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Croswell Opera House shines after renovation


Croswell Opera House in Adrian has reopened after a yearlong renovation.

Stage, Croswell Opera House, Adrian, Michigan

Photo: Croswell Opera House Stage, Croswell Opera House, Adrian, Mich.

The Croswell, named for Charles Croswell, 17th governor of Michigan who helped build the theater, first opened in 1866. The League of Historic American Theatres lists it as the oldest in Michigan. The theater has been in continuous operation for 151 years.

Jere Righter, artistic director, said the renovations were aimed at making the Croswell viable as a 21st-century producing theater while preserving its historic character.

Changes included adding more restrooms, installing an elevator and creating new public spaces inside the building, including a studio theater that will serve as a second performance venue. Electrical, lighting and sound equipment was also upgraded.

“This project was all about creating a better experience for the audience and making the Croswell more sustainable,” Righter said. “At the same time, we wanted to keep all of the things that make the Croswell what it is and stay true to that heritage.”

Tatiana Owens and Dan Clair as Felicia Farrell and Huey Calhoun, 2015 production of 'Memphis,' Croswell Opera House, Adrian, Michigan

Photo: WePhoto Tatiana Owens and Dan Clair as Felicia Farrell and Huey Calhoun, 2015 production of ‘Memphis,’ Croswell Opera House, Adrian, Mich.

The auditorium, which seats 640 people and features elaborate plaster detailing that dates from 1921, maintained its previous appearance. The theater was repainted and its floor refinished, with new carpeting and curtains, but its architectural elements were left unchanged.

Remaining shows in the 2017 Broadway season are Beauty and the Beast, Sept. 22–Oct. 1; The Family Digs, Oct. 13–Oct. 22; Branson on the Road, Nov. 11; and Meet me in St. Louis, Nov. 25–Dec. 3.

Discounted tickets are available for groups of 14 or more.

Tours and cast talks are done on a case-by-case basis.

Motorcoach parking is nearby.

For more information, call 517-263-6868 or visit

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About Author

David Hoekman, Managing Editor

David Hoekman is a former newspaperman on a quest to tell the stories of the world’s various places and cultures in compelling ways. He especially enjoys learning and writing about the business of group travel. His favorite destination is wherever he is going next and his travel tip is to always pack an emergency granola bar or two.

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