Local actors in Sondheim’s rediscovered first musical “Saturday Night”

Photo courtesy of the Motor City Musical Theatre

Dearborn resident Matt Miazgowicz (third row right) as Artie and Aaron Glenn (first row right) of Wyandotte as Bobby will perform in the Sondheim musical comedy “Saturday Night” Jan. 6 to 15 with the Motor City Musical Theatre in Livonia. Others in the cast include Andrick Siegmund (first row left) of Pleasant Ridge as Ted, Luke Rose (second row left) of Harrison Township as Dino, Dave Cowan of Detroit as Ray, and George Abud (third row left) of Grosse Pointe Woods as Gene.

By Sue Suchyta
Dearborn actors Matt Miazgowicz and Aaron Glenn of Wyandotte will perform Jan. 6 to 15 in the Motor City Musical Theatre’s two-weekend run of the Stephen Sondheim musical comedy, “Saturday Night.”

The recently revived show, Sondheim’s first musical, will be performed at the Grantland Street Playhouse, 27555 Grantland in Livonia. Friday and Saturday shows are at 8 p.m. with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee.

For more information, call 313-535-8962 or send an email to motorcitymusicaltheatre@gmail.com.

Sondheim’s intended theatrical debut, a family-friendly musical comedy which he composed and lyricized while in his mid-20, lost funding in 1955 when its young lead producer Lemuel Ayers died before “Saturday Night” could be produced.

The show features a book by Julius and Philip Epstein, who wrote the script for “Casablanca.”

Director Jeremy Mossman of Ferndale said that most of the actors are from Wayne State and Oakland universities and even from Windsor. He said he is eager to spread the word about the emerging semi-professional college-aged theater group.

“I am enjoying watching our run-throughs,” Mossman said. “The cast is so strong and dynamic, and we’ve aimed to treat the material authentically in the style of a 1950s musical comedy … it’s given us a great excuse to be silly.”

“Saturday Night” is set in the spring in Brooklyn just prior to the 1929 stock market crash. The protagonist, Gene, a Wall Street clerk, played by Wayne State University student George Abud of Grosse Pointe Woods, dreams of a life of luxury.

Gene convinces his lonely, dateless buddies to let him invest their money so they might find their fortune and begin to live the good life. He starts spending his friends’ money extravagantly until he falls in love with woman who helps bring him back down to earth.

The Motor City Musical Theatre personnel said the timing for this seldom-performed musical is desirable given the country’s current distain for Wall Street and the ever-widening gap between the rich and poor, and they look forward to capitalizing on the show’s parallels with present day headlines.

The cast also includes Elyse Moon of Royal Oak as Helen, Dave Cowan of Detroit as Ray, Luke Rose of Harrison Township as Dino, Andrick Siegmund of Pleasant Ridge as Ted, Nathanial Cedroni of Clinton Township as Hank, Miriam Goldsmith as Celeste, Jeremy Mossman of Ferndale as a vocalist, Kendall Talbot of Warren as Mildred, and ensemble members Sydney Machesky of Shelby Township, Dan Finn of Armada and Allison Fisher of Birmingham.

Redford residents Fred and Nancy Florkowski are the technical director and artistic director, respectively.