Broadway in the Burbs Packs Ferndale’s New Event Plaza

Broadway in the Burbs Packs Ferndale’s New Event Plaza

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Aug. 30, 2021)

Ferndale, MI – The Ferndale Community had a taste of coming together earlier this month with the inaugural event in the new event plaza area of W. Troy Street adjacent to “the dot” mixed use parking structure.  The area is designed to be easily closed off for events, like Broadway in the Burbs, which featured a live performance by Michigan Stage, a live painting demonstration, and booths for sharing city information.

Tim Pare is the Artistic Director for Michigan Stage, coordinating multiple musicians for a selection of classics, including songs like Beautiful, from Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,  Keeping the Faith, from Movin’ Out, and the Motown hit from Aretha Franklin, Natural Woman. The songs, he said, “ultimately they make us feel and move.”

The group performed three sets of songs spread out through the day, delighting neighbors and attracting visitors to Downtown Ferndale where many stayed to eat, shop, and enjoy the community’s plethora of public art pieces.

City staff was also on hand to share information about environmental sustainability efforts, city services, and even a chance to practice voting or register to vote.  Oakland County Health Division was also on hand offering vaccinations.  Ferndale Police and Fire Departments were also there to meet residents and provide cool drinks of water to the thirsty guests.

“It was so emotional to watch the audience tap their toes, clap along and sway to the music, easy and relaxed in a crowd for the first time in so long, almost just giving themselves over to the music,” Pare said.  “We chose the finale from Dear Evan Hansen, because its such a beautiful song, so hopeful. My dad came to a rehearsal and cried, and then came back and cried at every performance!”

“It was so energizing, revitalizing to see people connected again, enjoying live singing, and Broadway no less!”

Downtown Ferndale is hosting a series of mini concerts each Saturday through Sept. 25, with most being held at Schiffer Park.  For a glimpse at that recently re-designed pocket park, check out our story on the first performance, featuring Ryan Allen.

As far as Michigan Stage, their next project is a world premiere, punk-rock, drag extravaganza at Ant Hall in Hamtramck, called Looking Back Through Stained Glass. Fun for audiences ages 13+ with special matinees for all ages. Sept 30-Oct 10th. Tickets and more info can be found at

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