Sara Kline (left) as Dromio of Ephesus, George Abud as Antipholus of Ephesus, Andrick Siegmund as Antipholus of Syracuse and Megan Fuller as Dromio of Syracuse.
By Sue Suchyta
Whether finding your heart’s desire means seeking the comfort of home, the magic of the land over the rainbow, over finding your true identity, theater can help you get there. And larger-than-life characters bring the magic to life whether their words came from Shakespeare or classic children’s author L. Frank Baum.
To that end, the musical “The Wizard of Oz” continues at the Fisher Theatre through Sunday, and modern media heroes utter the words of the immortal bard in Wayne State University’s production of Shakespeare’s, “The Comedy of Errors” Feb. 19 to 21 and 26 to 28.
THE COMEDY OF ERRORS
Two pairs of identical but separated twins create a comic journey of mistaken identity in Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors.” And in a creative twist, the director has taken the visual persona of our modern superheroes to make Shakespeare’s heroes leap off the page, if not exactly over tall buildings with a single bound.
Dearborn talent is well represented in the campus undergraduate production. Kerianne Fergurson is the Abbess, Annabelle Young is a courtesan, William Turbett is Pinch, and Jacqueline Michnuk is in the ensemble.
“Comedy of Errors” plays up the theme of mistaken identity. When two sets of masters and servants collide in the same city, life will never be the same.
Director Jesse Mertz uses superheroes to bring the characters to life in a fresh and original way with a script that has already been loved for century and embraced by generations of theater lovers. Professor Mary Copenhagen provides the show’s costume design.
The show will be performed for two weekends at Wayne State University’s Bonstelle Theatre, Feb. 19 to 21, and 26 to 28.
Friday and Saturday shows are at 8 p.m., with 2 p.m. Sunday matinees.
Tickets are available at the Hilberry box office, 4743 Cass at Hancock, from 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, or by phone at 313-577-2960. To purchase tickets online, go to www.wsushows.com, or at the door at the Bonstelle Theatre on Woodward.
The Bonstelle is located at 3424 Woodward in Detroit, near the Red Cross and Orchestra Hall, with free, well-lit parking. Regular tickets are $15, with $12 tickets available for seniors and WSU faculty, staff and alumni association members. Student rush tickets are $10 the night of the performance. Group discounts are also available. Visit the theater’s web site at www.bonstelle.com.
THE WIZARD OF OZ
When the yellow brick road sounds more attractive than the snow-covered freeway, head over to the Fisher Theatre for the family friendly musical, “The Wizard of Oz.” The beloved musical will be in town through Feb. 14.
While “Wicked’ may have changed your impression of the land “Over the Rainbow” forever, you can’t help enjoying the classic songs that are a part of lives: “Over the Rainbow,” “Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead,” “Follow the Yellow Brick Road,” and “We’re Off to See the Wizard.”
Who among us doesn’t have memories of watching Judy Garland on a television in our living room, or playing a Munchkin in a school play? What little girl hasn’t longed for a pair of ruby slippers at some point in her life? Oz is a land of the imagination as much as literature, and brings the joy of music and happily-ever-after to the stage.
The sets are colorful, and although Cassie Okenka as Dorothy is made to look like the iconic Judy Garland, her talent stands on its own. You’ll have fun watching Toto make his entrances and exits, too.
In an interesting twist, Aunt Em, played by Kristin Stewart, is double cast as Glinda the Good Witch. It gives us a chance to see Dorothy’s aunt as a relatively young woman trying to survive in the demanding environment of a Midwest American farm early in our century.
Dorothy’s helpers – the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion – played by Adam Jepsen, Peter Gosik, and Jesse Coleman, respectively – are fun to watch and enjoy some great lines and creative choreography as they help Dorothy find her heart’s desire on her way home as they gain wisdom, a heart, and courage. And who couldn’t use good friends in times like these? Sometimes having a trio of heroes at your back is better than a hundred Facebook friends in cyberspace.
The show runs through Sunday. Tuesday through Saturday night shows are at 7:30 p.m. There are 1 p.m. matinees Thursday and Sunday and a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday.
For tickets, go to TicketMaster or the Fisher Theatre box office. To buy tickets online, go to www.ticketmaster.com, or www.BroadwayinDetroit.com. To order by phone, call TicketMaster at (800) 982-2787.
For more information, visit www.BroadwayinDetroit.com.