazz CD “Except Sometimes.” Ringwald told CBS in an exclusive interview that she counts Helen Kane (Betty Boop), Ella Fitzgerald, Blossom Dearie, Anita O’Day, Bessie Smith and Susannah McCorkle as women who have inspired her over the years as great jazz artists; she began listening to those woman at age three. A couple of the songs on her album were written by lyricist Dorothy Fields (writer of the songs in “Sweet Charity”), which Ringwald realized as she was putting together credits for her CD. During her show, she sings a song composed by Billie Holiday.
Ringwald noted her film character Andie Walsh in “Pretty in Pink” is a textbook example of a young woman with character, courage and commitment, the virtues celebrated in this year’s Women’s History Month. The actress is also a successful author; her book “When It Happens to You” resonates broadly with readers from all walks of life. In one of the chapters, a little boy wants to be called Olivia. Ringwald explains the stress and frustration of being transgendered in a monochrome world. She revealed that she has a number of good friends who are transgendered and the chapter attempts to explain how parents deal with the issue emotionally when their child does not identify with cookie-cutter gender roles. She was inspired to write the story after taking her little girl to pre-school and noticing young children she believed were likely transgender. Ringwald now has a 10 year old and four-year-old twins in whom she hopes to instill character. She’s teaching them to be kind, polite and daring. See her live at The Berman Center – it will be a special event.
Women Who Rock
The Henry Ford Museum
20900 Oakwood Blvd.
Dearborn, MI 48124
Date: May 17 – Aug. 17, 2014
Get your tickets now for a unique exhibition: “Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power” at the Henry Ford Museum this summer. This show parades a broad sampling of artifacts having provenance with female rock icons; for example, you can see the original sheet music from Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend,” the infamous meat dress worn by Lady Gaga and cleavage-enhancing bustier from Madonna’s Blond Ambition World Tour.
Macomb Center for the Performing Arts
44575 Garfield Road
Clinton Township, MI 48038
Date: March 27, 2014 at 7 p.m.
Helen Keller’s name is indelibly etched in the annals of American history as the preeminent activist for the sight and hearing impaired. On stage at the Macomb Center is “The Miracle Worker,” the story of the courageous and committed Helen Keller, who triumphs over arduous disabilities with the help of her tutor Anne Sullivan. The original Broadway production starred Patty Duke, and it was her very first starring role of her long career. The drama was turned into a 1962 film, for which Duke won an Academy Award. At the time, she was the youngest ever recipient of the Oscar in a competitive category. Duke later became a fierce advocate for people with mental illness.
Stagecrafters perform “Torch Song Trilogy”
415 S. Lafayette Ave.
Royal Oak, MI 48067
Date: March 28-30 and April 3-6, 10-13, 2014
Take a journey into the mind of the First Lady of Drag, Harvey Fierstein, where gender-bending offers a new look into what it means to be a woman. The dramedy “Torch Song Trilogy” posits being a woman is not necessarily having two X chromosomes. A favorite of the transgender community, this play is brutally honest about the insecurities and struggles a woman faces when she is born into a sex she cannot identify with.
Romero Anton Montalban-Anderssen is the winner of the 2009 first prize in journalism from the Detroit Working Writers Organization. He has seasonal residency in Detroit Michigan, The Italian Riviera, and Honolulu Hawaii. His work can be found at Examiner.com.