WCT presents ‘Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom’

Photo courtesy of the Jewish Ensemble Theatre

Robert Grossman (left) as Solomon Galkin and B.J. Love as Bernard Madoff perform in the Midwest premiere of “Imagining Madoff” through Nov. 13 at the Aaron Deroy Theatre in the Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield. For more information call (248) 788-2900 or go to www.JetTheatre.org.

By Sue Suchyta

The Wyandotte Community Theater presents Jennifer Haley’s ‘Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom’ for one more weekend, from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Wyandotte Arts Center located at 81 Chestnut St.

For tickets, call (734) 775-9635 or email wcttickets@comcast.net.

The show is set in a suburban neighborhood with identical houses, where the parents are discovering that their teenagers are addicted to an online horror game. The game, set in an eerily similar neighborhood, challenges the youthful players to battle through an army of zombies to escape the neighborhood to reach safety.

However, as the game takes on a life of its own, the line between the virtual and real worlds becomes blurred, and fear rapidly spreads through the players and parents.

The show is produced by Jeffrey Tate and directed by Glen Reynolds, with Sean Denny as the technical director.

The cast includes Brandon Love as Trevor, Danielle Swint as Makaela, Bobby Murray as Steve, Jessica Gutowski as Leslie and Robyn Pierce as Vicki.

Other cast members are Adrienne Blow as Kaitlyn, Jay Carter as Doug, Josh Torres as Ryan, Benjamin Janus as Jared and Jeffrey Tate as Tobias.

Also in the cast are April Denny as Barbara, Alexi Fabrey as Chelsea, Ken Maynard as Zombiekllr14, Dinah Tutein as Joy, Jarrod Drew as Blake and Erika Fesler as Madison.

The producers said the show has mature content, and parents are strongly cautioned against bringing young children and those with a low fright tolerance.

‘IMAGING MADOFF’ CONTRASTS GOOD VS. EVIL AT JET

The Jewish Ensemble Theatre opened its second show of the season with the Midwest premiere of Deborah Margolin’s “Imagining Madoff.” The JET is the third theatre to produce the show.

The production runs through Nov. 13 at the Aaron Deroy Theatre in the Jewish Community Center on the corner of Maple and Drake Roads in West Bloomfield.

For information and tickets call (248) 788-2900 or go to www.JetTheatre.org.

As the title suggests, “Imagining Madoff” is an imaginary account of conversations between Bernard Madoff, whose Ponzi scheme cost investors billions of dollars, and a fictional victim who is also a Holocaust survivor and philanthropist, before Madoff’s crimes were revealed. A secretary from Madoff’s firm also offers testimony, and Madoff delivers monologues as well, purportedly from his jail cell to a journalist.

The show, directed by Yolanda Fleischer, features B.J. Love as Madoff, Robert Grossman as Solomon Galkin, and Sandra Birch as Madoff’s secretary. The production runs 90 minutes and is performed without an intermission.

The actors, who capture their characters with a natural believability, allow us to form our own opinions about Madoff. Was he a monster or a thief? Was he less evil than a murderer?  Did the enormity of his greed make him less than human?

Galkin enjoys talking about the Torah and its interpretations with Madoff, who is uncomfortable with his own Jewish faith, saying he’d rather deal with men that God.

A parallel is drawn between the Judeo-Christian Abraham and his willingness to sacrifice his son, trusting in God blindly. Madoff is agitated by this – not only does he see such blind faith as a weakness, but he knows from his ongoing massive fraud how easily his fellow men are deceived.

Galkin embodies that which is good in people – and he tells Madoff that life is about planting trees in whose shade you never expect to sit – demonstrating faith in the future.

Madoff admits that he changes the truth in a completely false way, and that the best kept secrets are the ones you never tell.

The play ultimately raises more questions than it answers. Why did Madoff defraud so many for so much money? Was he really evil, or did his own con consume him?

If you enjoy an intellectual examination of the motives that drive people to act in extreme ways, the play hold some fascinating discussions. There are times when the pace slows, and you want to push the plot along.

Ultimately, there are some gems of wisdom, and most of them come from Galkin, our imaginary survivor who still believes in the goodness of people.

The show is for patrons who have the patience to wait for the wisdom, and the ability to appreciate and recognize the epiphanies when they arrive.

SOUTHGATE  PRESENTS ‘ANNIE’

The Southgate Community Players will present the upbeat musical “Annie” at 8 p.m. Nov. 11, 12 and 18, and at 2 p.m. Nov.19 at Davidson Middle School, 15800 Trenton Road in Southgate.

Annie is an optimistic Depression-era orphan who warms the heart of millionaire Oliver Warbucks and spreads optimism to all she meets.

For tickets and more information, call (734) 282-4727 or go to www.scponstage.com.

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