Big Girl presents ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ in Taylor

Photo by Lori Parks
Big Girl Productions presents Harrison Bruske (left) of Riverview as Claudio, Tim Beson of Riverview as Benedick, Sarah Noble of Wyandotte as Beatrice and Melissa Murphy of Southgate as Hero in William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” Remaining performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Royal Majestic Theatre at Trillium Academy, 15740 Racho Road in Taylor. Call 734-934-7086 for tickets or more information.

Big Girl Productions presents William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” for one more weekend at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Royal Majestic Theatre at Trillium Academy, 15740 Racho Road in Taylor.

The show, which opened Friday, features direction by Carol-Ann Black. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and students. Call 734-934-7086 for tickets or more information.

“Much Ado About Nothing,” is considered one of Shakespeare’s best comedies for its blend of witty humor and serious themes, and ending with multiple marriages and no deaths.

Harrison Bruske of Riverview as Claudio and Melissa Murphy of Southgate as Hero, with Tim Beson of Riverview as Benedick and Sarah Noble of Wyandotte as Beatrice are the leading love interests.

Others in the cast include Ryan Kusibab as Don Pedro, Mike Parks as Leonato and Gage Soucie as Don John.

Todd Nagle, Maria Vespa, Joe Reynolds, Sebastian Adams, Ren Clark, Heather Sherry and Hannah Osborne play the bumbling city watch.

Don Corbin as Borachio and Taylor Towers as Corrine play Don John’s nefarious followers.

Others in the company include Ashley Blevins, Rachel Capraro, Charlie Doddie, Joyce Fisher, Melissa Kitchen, Alex Nagle, Desirae Raymond, James Taylor Jr., Russ Van Ness and Vanessa Woodard.

The Players Guild of Dearborn will hold open auditions for “The Fantasticks” July 22 and 23 at the theater, at 21730 Madison in Dearborn. Registration begins at 6:30 p.m., with auditions beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Audition forms and conflict calendars are downloadable at

Paul Bruce will direct and choreograph “The Fantasticks,” which features music by Harvey Schmidt and book and lyrics by Tom Jones. Paul Abbott will provide the musical direction.

The plot focuses on two teenagers in love, who feel they must hide their romance from their feuding fathers. However, the men are secretly friends who have devised a plot – with the help of a traveling troupe of actors – to bring the two young people to the altar. However, discovery of the subterfuge drives the couple apart, leaving the families’ futures in doubt.

Roles include Matt and Luisa, the young couple; Hucklebee and Bellamy, their fathers; the actors, El Gallo, Henry and Mortimer; and a mime.

Matt, Luisa, Hucklebee, Bellamy and El Gallo sing, dance and act; Henry and Mortimer act only, and the mime (a gender neutral role), must be very flexible and move well.

Music cuts for the auditions for each singing character, as well as further character descriptions, are on the Guild’s website,

Bruce said he has always liked the small cast musical, which opens the Guild’s 2013-14 season. It is also the first musical of a three musical season in the Guild’s newly renovated theater.

Unique set and costume designs will offer a surprise for audiences, Bruce said.

“Because the show is so popular we know that most of those who come to see the show have probably seen it at least once before,” he said. “These elements will help to keep it fresh for those who are seeing the show again.”

The mime also appears more extensively than is normally done, Bruce said, and he is willing to use either a man or woman in the role as long as the person is flexible and a strong dancer.

Several of the show’s songs became popular in 1960 when the show opened off-Broadway, Bruce said, including “Try to Remember.”

He said that the play’s universally symbolic characters and plot give it a timeless quality.

“Its archetypal characters and story are so universal that they charm audiences wherever and whenever the show is done,” Bruce said. “I hope that our audiences for this production will enjoy the unique interpretation we will present.”

“The Fantasticks” will also be the production to debut the Guild’s latest building renovations, which include new seating in the house and clubroom renovations.

Bruce said the cast and crew will work around the renovations during the audition and rehearsal period.

“(It is) a sacrifice everyone is willing to make in order to bring our beloved audiences the brightest and best we can come September,” Bruce said. “I’m fortunate to be a part of the ‘color committee’ that has been working to coordinate the theater’s new seating and auditorium design, so I’m working on both sides of the renovations and the first production to be seen with those renovations.”