Dearborn Talent Shines on Stage

By Sue Suchyta

 

Dearborn is a town of talented thespians, and nowhere is that more apparent than on local stages. Dearborn High School will present “Hello, Dolly!” the first weekend in April.

 

The Players Guild of Dearborn and a cast of 42 local actors are hard at work rehearsing scenes from “Fiddler on the Roof,” which will run for four weekends, April 24 through May 17. Rumor has it that tickets are going fast, so get yours while you can. A special benefit performance will be held on April 29 to raise funds for the Karmanos Cancer Institute and pancreatic cancer research as a tribute to the late Mayor Michael A. Guido. Call (313) 561-TKTS or go to the Guild Web site at www.playersguildofdearborn.org.

 

Many of Dearborn’s talented high school actors make their way to Wayne State University, which offers a plethora of plays on three stages during the academic year. The theater department will cap the season with a triple treat: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” at the Hilberry, “Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music” at the Studio and “Ragtime—The Musical” at the Bonstelle.

 

The Hilberry’s graduate company production of Dale Wasserman’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” opens April 3, and runs in rotating repertory through May 8. Set in a mental hospital, the play follows patients striving for dignity in the face of a controlling and unyielding nurse. The drama focuses on freedom versus conformity, and features an appealing anti-hero. For tickets, call (313) 577-2972. For more information, go to the Web sites www.hilberry.com, or www.wsushows.com.

 

Lifelong Dearborn resident and 2008 Edsel Ford High School graduate John Denyer will make his WSU theater debut at the Studio Theatre April 9 in Lee Blessing’s “Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music.” Denyer appeared in nine productions while at Edsel Ford, and is enjoying being a freshman in the theater program at WSU.

 

The endearing comedy is about a young novice nun who visits her bar owner aunt in Texas. Her visit causes quite a stir, as does her curious compulsion to shout obscenities at unexpected times. Denyer portrays Jason in the show, which runs weekends April 9 through 18.

 

The Studio Theatre is located in the basement of the Hilberry Theatre, 4743 Cass Ave. in Detroit. For tickets and more information, call (313) 577-2972, or go to the Web site www.wsushows.com.

 

Meanwhile, over at the Bonstelle, WSU’s undergraduate theater, “Ragtime – The Musical” – one of the largest cast shows the company has ever undertaken – is preparing for its April 17 opening. Three Dearborn residents – Jacqueline Michnuk, William Turbett, and Annabelle Young – are part of the ambitious undertaking.

 

Set in the early 20th century, “Ragtime” captures a microcosm of America on the cusp of change. Through the lens of a changing America, we see Jewish immigrants seeking a new life, African-Americans seeking new opportunities and personal pride, and a middle class family rocked from complacency by the changing currents all around them.

 

The cast of 56 has presented unique technical challenges – from costuming to scheduling such a large cast production.

 

“Ragtime” contains ethnic and racial stereotypes and language that, though indicative of the era, may be offensive to modern audiences.

 

“Ragtime” runs April 17 to 19, and 24 to 26. Friday and Saturday shows are at 8 p.m., with 2 p.m. Sunday matinees. For tickets and more information, call the box office at (313) 577-2960, or go to the Web site www.bonstelle.com. The theater is at 3424 Woodward.