WSCC concert offered for Sept. 16-17

SCOTTVILLE — West Shore Community College’s Preforming Arts Series is proud to introduce “Sophisticated Melody — An Evening of Unexpected Songs” in the Center Stage Theater, Sept. 16-17 at 7:30 p.m. The musical evening will feature popular local singers and musical theater performers Michelle Kiessel, Margretta Dumas, John Reed and Bruce Rillema, with Char Betka on piano. The cabaret evening is directed by Sharon Steward.

According to WSCC Performing Arts Series director, Rick Plummer, “This collaboration of musical talent is really something to be experienced.” He adds, “It will be a night of surprising twists and soothing ballads, a night that anyone who enjoys the musical arts can’t afford to miss.”

The stars of the night come from different backgrounds and different lives, but they all share a passion for music and performance.

Michelle Kiessel, mother of two, has had experience in theater and music since her introduction to the preforming arts in her high school production of Oklahoma, in which she played Laurey. Since then she has been involved in many productions at WSCC, Muskegon Community College, and Muskegon Civic Theater.

Michelle’s most recent acting/singing assignments have included Sally Bowles (Cabaret), Marion the Librarian (The Music Man), and Maria (The Sound of Music) all on stage at the historic Ramsdell Theatre. She has also been seen on stage at the Ludington Center for the Arts in this summer’s production of The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later and in the two person musical The Last 5 Years during the summer of 2009.

If you have been to the movies this summer you may have also seen Michelle on the big screen as a teller in the bank robbery scene in the film 30 Minute or Less, filmed partially in Ludington.

Another lover of the musical theater, Bruce Rillema, has past experience on the Ramsdell stage in Annie Get Your Gun and last season’s Cabaret. He is a Ludington local with strong ties to the community, as well as the owner of Pierrot Hair Design.

Margretta Dumas’ latest musical projects have been Cabaret, which she portrayed Fraulein Kost, and Gypsy, in which she was Mama Rose.

John Reed has enjoyed music and theater forever. He has performed in musicals, dramas and comedies in St. Joseph, Michigan, as well as his college years and locally. He studied music and trained vocally at Michigan State University. He has performed in plays and musicals locally with WSCC, the Ramsdell Theater, and the Lake Forest Performing Arts Company including Godspell, Little Shop of Horrors, Chapter Two, Don’t Dress for Dinner and many others. Recently, you may have enjoyed him in the Manistee Civic Players and WSCC productions of Annie Get Your Gun and Cabaret.

Charlotte Betka is the accompanist for the evening. A consummate piano and keyboard artist and accompanist, Char has vocally coached young and not so young singers and directed church choirs throughout Mason and Manistee counties.

Char served as vocal director for Annie Get Your Gun at the Ramsdell Theater. Most recently Char served as a backup singer in Fremont John’s Benefit Show for the Food Bank of St. Simon’s & St. Jerome’s Catholic Churches. When she is not busy helping everyone else shine on stage, Char loves to perform on stage as in one of her favorite WSCC productions of Fiddler on the Roof in which she played Golde, the sharp-tongued wife of Tevye.

The show is directed by Sharon Steward and produced by Rick Plummer. Musicians Remington Greiner and Chad Rushing will be featured on bass guitar and drums.

Steward says “It will prove to be a night of elegance and contentment, with a few surprises thrown in to keep the audience on their toes. The mixing of seasoned voices and comedic banter will leave every audience member amused and entertained.”

Tickets for “Sophisticated Melody-An Evening of Unexpected Songs” are available by calling the WSCC Box Office at 843-5507.

For further information about this concert, call Plummer at 843-5928, or email him at