Dearborn Heights Civic Theatre presents the Michigan premier of “Curtains,” a musical comedy whodunit. The show opens 8 p.m. Friday and runs Saturday; Sept. 25 and 26; Oct. 2 and 3. All shows start at 8 p.m. at the Berwyn Center, 26155 Richardson in Dearborn Heights. For more information or to buy tickets online go to www.dhctstage.org. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $13 for students and seniors. The cast includes Theresa Booth (left), Corey Quinn, Tiffany New, Joe Gaber, Mariam Mustafa, Pat Coon, Erin Stucki, Kat Hill, Greg Gedert, Chase Montgomery, Emily Gedert, Phil Booth, Bill Brezina, Carissa Madley, Dylan Frabutt, Vicki Morgan and Aaron Adamkiewicz.
By Sue Suchyta
The Studio Theatre, in the basement of Wayne State University’s Hilberry Theatre, offers three more performances of Sam Shepherd’s “Tooth of Crime” at 2 and 8 p.m. today and 4 p.m. tomorrow.
The show features Jim Hamid of Dearborn as Meera and the Ref, as well as Dearborn costume designer Tracy Machak and stage manager Annabelle Young.
The play is difficult to understand at times due to the trendy jargon and the intentional naturalism of the speech patterns. You will grasp the overall concept, though, even if you’re unfamiliar with the gaming references.
This two-act play follows a battle between two ultimate gamers, Hoss and his young rival, Crow. Each battles for psychic territory. Hoss has three alter egos: a gunslinger, a gangster and a blues singer, each of which represents an element of his style. When Hoss confronts Crow, he discovers that he must face his own weaknesses as well.
The play provides a good vehicle for student actors and technicians to hone their craft. The onstage roles are emotional and intense, while the production values are edgy and dark. The world seems almost post-apocalyptic in its presentation, and one wonders if it is set in a future world where “The Game” becomes the means of psychic survival.
The cast includes: Patrick Loos of Detroit as Hoss; Katie Lietz Flannery (Livonia) as Becky; George Abud (Grosse Pointe Woods) as Crow; Joe Hamid (Dearborn) as Meera/Ref; Justin Wagner (New Baltimore) as Ruido Ran; Brady Flannery (Livonia) as Chaser; Samantha Moltmaker (Harrison Township) as Doc; Steve Carson (New Baltimore) as Hoss’s Gunslinger; Anthony Kisner (Detroit) as Hoss’s Bluesman; and Alex Hill (Detroit) as Hoss’s Gangster.
The show is directed by Alexandre Bleau of Montreal, with a strikingly simple — yet starkly scary —set design by Adam Crinson. Lighting was designed by Bobby Tacoma of Livonia, with costume by Tracy Machak (Dearborn), and the stage is managed by Annabelle Young (Dearborn).
Heights Theatre presents “Curtains”
“Curtains,” presented by Dearborn Heights Civic Theatre, is a backstage murder mystery set in 1959 Boston. The plot revolves around the cast and crew of a Broadway-bound musical who all become suspects after the show’s leading lady mysteriously drops dead onstage while taking her final bow to the sound of applause.
“Curtains” is a musical from the creators of “Cabaret” and “Chicago,” with lyrics by Fred Ebb and music by John Kander. The musical send-up follows the fallout when the supremely untalented star of Robbin’ Hood of the Old West is murdered during her opening night curtain call. Can a police detective who moonlights as a musical theater fan save the show, solve the case and maybe even find love before the show reopens — all without getting killed himself?
With direction from Carissa Madley, assisted by Marc Wallentowicz, choreography by Angie Kane Ferrante and musical direction by Marcus LaPratt, the collaborative team enjoyed being the first community theater in Michigan to produce the sensational musical fresh from Broadway and the 2008 Tony awards.
The talented cast features many Dearborn and Dearborn Heights residents, along with Dearborn High School thespians and alumni. Chase Montgomery, an internationally acclaimed actor from Windsor, Ontario, portrays the lead role of Lt. Frank Cioffi, a detective and community theater ham who is backstage to investigate a murder but also is thrilled to be rubbing elbows with the performers.
Kat Hill is Carmen Bernstein, the aggressive, determined and sometimes ruthless producer. Emily Gedert, is Niki Harris, the sweet, too-good-to-be-true ingenue. Madley is Georgia Henricks, the lyricist. She’s also Aaron Fox’s partner, ex-wife and a former dancer and singer who is later forced to replace Jessica after she is killed. Nathaniel Schick is the aforementioned Fox, the “slightly mad” composer of “Robbin’ Hood” who is still in love with Georgia.
Dylan Frabutt is Bobby Pepper, the choreographer and leading man of “Robbin’ Hood.” Victoria Morgan is Bambi Bernet, the ambitious understudy and chorus dancer. Phil Booth is Christopher Belling, the egomaniacal and tempermental director. He loathes Jessica and spits out witty and scathing comments at every opportunity.
Greg Gedert is Johnny Harmon, the stage manager. Paul Morgan is Daryl Grady, the Boston Globe critic who has given “Robbin’ Hood” a very bad review but has stuck around to cover the crime. Bill Brezina is Oscar Shapiro, a bigwig in the garment industry and first-time investor in “Robbin’ Hood” who doesn’t understand theater people, but is trying hard to fit in.
Erin Stucki is Jessica Cranshaw, the star, a talentless leading lady. Sidney Bernstein is Carmen’s sleazy producer husband from New York.
The “Curtains” ensemble features the talents of Pat Coon as Harv Freemont, Corey Quinn as Randy Dexter, Mariam Mustafa as Roberta Wooster, Joe Gaber as Brick Hawvermall, Theresa Booth as Jane Setler and Tiffany New as Mona Page.
“Curtains,” a musical comedy whodunit, opens at 8 p.m. Friday, and runs Saturday; Sept. 25 and 26; and Oct. 2 and 3. All performances begin at 8 p.m. at the Berwyn Center, 26155 Richardson, Dearborn Heights. For more information or to buy tickets online go to www.dhctstage.org.
Tickets cost $15 for adults and $13 for students and seniors. Group rates are available for purchases of 10 or more tickets. As an added bonus with this production, Berwyn producers have added more comfortable seating.