The 30th annual Mayor’s Arts Awards offered a preview of the award-winning Stout Theater Company’s upcoming “Addams Family” musical April 10 at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center.
The company, which draws students from 17 public and private elementary and middle schools in Dearborn, received the Arts Organization Award at the annual event.
The students offered a talented array of scenes from past shows, including “Aladdin” and “Beauty and the Beast,” and offered a number from its next musical, “The Addams Family.”
Under the guidance of faculty advisers Rashid Baydoun and Lisa Cronin, the show runs 7 p.m. April 19 to 21 and 2 p.m. April 21 at the Stout Middle School auditorium, 18500 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn.
The cast includes Amen Salha as Gomez; Giana Lerini as Morticia; Majd Naser as Uncle Fester; Kaitlin Bell and Amenah Barakat double-cast as Grandma; Yasmeen Keaik and Gioia Lerini double-cast as Wednesday; Neveen Seklawi as Pugsley; and Caleb Gothro as Lurch.
Sami AlFaqee plays Mal Beineke, with Ayah Barakat as Alice Beineke; Nathan Gothro as Lucas Beineke; Emily Attard as Sandra Beineke; Zakaryah Barakat as Thing Addams; and Lindsay Adams as Cousin It.
The lead ancestors are played by Heba Albasrawi, Mahdi Aljaberi, Georgia Beatty, Selah Brace, Megan Buck, Molly Chinery, Conner Copeland, Iman Farran, Yareli Garza, Nadia Gellani, Sophia Mijat, Serene Nagi, Lamis Rahal, Olivia Rosales and Layla Salha.
Others in the ancestor ensemble include Brenna Ald, Sadiq Aljaberi, Alyssa Appleba, Salena Arkoub, Mohamad Barakat, Tessa Barkow, Eleanor Beatty, Acardia Burton, Kiera Catris, Teah Diedrich, Hussein Elhabhab, Nadine Elhabhab, Bella Fischer, Faith Ferguson, Ruthanne Ferguson, Medina Ferris, Addie Gothro, Melia Gothro, Matt Hermen, Mara Janke, Hawraa Jaward, Autumn Kelley, Hala Mallah, Ella Matt, Charlotte Monroe, Liliana Reynoso, Shane Sayyae, Reine Serhan and Ava White.
The student tech crew includes Abdulwahab Alabasi, Zena Ferris, Clara Kanclerz, Nicole McClain, Hayder Naje, Amira Salha, Seham Salha, Nadeen Seklawi and Olivia Zahed.
MAYOR’S ARTS AWARD WINNERS
In addition to the Stout Theater Company receiving the Arts Organization Award, six other awards were bestowed.
Sharon Baloga was presented with the Art Educator Award by past recipient Lisa Meyer, and the Arts Volunteer Award was presented to David Wood by Players Guild of Dearborn president John Sczomak.
Following a performance by the Silver Strings Dulcimer Society, the Artist and Performer Award was presented to Haydar Al Yasiry by Imad Hamad, executive director of the American Human Rights Council.
Park Place Caterers received the Arts Patron Award from Dearborn Community Arts Council Director Ralph Valdez, and City Councilwoman Leslie Herrick received the DCAC Bravo Award from arts advocate EmmaJean Woodyard.
Noretta Dunworth, 90, founder of the Noretta Dunworth School of Dance and active teacher in the studio bearing her name, received the Mayor’s Award from Dearborn City Council President Susan Dabaja in the mayor’s absence.
The awards were followed by a reception in the Padzieski Gallery.
DISCOVER A JOYFUL NOISE WITH ‘SISTER ACT’ AT WSU
Discover a joyful noise as Wayne State University rocks a sacred song in “Sister Act – the Musical” through April 22 at the Bonstelle Theatre.
When nightclub singer Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder, she must go in protective custody to stay alive. But when the lounge singer experiences a change of habit and becomes Sister Mary Clarence, she transforms the lackluster choir into a divine singing sensation, revitalizing the church, but blowing her cover in the process.
The show, which opened April 13, continues its run at 8 p.m. April 20 and 21; 3 p.m. April 22, and 2 p.m. April 18 at the Bonstelle Theatre, 3424 Woodward, Detroit.
Director Michael Barnes said the best part of directing “Sister Act” is experiencing the joy that is a key component of the show.
“Deloris’ entry into the nuns’ lives brings them newfound joy toward expressing their faith,” he said. “In turn, Deloris discovers the importance of making heartfelt connections with people around her. Living in the convent, she learns that sisterhood and love can outweigh any need for stardom and the material world.”
Barnes said the show is family-friendly, and is appealing to all ages.
“In a time when it feels that there is more dividing us than uniting us, it’s nice to be reminded that love and human connection can make a difference in our lives.”
Rachel Nicole Smith, who plays Deloris Van Cartier, said she is enjoying getting to know what made her character the way she is, and to see how she changes during the course of the show.
The music, which is powerful gospel and disco-inspired music, is the most challenging aspect of the show, Smith said.
“It is hard to get the correct placement for a song in the voice, sing all the correct words and convey meaning and feeling at the same time, but that is what is exciting about musical theater,” Smith said. “It is so rewarding when you can actually pull it off. The music is so fun. It would be amazing if the audience fell in love with the songs and the way we perform them.”
Luke Hodgson, who plays Monsignor O’Hara, said the music is a joyful noise.
“It will make you laugh and cry, and everything that a good musical will make you do,” Hodgson said. “The show is uplifting and energetic, and we look forward to performing this fantastic piece. It has been a great journey, with an amazing cast and crew.”
The cast also includes Kyle Sammy as Eddie Souther, Jack Cowper as Curtis Jackson, Madelyn Sly as the Mother Superior and Katelyn Bettendorf as Sister Mary Robert.
Lauren Alo plays Sister Mary Patrick, with Stephanie Bedore as Sister Mary Lazarus, Nigel Tutt as Joey, Perry Quarker Jr. as Pablo and Maxwell Golden as TJ.
Vanessa Fry plays Michelle, with Jake Rydell as Ernie and Madison Hamm as Sister Mary Martin-of-Tours.
The ensemble includes Katie Akers, Ashley Baylor, Cam Blackwell, Alice Duffy, Lexie Farrer, Vanessa Fry, Nicole Gerky, Lacey Gill, Madelynn Guerra, Stephanie Herman, Arnelle Kiney, Nikita Krylov, Laura Moore, Alex Morrison, Brooklyn Parks, Laura Rose, Jake Rydell and Samantha Sadler.
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.