DHCT holds ‘Godspell’ auditions

By Sue Suchyta

The Dearborn Heights Civic Theatre will hold auditions for the musical “Godspell” Feb. 15 and 16 at the Berwyn Center, 26155 Richardson. 


The musical is based on the Gospel of St. Matthew. Marc Walentowicz will direct the show, with musical direction by Brian Londrow and choreography by Laura Tyler. Stan Guarnelo will produce the show.


Ten roles will be cast. All roles, including Jesus, will be open to men or women. The character name, once cast, will change to each actor’s real name.


The roles include: 

Jesus — The most charismatic individual in the cast. He is energetic, charming, funny and gentle, yet strong. The others follow Him instinctively.


John The Baptist/Judas: He has the attributes of both Biblical figures. He is Jesus’ most ardent disciple as well as the doubter who begins to question Him and rebel. While the role is the most serious and intellectual, the actor must also have a good sense of physical comedy.


Jeffrey — A very high energy, impish and playful character.


Lamar — While a little slow on the uptake, this character does possess an air of sweetness and innocence.


Herb — He’s the comedian and the class clown. The actor will need to do many character voices and imitations. 


Robin — A bit of a tomboy, but basically open and sweet.


Joanne — The confident one, the show off. The first one to volunteer, she may jump in before she realizes the implications.


Peggy — The shy one. Sometimes a little slow to get things, but when she does, she commits all the way. She has an, “Earth Mother” warmth about her.


Sonia — Sassy and somewhat cynical and urbane. She is also the “sexy” one, but her brassiness incorporates bravado in the manner of Madonna or Mae West.


Gilmer — The other class clown. A goofy cut-up.


The characters are onstage for the entire run of the show. 


Those auditioning will do several cold readings from the script, perform a basic dance audition, and sing a song of their own choosing a capella. Hopefuls should select a song that best illustrates their vocal abilities. An accompanist will be available for those who bring sheet music to the audition.

The show will run April 16 to 17 and 23 to 24.

For more information, e-mail Walentowicz at marc@dhctstage.org.

PLAYERS GUILD ANNOUNCES CAST FOR ‘THE HOLLOW’

The Players Guild of Dearborn has announced the cast for the Agatha Christie mystery, “The Hollow.” The show, which will be directed by Lucinda Chavez, will be performed March 5 to 7, 12 to 14 and 19 to 21. Friday and Saturday shows are at 8 p.m., with 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinees.

The cast includes: Emily Tyrybon as Henrietta Angkatell, Tom Sparrow as Sir Henry Angkatell, Margaret Winowiecki as Lady Angkatell, Heather Thornton as Midge Harvey, Mark Byars as Gudgeon, Mark Ripper as Edward Angkatell, Claudia Walrad as Doris, Cindy Gontko as Gerda Cristow, Ken Kilgore as John Cristow, Keri Geftos as Veronica Craye, Gary Regal as Inspector Colquhoun and John O’Neill as Detective Sergeant Penny.

For more information, go to the Guild’s Web site at www.playersguildofdearborn.org.

WSU STUDIO THEATRE PRESENTS, “RAVENSWOOD”

Wayne State’s Studio Theatre presents “Ravenswood” one of two one-act plays in Terrence McNally’s “Bad Habits” collection. “Dunelawn,” its companion piece, was performed earlier this year.

The show is directed by doctoral candidate Aaron Westlake.

Dearborn residents lent their technical talent to the production. Michael Thomas did the lighting design, while Anne Suchyta costumed the show.

The 55-minute production is set in a chilling mental institution whose self-proclaimed mission is to rid people of their bad habits and bring them closer to perfection. Drugging all personality and spark of life from said miscreants is the hospital’s dubious route to their suspect goal. It also has chilling parallels to euthanasia.

Nurses Benson and Hedges set the pace for the production. Britta Peele, as the brittle blonde who chases perfection, and Kelli Marie Sarakun as her timid wannabe follower set the tone and pace for the production. Both turned in strong performances opening night.

Alex Bleau is hysterical as Bruno, the crude handyman with enough animal magnetism to draw Nurse Hedges off the straight and narrow path.

The “Greek chorus” is portrayed by three wheelchair-bound men with a laundry list of societal sins: One is a cross-dresser, one an alcoholic, and another takes too much pleasure in violence. Their sober and drugged out-of-context replies are hysterical. David Cowan plays Blum, the lush; Steve Xander Carson plays Ponce, the poof; and Justin Wagner plays Yamadoro, whose fantasies focus on violence against others.

The show contains subtle references to repressive regimes: Ravenswood bears a similarity to the name of a Nazi concentration camp, and several times the “patients” sing a Germanic Aryan anthem that playgoers may remember hearing in “Cabaret.”

Andrew Sheldon turns in a very believable performance as Hugh Gumbs, whose casual rejection of Nurse Benson earlier in her life has obsessively driven her to seek what she perceives to be his version of “the ideal woman.”

“Ravenswood” will be performed for one more week, Thursday to Saturday. All performances are at 8 p.m. The theater is on the lower level of the Hilberry Theatre at 4743 Cass Ave. in Detroit. Ticket prices range from $10 to $12. Discounts are available.
 
For tickets and more information, call (313) 577-2972, go to www.wsushows.com or visit the WSU box office in the Hilberry.