HFCC presents ‘The Playboy of the Western World’

By Sue Suchyta


            Henry Ford Community College’s presentation of John Millington Synge’s, “The Playboy of the Western World” continues for one more weekend, Thursday through Sunday, in the auditorium of Henry Ford Centennial Library 16301 Michigan Avenue in Dearborn. The show, directed by Christopher Bremer, was co-designed by Gerry Dzuiblinski and Alex Carr.

            When a young man on the run shows up in a town claiming to have killed his father, he acquires an unexpected mystique and notoriety. Women crave the bad boy, while the town’s men have mixed feelings. However, the father is not really dead, and when he shows up with a bruised head and ego, the story takes an interesting turn.

            Many of the roles were double cast to provide the theater students with more acting challenges. In addition theater faculty members Bremer and Dzuiblinski perform in the show, bringing their experience and talent to the stage. Bremer portrayed the Irish equivalent of good ol’ boy Philly Cullen opening night, while Dzuiblinski performs the cantankerous Old Mahon with entertaining results.

            Brandon Grantz did well in the lead as Christy Mahon, an underachiever suddenly thrust into a small town spotlight and eager to enjoy his adoring female fans. He and Dzuiblinski provide some entertaining and intense scenes as the combative father and son.

            The student actors worked hard to attain Irish accents, and achieved an impressive level of success. Ironically their accents and the show’s quick pace make the show, which debuted in Ireland a century ago, more challenging to understand. Like the works of Shakespeare, a familiarity with the script or at least the plot will make seeing the show more meaningful for audience members.

            The opening night performance did display the student actors’ energy and dedication to their craft. Others in the ensemble include Yolanda Aquino, Shardai Davis, Derek Fawaz, Darlene Herm, James Hodges, Angie Lai, Hasem Salem, Stephanie Sulis and Iris Vortuba.

            Dzuiblinski and Carr’s set design is visually pleasing, and works well on the small narrow stage of the library auditorium.

            Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students with identification and $6 a seat for groups of 10 or more. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday shows begin at 8 p.m. with 2 p.m. Sunday matinees. For advance ticket sales, call the HFCC Theater program at (313) 845-9817.

            Henry Ford Community College will hold auditions for Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” Sept. 1 and 3 from 7 to 10 p.m. in Adray Auditorium in the Mackenzie Fine Arts Center. Auditions will include cold readings from the script. Chris Bremer will direct the show, which will run Nov. 13 to Dec. 6 (except for Thanksgiving weekend). There will be two weeks of student matinees, Nov. 16 to 20 and Nov. 30 to Dec. 4.

            Auditions for, “Tommy: The Musical” will be held Sept. 14 to 16 from 7 to 10 p.m., also in Adray Auditorium. Cold readings from the script, vocal music and dance combinations will be part of the audition process.

            A film acting class based upon the teachings of Sanford Meisner will be offered in the fall of 2009. It will meet Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Actors will have their images projected on a large screen to simulate the look of film. All work will be recorded on DVD and given to students. Because the course requires actors to perform in close physical contact, students uncomfortable with that aspect should not enroll in the course. For more information, call (313) 845-6478, or visit www.hfcctheater.org.




            Disney’s “High School Musical 2 on Stage” will be performed at the Michael A. Guido Theater at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center Friday through Sunday. The Friday and Saturday shows are at 8 p.m. with a 1 p.m. Sunday matinee. For tickets call (313) 943-2354, or order online at www.dearbornfordcenter.com.




            Creative Characters and the Allen Park Department of Parks and Recreation will host the interactive dinner theater, “Who Poisoned His Meatball?” Thursday through Saturday. The Thursday and Friday shows are at 7 p.m. with Saturday performances at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Allen Park Community Center, 15800 White St. in Allen Park.

            Dinner and show tickets are $12. The menu includes beverages, salad, bread, pasta and dessert. Advance ticket sales are available at the Allen Park Community Center Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information call Creative Characters at (313) 595-5972.