As the holiday approach, angels, elves and even the ghosts, as well as comedies to make spirits light, brighten local stages, as Dearborn Edsel Ford High School performs “Laughing Stock,” the Downriver Youth Performing Arts Center presents “Elf, The Musical,” P.S. Center Stage Players entertains with “The Littlest Angel” and the Islanders present a narrative version of “A Christmas Carol.”
EFHS PRESENTS ‘LAUGHING STOCK’
Edsel Ford High School will present “Laughing Stock” at 7 p.m. Dec. 1 to 3 in the school auditorium, 20601 Rotunda Drive in Dearborn.
Directed by Robert Doyle, the backstage farce follows a rustic New England summer theater group producing “Dracula,” “Hamlet” and “Charlie’s Aunt,” and follows the company through auditions, ego-driven rehearsals, technical nightmares and disastrous opening nights. Those who have been a part of a theater group will relate, and all attendees will enjoy the comic elements.
The cast includes: Hasen Alnakash as Jack Morris, Margaret Carscadden as Jan Milliken, Molly Chinery as Susannah Huntsman, TaKarion Clay as Henry Mills, Jordan Edwards as Braun Oakes, Mohammed Fawaz as Gordon Paige, Danielle Frontera as Connie Conlin, Dashiel Greimel as Vernon Volker, Dominic Greimel as Tyler Taylor, Milena Hohl as Mary Pierre, Oparebea Hull as Karma Schneider, Ian Kuentz as Richfield Hawksley, Giana Lerini as Sarah McKay, and Maddison Norris as Daisy Coates.
Dylan Charles and Olivia Draus are understudies, while Keira Catriss, Myka Heaton, Maleah Kitner, Gioia Lerini and Lauren Skidmore are stagehands and extras.
Giana Lerini said it is fun to return to the stage.
“I have missed working with my friends on different shows,” she said.
Norris said it took some getting used to, but she likes being around her friends “in person” again.
“The cast and I have laughed so many times while reading through the script,” she said. “We still do, even though we are so far into rehearsals, so audiences are sure to enjoy the show.”
Alnakash said it was great to be performing again after being away from the stage for so long.
“It’s a wholehearted play about unlikely friends,” he said. “This show will make you laugh and cry.”
Giana Lerini agreed that the show, while a comedy, is filled with heart.
“It is a great story about this group of people who form a family over a summer of performing shows,” she said.
She said she enjoys playing up her character’s sarcastic side, while the emotional side of her character has proved more challenging.
“As the show progresses, we get more insight on how she has become the person she is, and it was hard for me to figure out how to play that truthfully,” she said.
Hohl said tapping into her character’s naivete’ was both fun and challenging, while Alnakash said simply playing a character on stage again was fun.
Kuentz said he enjoyed spending time with theater friends again after being separated from them for more than a year.
“It’s fun, and I’m glad to be back,” he said. “We’ve put a lot of work into it, and we think that audiences will greatly enjoy it.”
Tickets will be available at the door. For more information, go to the Edsel Ford Performing Arts Facebook page.
DYPAC PERFORMS ‘ELF, THE MUSICAL’
The Downriver Youth Performing Arts Center presents “Elf – The Musical” at 7 p.m. Dec. 10, 11, 17 and 18, and 2 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Trenton Village Theater, 2447 W. Jefferson in Trenton.
The show is directed by Mary Zaleski, assistant directed by Patrick Yeager and choreographed by Nina Nelson, with vocal and musical direction by Audra Baas.
The story follows the adventures of Buddy, a human orphan, who stowed away in Santa’s sack as a toddler and was raised by Santa’s elves. When Santa allows Buddy to travel to New York City to meet his biological father, Buddy discovers the delights of the Big Apple, while his father re-evaluates his life choices.
Nolan Swamy, 17, of Grosse Ile Township, plays Buddy.
Also in the cast are Leah Andrysiak, 17, of Allen Park, as Jovie; Brownstown Township residents Alicia Cotter, 19, as Deb, Parker Forgach, 14, as Chadwick, and MacKenna Tocco, 15, as Emily; Noah Rodriguez, 13, of Flat Rock as Michael; Riverview residents Caleb Litten, 16, as the Manager, Jacob Maher, 18, as Santa, and Samantha Plunket, 14, as Tiaria; Reagan Lewis, 14, of South Rockwood as Mrs. Claus and dance captain; Trenton residents Finn Jamison, 14, as Charlie, Nina Lomas, 16, as Ms. Greenway, Kira Saiti, 14, as Charlotte, and Marisa Siankantaris, 16, as Sam; Kyle Cronan, 17, of Woodhaven as Walter; and Parker Watson, 14, of Wyandotte as Matthews.
The ensemble includes: Calleigh Butler, 13, of Brownstown Township; Lily Digna, 13, of Carleton; Flat Rock residents Veronica Bailo, 18, Matthew Bond, 13, and Emma Small, 19; Felix Phillips, 16, of Gibraltar; Grosse Ile Township residents Katie Bixler, 13, Darby Jerrell, 13, Allie Sworst, 13, and Jadie Weatherly, 14; Lincoln Park residents Allison Hillard, 15, and Williamena Wasserman, 13; Lexi Gambino, 17, dance captain, of New Boston; Camryn Beaty-Burnett, 13, of Rockwood; Chelsea Kings, 14, of Trenton; and Violet Gates, 13, of Woodhaven.
Tickets are $14 and $18, and a video on-demand option will be available for 48-hour access after Dec. 24 through dypac.com. All attendees entering the theater must wear a mask.
PSCSP ENTERTAIN WITH ‘THE LITTLEST ANGEL’
The P.S. Center Stage Players present the family-friendly holiday musical “The Littlest Angel” at 7 p.m. Dec. 2, 3, 9 and 10 at the Jo Brighton Skills Center Auditorium, 4460 18th St. in Wyandotte.
Directed by Penny Lynn Siler of Southgate, the role of The Littlest Angel is shared by Easton Hall of Southgate and Julianne Moreno of Wyandotte.
The story follows the misadventures of the Littlest Angel, whose gift to the newborn Christ child is miraculously transformed into the star of Bethlehem. With a cast of colorful characters, the one-hour musical is an ideal show for the Christmas season with its timeless and uplifting message.
Others in the cast includes: Wyandotte residents Kathy Bedikian as the Gatekeeper, Aaron Wilson as Gatekeeper Standin, Adam Bedikian as the Understanding Angel and vocal director, Harmony Bedikian as the Heavenly Messenger, Maggie Wilson as Holy Halosmith and Lily Wilson as the Celestial Cook; Southgate residents Charlotte Hall as the Majestic Toymaker, Karla Hall as an Angel, and Danny Santo, Holly Eggleston and Lyla Santo as the Holy Family; Newport residents MaryKate Lassiter as the Divine Music Director and Easton Heath as Small Angel; Bryce Johnston of Dearborn Heights as the Voice of God; and Char Bauer of Woodhaven and Heather Muse of Allen Park as Angels.
Tickets are $12 for general admission, and $8 for students, seniors and members of the military, and are available at the door with cash only. Masks are mandatory. Call 734-771-0590 for more information.
THE ISLANDERS PRESENT ‘A CHRISTMAS CAROL – A NARRATIVE’
The Islanders present, “A Christmas Carol – A Narrative,” based on the story by Charles Dickens, and adapted by Craig A. Hane, at 7 p.m. Dec. 4 at St. James Episcopal Church, 25150 E. River Road in Grosse Ile Township.
Directed by Christine Steve, the cast includes Linda Stanko as the narrator; Jack Frucci as Scrooge; Geoffrey Krempa as the ghost of Christmas Past, Scrooge’s nephew and other roles; Meghan Zula as Scrooge’s former betrothed and other roles; Donald Corbin as the ghost of Jacob Marley, Josie Stec as Mrs. Cratchet and other roles; and Paul Primeau as the Ghost of Christmas Present and other roles.
The show, a dramatic reading, will accept free-will donations at the door.