Whether you wish for a musical, drama or comedy to provide a cerebral respite from the cold and chill, choices abound on metro Detroit stages.
In Wyandotte, P.S. Center Stage Players open “A Little Princess – A Musical” Feb. 20, while Open Book Theatre Company offers “Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune” through Feb. 22 in Trenton.
In addition, the Bard-brained won’t want to miss the Detroit Mercy Theatre Company’s closing weekend of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Boll Family Y in downtown Detroit.
P.S. CENTER STAGE PLAYERS PRESENT ‘A LITTLE PRINCESS – THE MUSICAL’
Based on the Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel “Sara Crewe” comes the musical “A Little Princess,” presented by the youth of P.S. Center Stage Players.
The show runs 7 p.m. Feb. 20, 21, 27 and 28 in the Jo Brighton Skills Center Auditorium, 4460 18th St., Wyandotte.
With book by Vera Morris and music and lyrics by Bill Francoeur, the musical follows wealthy Sara Crewe as she leaves her home in India for a boarding school in Victorian England.
However, when her father dies, and his fortune with him, the school’s head mistress treats Sara cruelly, relegating her to servitude, an attic and rags. When a mysterious man from India moves in next door to the school, her life inexplicably takes a turn for the better.
Penny Lynn Siler directs the show, with choreography by Amber Kittle Selburg and vocal direction by Adam Bedikian.
Isabella Selburg of Flat Rock plays Sara Crewe, with Wyandotte residents Harmony and Adam Bedikian as Miss Minchen and Ram Dass, respectively, and Toby Kmet as Capt. Crewe.
Also, in the cast, are: Allen Park resident Meghan Perkins; Flat Rock residents Carlyn Martin and Amber Kittle Selburg; Lincoln Park residents Cori, Owen and Oliver Gardner, Mike Kopey, and Amy and Heather Muse; and MaryKate Lassiter of Newport.
Also, Southgate residents Erin Burgess, Charlotte and Easton Hall, and Kirk Hayhurst; Trenton residents Ava and Zoe Cheff, and Abby Meade; Woodhaven resident Emily Jacobs; and Wyandotte residents Kathy Bedikian, Lyndsey Domzalski, Ryleigh Farrell, William Gentles, Rylee Jones, Jenna Krauser, Addison Sauve, Lily Wilson and Rosemary Zehel.
Tickets are $12, with a $4 discount for students and seniors. Call 734-771-0590 to order tickets or for additional information.
OPEN BOOK THEATRE COMPANY PROVIDES A GLIMPSE AT SECOND CHANCES
Offering a close encounter with second chances, two people struggle with whether to risk their predictable but lonely existences for an uncertain shot at love in the Open Book Theatre Company’s production of “Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune.”
The run continues at 8 p.m. Feb. 14, 15, and 20 to 22, and 2 p.m. Feb. 16 at the playhouse, 1621 West Road, Trenton.
Director Wendy Katz Hiller encourages the two talented actors, Krista Schafer Ewbank as Frankie, and Patrick Loos as Johnny, to bring their characters to life so believably that one almost feels like a peeping Tom. Most audience members will recognize their insecurities, hesitancies and fears, as the characters weigh whether to risk the emotional wounds of rejection in the hope of finding reciprocated love, or whether to pre-emptively close one’s self off to pain before even opening oneself to the emotional risk of relationship roulette.
As Johnny works to build Frankie’s confidence, we see a role reversal: As she become more responsive to Johnny’s compliments and praise, he in turn becomes less confidence, perhaps fearing he has overplayed his hand, and might disappoint her and become the one rejected.
The two remind us of the doubts and worries one deals with when choosing whether to be open to an emotional risk. Schafer and Loos take audiences on an emotional roller coaster ride, which reminds audiences that, despite its emotional messiness, most of us seek and even long for intimate human connections.
Stephanie Baugher’s set is a wonderfully functional apartment, and Harley Miah’s lighting captures the nuances of both forgiving moonlight and the harsh glare of overhead lamplight.
Tickets are $25, with a $5 discount for seniors and a $10 discount for students. To purchase tickets, or for more information, call 734-288-7753 or go to openbooktc.com. The show is recommended for mature audiences only.
THE THEATRE COMPANY AT DETROIT MERCY CHALLENGES STEREOTYPICAL PAIRINGS AND CASTING IN “A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM”
If you like Shakespeare’s popular comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and are intellectually and emotional comfortable with both its young director and cast challenging the play’s traditional romantic pairings and adding gender fluidity, you will be fascinated by director Damian Torres-Botello’s bold re-imagining of one of the Bard’s most beloved works.
The show’s two remaining performances are at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8 and 3 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Marlene Boll Theatre, inside the Boll Family YMCA, 1401 Broadway, Detroit.
If, however, you are entrenched in the hetero-sphere and resent pushing the boundaries of gender-flexible pairings, take a pass on this show until you are more comfortable with the expanded coupling options of the 21st century.
In addition to taking bold and effective casting risks, Torres-Botello offers the most creative blocking one will ever witness in a production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
In some ways, the play mirrors the divisions in the country caused by traditionalists clinging to old ways, who bitterly resist the changes brought about by inclusion, which they are unwilling to accept as the new norm.
Yet, as much as the reimagined play is a vehicle for sparking thought, it is also a showcase for the talented ensemble, which includes: Zoe Brown as Hermia and a fairy; Preston Cornelius as Demetrius; Andrew Guay as Nick Bottom; Dalton Hahn as Theseus and Titania; James Hardy as Robin Starveling and Mustardseed; and Sarah Hawkins as Hippolyta and Oberon.
Also: Pricia Hicok as Egeus and Peter Quince; Taylor LaPorte as Lysander; Destin Mingledoff as Snug and Moth; Mason Modzelewski as Puck and Philostrate; Elise Pannemann as Francis Flute and Cobweb; Jade Michael Sibert as Helena; and Olivia Swad as Tom Snout and Peaseblossom.
Alan Devlin’s scenic design adds to the show’s fluidity and smooth, swift scene changes, while creating a dreamlike setting.
Mary Elizabeth Valesano’s costume design, with assistant costume designer Amelia Rose Glenn, allows the ensemble to seamlessly move between multiple roles and genders, while flattering all cast members with artfully draped garments which also facilitate comfortable movement.
U of D Mercy’s reimagining of “Midsummer” questions tradition expectations, while challenging its cast to deliver a fascinating story.
For more information, go to TheTheatreCo.com.
Tickets are $25, with a $7 discount for seniors, and a $15 discount for veterans and students with valid identification. To order, call 313-993-3270 or go to DetroitMercyArts.com.