HFCC’s ‘The Odyssey’ moves to Ford Center

By Sue Suchyta

The Henry Ford Community College Theater program will present “The Odyssey” in a new location: Studio A of the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center, at 15801 Michigan Ave. in Dearborn. Final performances of the show, directed by HFCC theater instructor Gerry Dzuiblinski, will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.


“The Odyssey” was adapted by Nobel Prize winner Derek Walcott from Homer’s classic ancient Greek poem. While primarily set in ancient Greece, Walcott’s version of “The Odyssey” includes scenes that are staged in a contemporary context as well.


“The play is quick moving, and glides seamlessly between colloquial speech and poetic verse,” Dzuiblinski said.


Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students with identification.  For more information or ticket reservations, call (313) 845-9817.




The Bonstelle Theatre, Wayne State University’s undergraduate theater, features three Dearborn actors in “Ragtime – The Musical.” Jacqueline Michnuk, William Turbett and Annabelle Young are performing for one more weekend, Friday through Sunday. The Friday and Saturday shows are at 8 p.m., with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee.


Set prior to World War I, “Ragtime” captures a microcosm of America on the cusp of change. Jewish immigrants seeking a new life, African-Americans seeking new opportunities and personal pride, and a middle class family face life-changing decisions in a rapidly changing world.
For tickets and more information, call the box office at (313) 577-2960, or go to the Web site www.bonstelle.com. The Bonstelle is at 3424 Woodward in Detroit.


Elsewhere on campus, Dearborn resident and 2008 Edsel Ford High School graduate John Denyer made his WSU theater debut at the Studio Theatre last week in Lee Blessing’s “Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music.” The endearing comedy is about a young novice nun who visits her bar owner aunt in Texas. Denyer, a WSU freshman, played Jason, the teen son of the Nice People Bar proprietor with the talent and believability that audiences have come to expect from Dearborn’s homegrown talent.


The Hilberry’s graduate company production of Dale Wasserman’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” will run in rotating repertory for seven more performances: Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m., May 2, 7 and 8 at 8 p.m., and May 6 at 2 p.m. 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.


Directed by Lavinia Hart, the graduate Hilberry company performance is a riveting, gripping piece of theater. Safiya Johnson offers her strongest performance of the season as the domineering Nurse Ratched. James Kuhl is outstanding as the charismatic rebel Randle P. McMurphy. Other standouts in the cast include Alan Ball as Dale Harding, Erman Jones as Chief Bromden, Dylan Stuckey as Billy, and Caroline Price as Candy Starr. Scenic designer Christopher Otwell created an ambitious, realistic set.


For tickets, call (313) 577-2972. For more information, go to the Web sites www.hilberry.com or www.wsushows.com. The Hilberry is at 4743 Cass Ave. in Detroit.




The Dearborn Heights Civic Theatre continues its run of the musical “Cabaret” for two more weekends, Friday and Saturday, and May 1 and 2 at 8 p.m. at the Berwyn Center. Dearborn Heights resident Stan Guarnelo directed the show, with choreography by Angie Kane-Ferrante, and musical direction by Stan Harr.


“Cabaret” follows a young American writer, a British cabaret singer, and a colorful cast of characters caught up in the turmoil of Berlin during the early days of Hitler’s rise to power.


The cast features Leah Paige Cooley as the Master of Ceremonies, Kira Frabutt as Sally Bowles, Brad Miller as Cliff Bradshaw, Valerie Haas as Fraulein Schneider, Phil Booth as Herr Schultz, Aaron Adamkiewicz as Ernst Ludwig and Lisa Youngs as Fraulein Kost.


The ensemble includes Theresa Cunningham, Aaron Ferrante, Aaron Glenn, Hope Morawa, Morgan Neubacher, Cassiah Parker-Pegg and Rebecca Whyte.


The Berwyn Center is at 26155 Richardson in Dearborn Heights. Tickets are $15 for adults, and $13 for students and seniors. “Cabaret” contains scenes that may be inappropriate for children.




The Players Guild of Dearborn closes out its 81st season with the audience-pleasing musical “Fiddler on the Roof” the next for weekends. Set in Russia in 1905, “Fiddler” focuses on Tevye, a poor dairyman, and his efforts to maintain his family and religious traditions while outside influences encroach upon their lives.


The show will run Friday through Sunday the next four weeks. Friday and Saturday shows are at 8 p.m., with 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinees. There will be a special Gala for Guido benefit performance at 6 p.m. April 29. The funds raised will be donated to the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute to benefit pancreatic cancer research, in tribute to the late Dearborn Mayor Michael A. Guido.


The Guild Theatre is at 21730 Madison in Dearborn, southwest of the intersection of Monroe Street and Outer Drive. Tickets are $18. For more information, call the Guild ticket line at (313) 561-TKTS, or go to the Web site www.playersguildofdearborn.org.