If laughter is the best medicine, Crestwood High School Theatre has the cure for the blues with its laughter-inducing presentation of the Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields’ comedy, “The Play That Goes Wrong.”
The show runs 7 p.m. Nov. 13, 19 and 20, and 2 p.m. Nov. 14 at Crestwood High School, 1501 N. Beech Daly, Dearborn Heights.
Directed by Cayla Kolbusz, the cast includes Damien DeLuca as Dennis, Alina Hazime as Annie, Harry Krafchak as Max and Arthur, Khalia Mims as Trevor, Ali Nachar as Robert, Mahdi Osseili as Chris, Jamie Paschke as Sandra and Lynsey Zundel as Jonathon, with Nicole Balaie, Ali Fawaz, Daniel Gurney and Adam Nasser as the Cornley Polytechnic stage crew.
Kolbusz said she has wanted to do “The Play That Goes Wrong” for a while.
“I love doing shows that push me as a director, as well as our cast, crew and design team,” she said. “This show is hilarious and incredibly light, and I feel that the world needs that after the past few years.”
Kolbusz said that after their last show, the dark drama “Jekyll and Hyde,” a comedy was welcome, and the show has a lot of physical humor, which the cast has worked hard to learn how to do safely.
“Timing will have to be pretty close to perfect, so we are spending time working on being a team and helping each other,” Kolbusz said. “The technical aspects are incredibly challenging, and the tech crew is essentially another character, creating the moments that drive the cast on stage.”
The stage crew also faced the challenge of coping with the theater’s restoration after last summer’s flood damage.
“They have been working to put both the theater and the show together in a short amount of time,” she said. “We hope the audience leaves feeling a bit lighter than when they walked in.”
Paschke said with the stress imposed by the pandemic, live comedy is what people need.
“It is a physical, verbal, impromptu and lighthearted comedy,” she said. “It’s what everybody needs.”
Hazime added that the show is unique.
“Everything that can go wrong is going wrong, on purpose,” she said. “Sets are falling, props are breaking, actors are forgetting their lines, and it will make you laugh until you are in tears.”
Krafchak said the show is consistently interesting, and the story holds unexpectedly twists.
“The hilarity and intrigue create a show that is both fun to watch and be in,” he said.
Paschke said nothing beats the energy of seeing a live show after stages have been dark for so long.
“Streaming videos are great, but hearing the reactions of others next to you, nothing can replicate,” she said.
Osseili said live theater portrays emotions that streaming shows cannot, while Hazime believes a digital experience will never hold a candle to a live performance.
“The raw emotions and goosebumps that come from live theater is something special,” Hazime said.
Zundel agreed, and said live theater is “simply irreplaceable.”
“There is nothing like seeing a show happen right in front of you, and part of that is the mishaps,” she said. “Nobody’s perfect, and neither is theater, and I think that makes it 10 times as relatable as something you could stream.”
The cast is enormously pleased to be back in the theater again, after the absence and precautions imposed by the pandemic.
Paschke said she didn’t realize how much she missed performing until she was back onstage.
“It is truly like being home again,” she said. “I’m so happy to be doing what I love.”
Osseili said being back onstage awakened a part of him that had been dormant for too long.
“Having to bottle up all my acting has led to me releasing it all at once into this show,” he said.
Hazime said she found her return to live theater to be comforting.
“It is something that I truly love to do, and it has changed my life in so many ways,” she said. “I wasn’t even sure if these days would come back, and if I would ever do another show at Crestwood.”
Krafchak said he and his castmates feel like they are returning to their home.
“I’ve always been an actor who has fed off the energy of the audience,” he said. “Getting to do the things that make us happy feels normal, which is something I think all of us need after the last year and a half.”
Zundel said being back onstage is a pleasure she savors.
“The theater is my home, and coming back to it felt more than right,” she said. “It has been hard to face how much we missed, but everybody jumped back in like we were here yesterday.
“The time apart reminded me why I love it so much – the shows we create, the people I’ve met, and the time I spend doing what I love most.”
Audience members must wear masks. The actors will be unmasked only when performing onstage.
For tickets, go to www.onthestage.tickets/crestwood-high-theatre.
P.S. CENTER STAGE PLAYERS PRESENT MUSICAL REVIEW, ‘ALL TOGETHER NOW’
P.S. Center Stage Players will perform Music Theatre International’s brand-new musical revue, “All Together Now,” which will run globally, royalty-free, the second weekend in November.
More than 1,600 theater groups and schools, from 50 states and 36 countries, have signed up to participate.
The show will be performed Downriver at 7 p.m. Nov. 12 and 13, and 3 p.m. Nov. 13 and 14, at First United Methodist Church, 72 Oak St., Wyandotte.
The revue features musical performances from MTI shows, and includes “Be Our Guest,” “Pure Imagination,” “Matchmaker,” “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables,” “Tomorrow,” “Somewhere That’s Green,” “Consider Yourself,” “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” “Seasons of Love” and “You Can’t Stop the Beat.”
The performers include: Chloe Bush of Newport, Cori Gardner of Lincoln Park, Charlotte and Karla Hall of Southgate, Bryce Johnston of Dearborn Heights, Shyoma Kelly of Monroe, MaryKate Lassiter of Newport, Julianne Moreno of Brownstown Township, Isabella Selburg of Flat Rock, and Wyandotte residents Addison Sauve and Aaron and Lily Wilson.
Penny Lynn Siler of Southgate directed the show, with Amber Kittle Selburg of Flat Rock as choreographer and Gardner as the vocal director.
Tickets are $12, with a $4 discount for students, seniors and those in the military. For more information, go to pscenterstageplayers.com.
Another Downriver theater, the Downriver Actors Guild, will present “All Together Now” at 6 p.m. Nov. 12, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13, and 3 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Second Street Performing Arts Center, 1123 2nd Ave., Wyandotte. Opening night, Nov. 12 is a $50 fundraiser, with $15 tickets for the Nov. 13 and 14 performances. For tickets, go to www.2ndstpac.com.