October scares up lots of fun, and the Ringwald is no exception, as it brings William Goldman’s “Misery,” based on the novel by Stephen King, to its stage Oct. 9 to 31 at Affirmations, 290 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale.
Directed by Brandy Joe Plambeck, the cast includes Joe Bailey as author Paul Sheldon, Suzan M. Jacokes as nurse and captor Annie Wilkes and Linda Rabin Hammell as Buster, the local sheriff.
When a famous novelist is in a serious car accident in a remote area, he is rescued by a nurse and fan of his novels, who takes care of him in her remote home.
However, all is not as idyllic as it seems: When the writer lets his fan read a draft of his next novel, she becomes enraged when she discovers that her favorite character, Misery Chastain, has been killed off, and forces Sheldon to write a new novel in which the character doesn’t die.
Annie has some painful ways of spurring on her favorite author, who quickly realizes that he is writing as if his life depends on it – and it may.
The show is known for its twists and turns, with tension that keeps the audience on the edge of its seats.
Masks are currently required while in the theater.
Tickets are $25 for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday shows, and $15 for the Monday night performances. Tickets are available online at theRingwald.com or at the door with a credit card only.
INTENSE, POIGNANT ‘DEAR EVAN HANSEN’ AT FISHER THROUGH OCT. 9
It’s intense, wonderfully acted, moving and gut-wrenching: The musical “Dear Evan Hansen,” which runs through Oct. 9 at the Fisher Theater, is so well-performed that one gets caught up in the heart-wrenching story of a lie that was never meant to be told, which takes on a life of its own, changing the life of the teller but becoming increasingly difficult with which to live.
Mothers of teen and adult sons will see the show from a heart-tugging perspective as well.
Kudos to the entire cast: Anthony Norman as Evan, who plays the nervous, anxiety-ridden teen to perfection; Coleen Sexton as his frustrated but down-to-earth, overworked single mom; Alaina Anderson as Zoe Murphy, the surviving sister, filled with grief and anger, who builds a tenuous relationship with Evan; and Lili Thomas as Cynthia Murphy, mother of the late Connor, who clings desperately to every story Evan tells as a way of keeping the memory of her son alive.
Nikhil Saboo’s characterization of Connor is most interesting and engaging when he appears in Evan’s mind as an imagined ghost, becoming more of a person as Evan builds him up to be both wise and profound.
John Hemphill as Larry Murphy, Connor’s dad, has a poignant scene with Evan over how to break in a baseball glove, becoming the father figure Evan lacks, as the grieving father passes on a baseball mitt his own son never used.
Evan’s two “kind-of” school friends, who won’t even sign his cast, are overachiever Alana, played by Micaela Lamas, and computer savvy Jared, played by Pablo David Laucerica, who further exemplify the adolescent angst and insecurity which manifests during the social hell that is high school. Jared reminds Evan that they are only “family friends,” and Alana overcompensates by going above and beyond with everything she does, perhaps out of a deep-seated yearning for acceptance. She helps Evan create a foundation in the memory of Connor, and she unintentionally creates an imagined friendship with Connor in her mind, based solely on the fact that they had two classes together.
The show draws one into the intense emotions created by the story. The songs are appealing and well performed, but they are there to further the narrative and expand on the characters’ emotions; they are not spectacles, but heart-felt songs.
The backdrop visually shows the onslaught of social media and its impact on our lives. It is fascinating to see a series of changing screen shots from social media flashing across an ever-changing backdrop, serving as a stark reminder of the runaway-train impact of online posts on our lives.
Please note: Because the subject matter includes the emotional fallout of a teen suicide, it will be triggering to some individuals.
The show, which contains adult themes, including discussion of suicide, is recommended for ages 12 and older. Children under the age of 5 will not be permitted in the theater.
Tickets start at $50, and are available by phone, at 800-982-2787, online, at ticketmaster.com and at the Fisher Theater box office.
A digital ticket lottery for a limited number of $25 seats, sold in pairs, will be available through luckyseat.com. The lottery will continue, on a rolling basis, throughout the run of the show, and winners will be notified by email. Entrants must be 18 and older, and show valid photo identification matching the entry name to claim the tickets.
The show runs 8 p.m. Oct. 1, and Oct. 4 to 8; 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2 and 9; and at 2 p.m. Oct. 1, 2, 8 and 9 for the matinee showings.
DETROIT MERCY TO HOST HOMECOMING IMPROV SHOW
The University of Detroit Mercy will celebrate 145 years of producing theater and 50 years of offering a theater major with a free “Titan Slam” monologue competition finals and an improv show at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 1 at the Marlene Boll Theater inside the Boll YMCA, 1401 Broadway in Detroit.
The improv show will feature alumnae Jaime Moyer, Marc Evan Jackson and Nancy Hayden.
For more information, go to theatre.udmercy.edu and click on the homecoming banner. Online reservations are recommended.