The weekend before Thanksgiving is a popular time for high schools to present their plays, and three local theater departments run shows this week, with Dearborn High School presenting “Clue: On Stage,” Grosse Ile High School performing “Asenic and Old Lace” and Dearborn Divine Child High School offering “Peter and the Starcatcher.”
In addition, Wayne State University opens “The Snow Queen,” the story that inspired “Frozen,” at the Hilberry Theater the weekend before Thanksgiving, and it continues the first two weekends in December.
All theaters require masks be worn, and follow COVID-19 protocols.
DHS PRESENTS ‘CLUE: ON STAGE’
Dearborn High School Theatre presents “Clue: On Stage,” the high school edition, Nov. 17 to 20 at the high school auditorium, 19501 W. Outer Drive, in Dearborn.
The beloved board game Clue comes alive as the DHS thespians return to the stage for their first public performance since the pandemic began.
Director Greg Viscomi said the show, both a murder mystery and a comedy, brings the game to life for live audiences to enjoy.
“We are most excited about getting the program back onstage and performing for audiences,” he said. “We chose ‘Clue’ as our fall play because it has a little bit of everything in it, and it should be a fun evening for audiences.”
The cast includes Thomas Besek as Wadsworth the butler, Simon Boyer as Colonel Mustard, Oliver Angel as Mr. Green, Kaeden Bryer as Professor Plum, Luke Dobert as Mr. Boddy, Madelyn Luckey as the cook and Sukayna Bazzi as the telegram girl and the reporter.
Six of the roles are double cast.
On Nov. 17 and 19, Miss Scarlett will be played by Nadia Gellani, Miss Peacock by Julia Schoen, Mrs. White by Shae Murphy, Yvette the maid by Savannah Capote, the cop by Charlotte Karoub, and the motorist by Ryan Furchi.
On Nov. 18 and 20, Miss Scarlet will be performed by Alexandra Slanec, Miss Peacock by Rebecca Dear, Mrs. White by Wren Beatty, Yvette the maid by Marissa Adair, the cop by Adam Makled, and the motorist by Julius Owens.
Seniors Slanec and Dear, who were a week away from the musical “Mama Mia” during their sophomore year when the pandemic hit, are happy to be back onstage.
Slanec said there is a lot of excitement within the cast.
“I think performing again will be a very gratifying experience,” she said.
Dear agreed, and was glad to be reunited with her theater-minded classmates.
“I was ecstatic when I got a part in ‘Clue’ with all my friends,” she said.
Angel said live theater is the most intimate way to tell stories.
“With the pandemic, we lost a lot of the human aspects of storytelling, so getting back to that as a performer is fantastic,” he said.
Gellani said she is also grateful to be back on stage.
“As the show gets closer, I feel anxious but excited to finally put something on stage again,” she said.
Gellani said live streaming will never offer the same experience as performing in front of a live audience.
“The audience and actors are constantly feeding off each other’s energy,” she said. “Depending on the reactions from the audience, it could completely change from night to night.”
Dear said live theater immerses audiences in the story, and provides them with a better understanding of the characters.
“Being in the theater with other people sets the mood for a theatrical performance that one would not be able to have through a stream,” she said.
Slanec agreed, adding that each performance is slightly different.
“In live theatre, the energy from the audience affects how the actors respond,” she said. “Theatre also builds community, and seeing people perform live inspires wonder.”
Boyer said the show is also a fun who-done-it.
“With the slapstick, it will be a fun thing to watch with family,” he said. “And, of course, it’s supporting the arts.”
Slanec said the characters in the show make it more than a murder mystery.
“If you like ridiculous characters who are morally ambiguous, then ‘Clue’ is the play for you,” she said.
Angel agreed that the characters are unique and memorable.
“It’s an old-time, goofy murder mystery,” he said. “Getting back to that as a performer is fantastic.”
The show runs 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17, 19 and 20, and 8 p.m. Nov. 18, and is appropriate for all ages.
Admission is $10 for adults, and $8 for children, students and seniors. Call 313-827-1647 to reserve tickets.
GIHS PRESENTS ‘ARSENIC AND OLD LACE’
Grosse Ile High School presents Joseph Kesselring’s dark comedy “Arsenic and Old Lace” Nov. 19 and 20 at the high school auditorium, 7800 Grays Drive in Grosse Ile Township.
Directed by Cheyla Wagner, the cast includes Emily Bailey as Abby Brewster, Cecily Noonan as Martha Brewster, Jayden Roos and Teddy Brewster, Caleb Matkovich as Mortimer Brewster and Joshua Baxter as Jonathon Brewster.
Also in the cast are Gia Schoenherr as Dr. Einstein, Arianna Cook as Elaine Harper, Abbie Carbajo as the Rev. Dr. Harper and Ella Normandin as Mr. Gibbs.
Also appearing are Lexi Yager as Officer Brophy, Ella Seguin as Officer Klein, Lina Mahmoud as Officer O’Hara, Urvi Vaya as Lt. Rooney and Lillyonna Zulewski as Mr. Witherspoon.
The show runs 7 p.m. Nov. 19 and 20, with a 2 p.m. Nov. 20 matinee. Tickets are $5, and are available at the door.
DCHS PERFORMS ‘PETER AND THE STARCATCHER’
Divine Child High School presents “Peter and the Starcatcher,” the humorous and magical backstory for Peter Pan and Captain Hook, at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18, 19 and 20, and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 20, at the high school auditorium, 1001 N. Silvery Lane in Dearborn. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students. (A photo and a cast list were requested, but were not submitted prior to press time.)
WSU PRESENTS ‘THE SNOW QUEEN’
Wayne State University will present “The Snow Queen” the weekend before and the two weekends after the Thanksgiving holiday.
The one-hour show, which runs with no intermission, is perfect for children and the adults who love them to share.
Director Michael Barnes said “The Snow Queen” is an imaginative exploration of the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale.
“This story, which inspired the film ‘Frozen,’ takes the audience on a journey of friendship and hope,” he said. “Filled with the magic of theatre, this is a feel-good show to be enjoyed by everyone, awakening the joy of a child in us all.”
The show runs at 8 p.m. Nov. 19 and 20, Dec. 3, 4, 10 and 11; 2 p.m. Nov. 20 and Dec. 4, 8, and 11; and 7 p.m. Dec. 2 and 9.
Tickets are $22 for adults, $15 for students, and $18 for seniors and WSU faculty, staff and alumni. To order, call 313-577-2972 or go to theatreanddance.wayne.edu/ticket-info.