Testing friendships: ‘Art’ coming to Padziewski Gallery

Yasmina Reza’s Tony Award-winning play “Art” opens Friday, Oct. 12 for a limited two-weekend run in the Padzieski Gallery in the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center in Dearborn.

Produced by the West Side Theatre Project and the Dearborn Community Arts Council, the show runs at 8 p.m. Oct. 12, 13 and 19, and at 2 p.m. Oct. 14 and Oct. 21.

Tickets are $15, with limited seating. Proceeds will go to the Dearborn High School theater arts program and the Dearborn Community Arts Council. Call the DCAC at 313-943-3095 for tickets and more information.

The show contains adult language and is not appropriate for children.

“Art” features a heated yet entertaining discussion among three friends that starts when one buys an all white painting for a great deal of money.

The show, directed by Valerie Haas of Inkster, features the talents of Dearborn actors Mike Falzon as Serge, Brian Townsend as Yvan and Greg Viscomi as Marc.

Haas said that the gallery is an appealing place to do a play that focuses in part on how art is viewed by different people.

“I think it’s a brilliant play about friendship and how the dynamics of friendship can be interrupted or accelerated by how we individually respond to something – like a piece of art,” she said.

Haas said she is also pleased to be working with an experienced cast, which enables her to offer smaller, more pointed suggestions, which they can apply immediately to their character.

“Watching the characters develop and dealing with the struggles is career affirming for me,” Haas said. “It’s also so wonderful to laugh so much with some of my best friends.”

She said the play is about friendship, how it helps us negotiate troubled times, and how we feel and react when friends grow away from us.

She added that the play is also very funny.

“This is a brilliant play with three of the best actors in Dearborn,” Haas said. “(It’s) something new and intelligent with lots of laughs and some honest emotion. That’s what theater should be.”

Viscomi, who is also producing the show, said he thinks the play has long-term staying power because it deals with the timeless issue of friendship.

“Each audience member will find some part of themselves in at least one of the three characters,” Viscomi said. “I personally have more than a few of the characteristics of (my) character. I am finding some aspects of the character are hitting close to home.”

He also said he feels that the staging in the Padziewski Gallery opens up new possibilities for theater performance in the community.