HFCC to perform The Odyssey

By Sue Suchyta



Henry Ford Community College will present “The Odyssey,” a play by Nobel prize-winning author Derek Wolcott, weekends April 16 through 26. The contemporary adaptation, with music and dance, follows Odysseus’ journey home from the Trojan War. The fast-moving show utilizes colloquial speech and poetry, and moves from ancient Greek to contemporary comparisons.


The show, directed by Gerry Dzuiblinski, features an original score by Dearborn Heights resident Anthony Lai. In addition to featuring over 20 HFCC students in the cast, students of choreographer Janeen Bodary, artistic director of the Przym School of the Arts, will be featured.


Dearborn students in the cast include: Derek Fawaz, Christian Plonka, Stephanie Leon, Austin Plonka, and Shardai Davis. Dearborn Heights student actors include: Brandon Grantz, James Dizmang, Kevin Johnston, and Andrew Cuschiers.


Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances will be at 8 p.m., with 2 p.m. Sunday matinees. Tickets are $12, with $10 tickets for students with identification. Call (313) 845-9817 for tickets and more information. The show is performed in Adray Auditorium in the Mackenzie Fine Arts Center. HFCC is west of Evergreen Road, and south of Ford Road in Dearborn.




Divine Child High School will present Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic “South Pacific” March 26 through 29 as their annual spring musical. Over 40 students will perform onstage, with 20 working in the wings, and 25 performing in the orchestra.


The production features audience favorites like, “Nothing Like A Dame,” “Some Enchanted Evening,” “Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair,” “Honey Bun,” “Bali High” and “Younger Than Springtime.”


The show will be performed at 7:30 p.m. March 26 through 28, and 3 p.m. March 29. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for students, and $5 for seniors, and may be purchased at the door.


The school is at 1001 N. Silvery Lane in Dearborn, eight blocks west of Telegraph, between Ford and Cherry Hill roads.




When “Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” makes its Detroit premiere at the Fisher Theatre Tuesday through April 5, some lucky American Red Cross blood donors will be enjoying the show for free.
From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, every presenting donor at the American Red Cross Berkley Donor Center will receive two free tickets to “Sweeney Todd.” Cast members will also be on site to greet donors from 11 a.m. to noon. The donation center is at 28105 Woodward in Berkley.


Appointments are recommended, and can be made by calling (800) GIVE-LIFE. Blood donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, and be in general good health. All donors must produce positive identification.


The story of “Sweeney Todd” is based on the 19th century legend of a barber driven to revenge by a judge who set the barber up for a crime he did not commit so the judge could make the barber’s wife and child his own. Sweeney’s cutthroat plan for revenge includes a tasty partnership with Mrs. Lovett, the neighboring pie shop owner, who is soon producing the most tempting meat pies in all of London.


Tickets for the three-week run can be purchased at the Fisher Theatre box office, online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.broadwayindetroit.com, or by phone at (800) 982-2787.




The Hilberry’s scheduled spring production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” inspired the graduate Hilberry company as early as last fall to collect winter clothing and personal care products for the homeless and mentally ill in their own community. With the help of their audiences, the company has collected items for Detroit Central City Community Mental Health Inc. since last fall. Donations will be collected through May 6.


The Hilberry will launch “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” the final production of its 2008-09 season, at 8 p.m. April 3. The show will run in rotating repertory through May 8.


The Dale Wasserman play, based on the Ken Kesey novel, is set in a state mental hospital in the Pacific Northwest in 1967. Randle Patrick McMurphy, a con hoping to avoid jail time, fakes lunacy for what he hopes will be a less harsh incarceration in the mental hospital.


However, McMurphy knows very little about mental illness, and is shocked by the complacency and lack of dignity among his fellow inmates. He soon launches a rebellion, and earns the wrath of the infamous Nurse Ratched. The power struggle between the colorful yet troubled inmates and the established authority figures provides a fascinating profile of an anti-hero leading a passionate rebellion for dignity and hope.


For tickets, call the Hilberry box office at (313) 577-2972. The Hilberry is at 4743 Cass Ave., at Hancock in Detroit. For performance times and more information, go to the Web site www.hilberry.com. To order tickets online, go to www.wsushows.com.