Whether you’re swinging to a jungle beat or a joyful noise, there are upcoming musical delights, as the Downriver Actors Guild presents Disney’s “Jungle Book Kids” and Wayne State University rocks a sacred song in “Sister Act – the Musical.”
Disney’s “Jungle Book Kids,” presented by the preteens at the Downriver Actors Guild, runs 7 p.m. April 13, 14, 20 and 21, and 3 p.m. April 15 and 22 at the Catherine A. Daly Theatre on the Avenue, 2656 Biddle, Wyandotte.
Director Debbie Aue said as a youth program and a non-auditioned show, the production has two casts and 70 children enrolled. Each cast has its own weekend run of performances. The 35-minute production also runs the Monday following each weekend as a field trip show for area schools.
“We incorporate some of the life lessons that this show has to offer the kids,” Aue said. “We stress that they are unique, have talents and their own abilities. The show says, ‘Don’t try to fit in when you were born to stand out.’ We want them to understand that they are who they are, and to be proud of it.”
Aue said Mowgli learns a life lesson by ignoring his mentors, but the overall message of the show is that life is better if you don’t let stress get you down.
“You learn to live it, and that is the whole ‘Bare Necessities’ kind of thing,” she said. “Baloo is our laid-back character, trying to teach Mowgli to relax and enjoy life. Bagheera is more high strung, and trying to make sure Mowgli gets to the man village safely. There is that constant battle between the stressful and the relaxed method of parenting, if you want to call it that.”
Aue said the show is also about the strong force of love, with wolves who have raised a child as their own.
“Our world could use more of that kind of compassion,” Aue said.
She said the show also lets the children in the cast explore their creativity as they develop their characters.
“I like the Disney stuff for the beginner programs, because most of them are a character, and the kids don’t feel intimidated to explore that creativity,” Aue said. “We are there to teach them the basics of stage movement and projection, but this is also their time to explore their comfort level for developing characters. They do let loose with the creatures more than they do playing humans.”
Jason Kolbusz of Riverview, who plays Mowgli in cast 1, said the show conveys the message that it is OK to be different. He said the show is energetic and fun.
He said the most challenging part playing Mowgli was developing all his different facial expressions, while the most fun is becoming a different person.
“To be angry, sad, or just really funny is awesome,” he said.
Jungle Book cast 1 includes Allen Park residents Aubrey and Sierra Johnson as Bumble Bees; Brownstown Township residents Cameron Abel as Shere Khan, Calleigh Butler as Kaa Head the snake, a flower, and a monkey; and Lucia Ericson as Kaa Coil snake No. 1 and a wolf.
Also, Flat Rock residents Ellie Beesley as Kaa Coil snake No. 2 and a wolf, Lucy Beesley as a wolf, Enzo Bonomo as King Louie and an elephant, and Edna Bonomo as a baby elephant; Grosse Ile Township residents Gia Rosati as a flower and Julia Williams as Narrator No. 2, and Huron Township resident Vincent Mazzotta as elephant No. 2 and vulture No. 4.
Also, Lincoln Park residents Elyse Hoss as Narrator No. 3, a flower, a monkey, and Shanti’s mom, and Keira Workman as Kaa Coil snake No. 4 and an elephant; New Boston resident Joshua Dauzy as Colonel Hath and a wolf; Newport resident Antonella Menna as Baloo; and Redford Township resident Lola Kelly as a wolf.
Also, Riverview residents Nora Borne as a flower, Elizabeth Fleming as Bagheera, Jason Kolbusz as Mowgli, and Brianna Long as the coconut tree; Rockwood resident Addisyn Slepicka as elephant No. 1 and vulture No. 2; Southgate residents Parker Watson as head council wolf, and Sawyer Watson as Narrator No. 4 and the silly monkey.
Also, Taylor resident Kaylyn Messer as Shanti; Trenton residents Samantha Heady as a flower and Isabelle Sarkody as an elephant and vulture No. 3; Westland resident Emily Ascencio as Winifred and vulture No. 1; and Wyandotte residents Lia Lenihan as Kaa Coil snake No. 3 and a bumble bee, Iyla Nordstrom as Kaa Coil snake No. 5 and a flower, Vivian Nordstrom as the sassy monkey and the wolf mother, and Landon Petrowski as the old monkey and the wolf.
Jungle Book cast 2 include Allen Park residents Delainie Eskin as the sassy monkey, and Kendra Farnham as Winifred; Dearborn Heights resident Lexi Danielson-Francois as the Wolf Head of Council, vulture No. 4 and an elephant, and Leo Denny as a wolf; Grosse Ile Township residents Kate Bargamian as Narrator No. 2 and elephant No. 2, Olivia Emanuele as Shanti, Izzy Kalisz as Shanti’s Mom, Kaa Coil snake No. 4 and a flower.
Also, Brownstown Township residents Riley Barbee as Kaa Coil snake No. 3, vuture No. 1, and an elephant; Ada Cain as grumpy monkey, Nora Cain as Narrator No. 4 and a wolf; Sydney Czopek as Kaa Coil snake No. 2 and a flower; Parker Forgach as Baloo; and Cecilia Fioritto as Narrator No. 1 and elephant No. 1.
Also Lincoln Park residents Sophia Brewer as a bumble bee; Rockwood residents Natalie Whitacre as an elephant, and Naomi Whitacre as a monkey; Southgate residents Maks Kiss as the Old Monkey, Kaylynn Kiss as a bumble bee, Carly Serpetti as King Louie, Kaa Coil snake No. 1 and a flower, and Cassie Serpetti as the silly monkey.
Also South Rockwood resident Charlotte London as Colonel Hathi, and a flower; Taylor resident Kaitlyn Aguila as Kaa Head snake and a flower, Kyla Aguila as Mowgli, Aaron Aguila as a wolf, Nora Aue as a baby elephant, and Lillian Erwin as a wolf; Trenton resident Joanna Bailey as a coconut tree and vulture No. 2, Mia Morgan as Bagheera, Fiona Morgan as a wolf and monkey, and Conor Stevens as a wolf.
Also Wyandotte residents Andrew Dmitruchina as Shere Khan, Evelyn Howard as a monkey, Lillian Howard as a bumble bee, Madelyn Howard as Kaa Coil snake No. 4, vulture No. 3, and a bumble bee, Alaina Lough as an elephant, and Nadia Pers as Narrator No. 3 and a monkey.
Tickets are $10. To order, call 734-407-7020 or go to downriveractorsguild.net.
‘SISTER ACT – THE MUSICAL’ AT BONSTELLE THEATRE
When nightclub singer Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder, she must go into protective custody to stay alive. But who knew a change of habit would happen so literally, as the lounge diva becomes a singing nun?
As Sister Mary Clarence, Deloris transforms the lackluster choir into a divine singing sensation, revitalizing the church, but blowing her cover in the process.
The show runs 8 p.m. April 13, 14, 20 and 21; 3 p.m. April 15 and 22, and 2 p.m. April 18 at Wayne State University’s Bonstelle Theatre, 3424 Woodward, Detroit.
Tickets are $27, with a $5 discount for seniors, alumni, faculty and staff. Student tickets, with valid identification, are $12. To order, call 313-577-2972 or go to theatreanddanceatwayne.edu.
‘BEST OF BROADWAY’ COMES TO THE FORD CENTER
“The Dearborn Symphony Orchestra has some special guests at its 8 p.m. April 13 “Best of Broadway” concert: The talented dancers from the Noretta Dunworth School of Dance will perform the finale from “A Chorus Line.”
Noretta Dunworth, 90, still teaches at the dance studio bearing her name with her daughter, Loni Lane, and her granddaughter, Casey Quinn.
Tickets are $15 to $35. To order, call 313-565-2424 or go to dearbornsymphony.org.”
DYPAC PRESENTS ‘ZOMBIE PROM’
The Downriver Youth Performing Arts Center presents the musical “Zombie Prom” at 7 p.m. April 13 and 14, and 2 p.m. April 14 and 15 at the Trenton Village Theatre, 2447 W. Jefferson.
“Zombie Prom,” set at Enrico Fermi High School, located near an unstable nuclear power plant, centers on the forbidden love of rebel Jonny and good girl Toffee, their nemesis and principal Miss Strict, and a tabloid reporter Eddie Flagrante.
Nicholas Fioretti, 18, of Riverview plays Jonny; with Makena Shell, 17, of Woodhaven as Toffee; Lexi Nadolsky, 16, of Southgate, as Delilah Strict, Jayme Dills, 14, of Brownstown Township as Candy; Youssef Fadel, 14, of Brownstown Township as Jake; Fouad Diry, 17, of Woodhaven as Josh; and Ashley Marshall, 16, of Trenton as Coco.
Tickets are $10 to $15, and are available online at dypac.com.