Guild presents ‘Once on this Island’ and Ringwald presents ‘Dirty Prancing’
Love stories take center stage this week as the Players Guild of Dearborn presents “Once on this Island” starring its Guildling teen ensemble and the Ringwald presents the parody “Dirty Prancing” with Dearborn actor Michael Suchyta playing Johnny and choreographing the show.
PGD PRESENTS ‘ONCE ON THIS ISLAND’
The Players Guild of Dearborn presents the musical “Once on this Island,” with book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty, featuring the teen Guildling ensemble at 7:30 p.m. July 13 to 15 and 2:30 p.m. July 16 at the theater, 21730 Madison, Dearborn.
Directed by Marc Walentowicz, the show, set on a tropical island in the Caribbean, follows a peasant girl who uses the power of love to bring together the people of different classes.
Kori Bielaniec is the assistant director, with Eric Floetke as the music director and Emma Garber as the choreographer.
The cast includes Matthew Apostle as Tonton Julian, Christina Bertucci as Little Ti Moune, Molly Boudreau as Mama Euralie, Graham Dallas as Papa Ge and Case Dekoning as Agwe.
Katie Garber plays Ti Moune, with Noah Goddard as Daniel, Hailey Hayward as Andrea, Maddie Kaplan as Erzulie, Kayla Katona as Asaka, and Anthony Pierzynowski as Armand.
The ensemble includes Maddie Baker, Zainab Hamadi, Quinn Higgins, Allison Koehler, Maya Liljegren, Ellie Morris, Isabel Pierzynowski and Heather Slanec.
Kaplan said the show is a mix of “Moana,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Romeo and Juliet.”
“It has aspects where you have different gods like ‘Moana,’ ‘The Little Mermaid’ because you have a girl who is really adventurous, and ‘Romeo and Juliet’ because you have two lovers from different sides that can’t marry and can’t fall in love,” Kaplan said. “It’s a show like you’ve never seen before, the songs are beautiful, and there’s something for everyone.”
Kaplan said both children and adults will enjoy the show, the costume are bright-colored, and it is a whirlwind of emotions.
Anthony Pierzynowski said the show has the sad elements of “Romeo and Juliet” but it has a lot of upbeat songs and themes that audiences will enjoy.
“A lot of the harmonies in the show sound pretty cool,” he said. “We have a lot of elaborate dance numbers. Kids will enjoy the full out dancing and singing and older people will appreciate the depth and meaning behind the show.”
Tickets are $12. To order, call 313-561-TKTS or go to playersguildofdearborn.org.
DEARBORN MAN CHOREOGRAPHS, PLAYS LEAD IN ‘DIRTY PRANCING’
Dearborn resident Michael Suchyta plays Johnny and choreographs “Dirty Prancing” a “Dirty Dancing” parody July 14 to Aug. 7 at the Ringwald Theatre, 22742 Woodward in Ferndale.
Set in the Catskills in 1963, Frank “Baby” is sweet daddy’s boy who goes with his family to a resort in upstate New York, where Baby falls for the resort’s sultry dance instructor, Johnny. When their cultures collide, Baby’s world will never be the same, and no one will ever “put Baby in a corner” again.
Suchyta said Patrick Swayze’s character Johnny in the movie thinks he’s nothing because people have always told him he’s nothing.
“Through his love for Baby, he comes to accept that we’re all the same at our core,” he said. “The background of the individual isn’t what matters. It’s how they treat another human being.”
He said while the parody gives the show its humor, the underlying story is what draws crowds.
“I’m invested in demonstrating that the same story can be told whether the leads are gay, straight or somewhere in between those two ends of the spectrum,” he said. “Love is love is love. That’s what you’ll find in this incredible production.”
Directed by Brandy Joe Plambeck, with Dyan Bailey as assistant director, the cast includes Jake Rydell as Baby, Patrick JT Flanagan as Dad, Artun Kircali as Robbie, Bailey Boudreau as Lee, Manning Goldman as Penny, Miles Bond as Billy and Kyle Johnson as Max.
Show times are 8 p.m. July 14, 15, 17, 21, 22, 24, 28, 29 and 31, and Aug. 4, 5 and 7, with a 5 p.m. Aug. 6 performance.
The show contains adult language and situations.
Tickets are $20 on Friday and Saturday, with a $5 discount for students with valid identification, and $10 on Mondays and the one Sunday show. To order, go online to TheRingwald.com. Tickets may also be purchased at the box office beginning 45 minutes prior to performances.