By SUE SUCHYTA
Dearborn Heights native Brandon Grantz plays the lead role of Bernard in Marc Camoletti’s hilarious farce, “Boeing, Boeing” Sept. 19 through Oct. 4 at Wayne State University’s Hilberry Theatre.
Bernard romances three flight attendants: an American, Italian and German. However, when technology increases the speed of passenger jets, he struggles to keep each from crossing paths with the other two, with hysterical results.
Grantz, a graduate of Crestwood High School, studied acting at Henry Ford College and Eastern Michigan University before joining the Hilberry graduate theater company two years ago.
He said the role of Bernard derives comedy from the constant entrances and exits of characters through multiple doors in a single location. Prior to Bernard, he played the comic role of Sganarelle in Moliere’s “The Doctor in Spite of Himself,” which, in contrast, relied on stock characters, masks, extensive improvisation and multiple locations.
Grantz said working with guest director Lenny Banovez of New York City has been a mixture of hard work and fun for the cast.
“Our ensemble is very lucky to get a chance to work with Lenny,” Grantz said. “He is making sure we understand the rhythms and precision involved in making this play work.”
He said “Boeing, Boeing” invokes audience laughter from beginning to end, fulfills their expectations and has them coming back for more.
For tickets and more information, call 313-577-2972, go to wsushows.com, or go to the box office at 4743 Cass in Detroit.
DIVINE CHILD REPRISES ‘LES MIZ’ FOR STAGE REPAIR FUNDRAISER
Dearborn Divine Child High School will perform a fundraiser concert featuring “Les Miserable” music at 8 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center in Dearborn.
Proceeds from the concert, which will feature reprised performances from the school’s 2014 spring musical, will benefit the theater program and stage restoration.
Damage to the school’s auditorium caused by the Aug. 11 excessive rainfall left the stage extensively damaged, and ruined many costumes and props.
Theater director Elisa Noeske said the “Les Miz” staging will differ from the spring show, but will feature costumes, exceptional singing and performances to create a memorable night of theater.
DAG ANNOUNCES CAST FOR ‘LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS’
The Downriver Actors Guild opens the musical “Little Shop of Horrors” with a 9 p.m. Halloween performance and party at the Theater on the Avenue, 2656 Biddle in Wyandotte. Other performances are at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1, 7, and 8 and 3 p.m. Nov. 2 and 9.
Tickets are $15, with $12 admission for seniors and students. For tickets or more information, call 313-303-5269 or go to downriveractorsguild.net.
In “Little Shop of Horrors” when Seymour, a Skid Row florist assistant, discovers an alien plant, he gains fame and fortune. His newfound luck comes at a price, however, because the plant has a lust for human blood. Seymour must decide how far he is willing to go to fulfill his dreams.
Director Denny Connors of Allen Park said he feels blessed to have a cast that includes top talent from the area.
“They’re amazing,” Connors said. “They’ve hit these characters dead on from day one. They are true professionals in every sense of the word.”
He said “Little Shop” is going to be an amazing production with many unexpected surprises.
“We’ve kind of taken ‘Little Shop’ and turned it on its ear a little bit,” Connors said. “But it wouldn’t be possible without this cast.”
The cast includes Randall Nicholls of Allen Park as Seymour, Jenna Gadille of South Rockwood as Audrey, Leo McMaster of Rockwood as Orin the sadistic dentist, and Jeff Powers of Huron Township as Mushnik.
Kayla Aue of Garden City plays Crystal, with Sydney Villanueva of Gibraltar as Ronnette and Kati Wood of Grosse Ile Township as Chiffon. Paul Primeau of Brownstown Township sings the role of Audrey 2, the plant.
The ensemble includes Ashley Blevins and Emily Braun of Allen Park; Don Corbin of Lincoln Park; Makenna Mariles of Riverview; Amanda Aue, David McDonald, and Jessalyn and Mitchell Sturm of Taylor; Chris Gawel and Bradley Hardecki of Woodhaven; and Spencer Genrich of Wyandotte.
Jane Beier and Wendy Fichter of Allen Park are the choreographer and musical director, respectively, with Peggy Partrich and Michelle Sturm of Taylor as co-producers, and Kristi Davis of Riverview as assistant director.
MOTOR CITY PLAYERS SETS AUDITION DATES
Auditions for the comedic romp “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare – Abridged” are scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 15 and 16 at the Motor City Theater, 27555 Grantland in Livonia. Jody Florkowski will direct the show. Performance dates are Nov. 14 to 16 and 21 to 23.
Those auditioning should provide a recent photo or head shot, and prepare for a movement and improvisation audition.
For more information, contact Nancy Florkowski at 313-535-8962 or [email protected].