Photo by Cynthia Frabutt
In Act I of “Plaza Suite,” Valerie Haas (left) of Inkster plays Karen Nash, who reserves suite 719, where she and her husband, Sam, played by Philip Booth of Dearborn, honeymooned, hoping to rekindle their romance in “Visitor from Mamaroneck.”
Sometimes funny, and sometimes sad, we can all take away lessons from the Neil Simon comedy “Plaza Suite” which launches the former Dearborn Heights Civic Theatre’s first play of the season as the newly named Ghost Light Players.
“Plaza Suite” runs at 8 p.m. Nov. 8, 9, 15 and 16 in the auditorium at Henry Ford Centennial Library, 16301 Michigan Ave. in Dearborn. Advance ticket sales run 5 to 9 p.m. Nov. 5 and 7, with tickets available at the door for $15, with a $12 rate for students and senior citizens. For group discounts contact director/producer Marc Walentowicz at [email protected]
In the show, three different stories unfold in Suite 719 of the Plaza
Hotel in New York City in the course of a year.
Patrick Coon, who directs “Visitor from Mamaroneck,” said the show is a funny and enjoyable, with good humor and situations
that are timeless.
“People that have been married a long time will see how the characters relate to each other, getting older and stuff like that,” Coon said. “But I think it will appeal to a younger crowd, too, because there are scenes that are funny and arguments that are funny.”
“Visitor from Mamaroneck” focuses on Sam and Karen Nash, played, respectively, by Philip Booth of Dearborn and Valerie
Haas of Inkster. When Karen reserves Suite 719, their honeymoon suite, she hopes to rekindle their romance. Co-conspirators during their stay include the bellhop, played by Michael Kinnell of Dearborn; the waiter, played by Brian Tillman of Dearborn; and Sam’s secretary, Jean McCormack, played by Andrea McGrath of Garden City.
Haas said the show still appeals to audiences 45 years after it debuted because people do not change that much no matter where or when their stories happen. “Relationships are the same,” Haas said. “You fall in love with people, you cheat on people, and the people who you cheated on get mad at you for cheating on them, and things like that don’t change.”
The second set of characters in Suite 719 features guest Jesse in “Visitor from Hollywood.”
A famous movie producer, he is in town for business and perhaps pleasure with his former flame Muriel Tate, played by Joelle Schade of South Lyon. Muriel, now married with children, wants to hear about his exciting career.
In “Visitor from Forest Hills,” the Hubley family checks into Suite 719 before a wedding. Roy and Norma Hubley, played, respectively, by Sean Randolph of Canton and Margaret Kinnell of Dearborn, try to convince their daughter Mimsey Hubley, played by Emily Gedert of Canton, to get over her case of cold feet before her scheduled wedding with her husband-to-be, Borden Eisler, played by her real-life fiancé Barret Kaltz of Canton.
Haas said the universality of Simon’s work has held up since he wrote “Come Blow Your Horn” in 1961 because of the timeless way he portrays people.
“They communicate something to people about being a person, about being human, about being in love,” Haas saida “about having relationships with people either in your family or people that you want to have a relationship with, and so I think that is what makes it so universal.”
Haas said the Henry Ford Centennial Library Auditorium is a transitional venue for the group until they can find a suitable