Three markedly different plays – “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” “Young Frankenstein” and “Frozen Jr.” — share one undeniable thread: they’re all about family.
Whether it’s Dr. Frankenstein embracing his family legacy, Monty Navarro murdering his way up the family tree or Disney darlings learning life lessons, by the final curtain, one has a new perspective on family, and a smug measure of satisfaction that no one in their family tree is likely to lead to one’s premature demise.
PGD PRESENTS ‘A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER’
When Monty Navarro learns he’s eighth in line for an earldom, he decides to improve his odds of succession by hastening the demise of his predecessors, but can he pull off his deadly scheme? And what about romance? Come see where love and murder take the unlikely heir in the Players Guild of Dearborn’s production of “A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder.”
The show runs 8 p.m. Nov. 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 and 30, and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 10, 17, 24. And Dec. 1 at the Players Guild of Dearborn, 21730 Madison, Dearborn.
Directed by Michael Moseley of Allen Park, with musical direction by Steve Woznicki of Royal Oak, the cast includes Dearborn residents Graham Dallas as Montague “Monty” Navarro and Brian Townsend of Dearborn as the D’Ysquith family.
Jamee Perryman of St Clair Shores plays Sibella Hallward, with Madeleine Bien of Southfield as Phoebe D’Ysquith and Patricia Martin of Farmington Hills as Miss Shingle.
Amy Jones of Dearborn plays Woman No. 1, with Carissa Lokken of Livonia as Woman No. 2, Alisa Pullum of Redford as Woman No. 3, Sebastian Adams of Dearborn Heights as Man No. 1, Mark Wagner of Ann Arbor as Man No. 2 and Jacob Dray of Dearborn as Man No. 3.
Moseley said given that the Players Guild is the first community theater to be granted the rights to perform the show, his musical vision gives a nod to the original Broadway production.
“When I saw it in New York, I saw the original cast, and I knew right away it was a show that the Players Guild had to do because it looks like us, it looks like our stage,” Moseley said. “The style of it and the look and the silliness of it was something that fit us so wonderfully, so I thought of finding ways that we could honor the work that was done.
“A lot of directors will say that they want to revision something, but this show won the Tony Award for best musical, so the revisioning here was simply, how does this work in a community theater, that doesn’t have all of the tech and everything a Broadway house does? How can we take those fun elements and translate them to our stage, but preserve that same tongue-in-cheek, wink-wink quality that’s written into the script?”
Moseley said “Gentleman’s Guide” provides him with both deep laughter and meaningful introspection.
“One of the great things about the Guild is the intimacy of our theater, and how it allows our actors to go a little deeper, and give their characters more breadth,” he said. “I am pleased with what I am seeing. I think these guys have found stuff in their characters that give them more depth, so there are truly touching moments.
“But in a show that is about a guy who kills off half of his family in order to gain office, that’s a comedy. So truly my favorite moments are when any one of them is doing their thing.”
Moseley said he hopes the audience is entertained and engaged.
“What we’ve tried to do is provide an entertaining step away from reality and everyday life in an evening of theater,” he said.
Tickets are $20, with a $2 discount for students with identification. To order, call 313-561-TKTS or go to playersguildofdearborn.org.
SOUTHGATE COMMUNITY PLAYERS PRESENT ‘YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN’
Join Dr. Frankenstein in embracing the nuts and cuckoos in one’s family tree as the Southgate Community Players present Mel Brooks’ campy musical comedy “Young Frankenstein.”
The show runs 7 p.m. Nov. 8, 9 and 15 and 3 p.m. Nov. 16 at Davidson Middle School, 15800 Trenton Road, Southgate. The show is for mature audiences.
The cast includes Brendun Deer of Dearborn Heights as Frederick Frankenstein (pronounced ‘Fronk-en-steen’), Brecken Millner of Allen Park as the Monster, Dylan Hart of Taylor as Igor (pronounced ‘Eye-gore’), Leah Paige Cooley of Lincoln Park as Inga and Jessica Breeding of Wyandotte as Elizabeth.
Also, Josie Stec of Wyandotte as Frau Blucher, Domingo Guzman of Melvindale as Inspector Kemp, Rob Eagal of Trenton as the Hermit, Nicholas Mullins of Taylor as Dr. Victor Frankenstein and Jared Vaillmont-Korbal of Allen Park as Ziggy.
The ensemble includes Tina Brow of Brownstown Township, Brigette Clements of Rockwood, Naomi Cotner of Ypsilanti, Cheryl Eagal of Trenton, Tracy Kulikowski of Flat Rock, Mellissa L’Heureux of Lincoln Park, Ana Pauli of Lincoln Park, Carie Sanford of Wyandotte, Erin K. Schmidt of Brownstown Township, Mike Stec of Wyandotte, Mo Thomas of Redford and Chris Warnke of Wyandotte.
Tickets are $18, with a $3 discount for students and seniors. For tickets or more information, call 734-282-4727, or go to scponstage.com or showtix4u.com/events/15785.
DAG PRESENTS DISNEY’S ‘FROZEN JR.’
Watch Elsa and Anna bring their sisterly story to the stage as the Downriver Actors Guild youth ensemble presents Disney’s “Frozen Jr.”
The show runs 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8, 9, 15 and 16 and 3 p.m. Nov. 10 and 17 at the Catherine A. Daly Theatre on the Avenue, 2656 Biddle, Wyandotte.
Based on the Disney movie, the story follows sisters Anna and Elsa as they face danger, challenges and the powerful bond of sisterhood and friendship. With magic, adventure and humor, “Frozen Jr.” is sure to melt the hardest heart.
Joshua Gray directs, with vocal direction by Melanie Aue and choreography by Mishana Green.
Gray said the story holds a special place in his heart.
“This story is more about the bond and love between siblings and the fact that nothing can come between them,” he said. “I hope the audience laughs and feels the love.”
Gray said the show is entertaining for all ages.
“I don’t see how anyone could leave without ‘Let It Go’ stuck in their head,” he said.
The cast includes: Norah Aue as young Anna, Cami Konarski as middle Anna and Chloe Scarpace as Anna. Evelyn Howes plays young Elsa, with Madison Konarski as middle Elsa and Kylie Scarpace as Elsa.
Noah Schoenherr plays Hans, with Duncan McCardell as Kristoff, Gavin McMaster as Olaf, Parker Forgach as Sven and Vivian Nordstrom as the Bishop.
Evelyn McMaster plays Bulda, with Griffin Gardner as King Agnarr, Charlotte Clavet as Oaken, Riley Barbee as Pabbie, Samarah Saggers as Queen Iduna and Emily Ascencio as Weselton.
The ensemble includes: Cassie and Carly Serpetti, Blake Berringer, Addisyn Slepicka, Sydney Czopek, Kaylyn Messer, Delainie Eskin, Nerrance Conner, Conor Stevens, Malcolm Gorsline, Chloe Coleman, Kaitlyn and Kayla Aguila, Abby Hinzmann, Breanna Kinsey, Kaya Shell and Erin Hansen.
Tickets are $15. To order, call 734-407-7020 or go to downriveractorsguild.net.