Classics light up area stages

Photo by Sue Suchyta
Andrea Sevonty (left) of Dearborn, Kayla Chavez of Allen Park and Lara Keathley of Southgate rehearse tap steps for “Puttin’ on the Ritz” for the Downriver Actors Guild production of the new Mel Brooks musical “Young Frankenstein,” which runs Nov. 8 to 17 at Out of the Box Theater in Wyandotte. For more information, go to

As colorful fall leaves brighten the landscape, local theaters light up stages as groups launch their new seasons. Classics, comedies and children’s fare offer entertaining choices in area theaters, from the Bonstelle’s “Our Town” to AKT’s “The Turn of the Screw” in Wyandotte.

The AKT Theatre Project will haunt the Halloween season with “The Turn of the Screw” by playwright Jeffrey Hatcher, based on the Henry James story.

The show runs for two weekends, Oct. 25 to Nov. 2 at the Wyandotte Art Center at 81 Chestnut, with 8 p.m. shows Oct. 25, 26, 31 and Nov. 2, at 9 p.m. Nov. 1, and at 2 p.m. Oct. 27.

For tickets or more information, call 734-258-8370 or go to

“The Turn of the Screw” tells the story of a young governess hired by their handsome uncle to care for two orphaned children in a manor house. She soon begins to sense the ghosts that surround them and fears for the safety of her young charges. Is the terror real, or is it all in her mind?

Directed by Adrianne Galea, the show stars Rachel Dalton of East Lansing as the governess and Bailey Boudreau of Ferndale as all of the other characters.

P.S. Center Stage Players, directed by Penny Lynn Siler, present the children’s musical comedy “Dear Edwina Junior” at 7 p.m. Oct. 10 and 11 at the Jo Brighton Auditorium at 4460 18th St. in Wyandotte.

For tickets or more information, call 734-771-0590 or go to

Edwina Spoonapple, played by Danielle Maniaci, 16, of Southgate, is an advice columnist with her own show who hopes to impress a talent scout in the audience who could advance her career.

Surrounded by a colorful cast of characters, they address the advice-seeking letters through song and dance. Eventually, the columnist must find a way to solve her own problems and face them head-on.

The cast includes Allen Park resident Mackenzie Waddell, 9 as Carrie; Brownstown Township residents Megan Sarnowski, 12, as Chef Ludmilla and Jacob Stanley, 8, as Johnny; and Dearborn Heights resident Steven Arroyo, 17, as Joe Spoonapple.

Flat Rock resident Isabella Selburg, 6, plays Lola, with Lincoln Park residents Taylor Goodwin, 12, as Susie; Tyler Goodwin, 15, as Vladimir; Dempsii Rosales, 11, as Becky; and Divinna Rosales, 15, as Fairy Forkmother.

Riverview residents Aubrey Diebold, 9, plays Periwinkle and Robert Diebold, 13, plays Myron Spoonapple.

Southgate cast members include Brianna Bumgardner, 10, as Annie; Nevaeh Doucet, 11, as Billy; Andrew Eves, 9, and Bradley Eves, 6, in the ensemble; and Alex Piscitelli, 16, as Bobby.

Taylor residents in the show include Jasmine Plank, 14, as Frank’s Ma; Justin Weimer, 13, as Ziggy; and Kayla Weimer, 8, in the ensemble.

Trenton cast members include Nina Lomas, 8, as Ann Van Buren and Carter Stover, 9, as Frank.

Wyandotte residents in the cast include Harmony Bedikian, 8, as Kelli; Atam Bedikian, 16, as Scott; Rose Kilburn, 8, as Katie Spoonapple; Dexter Kmet, 10, as Cordell; Lazarus Kmet, 11, as Lars; Emily MacIntyre, 9, in the ensemble; Lindsay MacIntyre, 12, as Aphrodite; Aubrey Migoski, 9, in the ensemble; Lydia Robertson, 8, in the ensemble; Annie Stec, 15, as Mary Sue Betty Bob; and Jenna Williams, 10, as Abigail.

“Circus! Circus!,” a mini-musical featuring children age 3 to 8, presents a one-weekend run at Out of the Box Theatre in Wyandotte at 7:30 p.m. Oct 11 and 12, and 3 p.m. Oct. 13.

When the circus comes to town, the clowns, jugglers, dancing bears, lions and other performers must deal with a ringmaster with laryngitis and help a sad clown find his smile.

All seats are $8, and available at Out of the Box Theatre, 1165 Ford Ave. in Wyandotte. For more information, call 313-682-0463 or go to

Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” opens Wayne State University’s undergraduate Bonstelle Theatre season Oct. 11 for a two-weekend run.

For tickets or more information, call 313-577-2960 or go to

A Pulitzer prize-winner and an American classic, “Our Town” is a touching and profound look at life in a small American town in the early 20th century, from 1901 to 1913, in three acts.

The performance is narrated by a stage manager, who breaks the fourth wall and addresses the audience while setting the scene and introducing the characters. The actors perform without a set while pantomiming the use of props.

The beautiful and touching show explores the everyday struggles and joys of life, as well as its fragility as we watch two small town families grow and change.

The cast includes Zyle Cook of Marcellus as George Gibbs, Kristin Dawn-Dumas of Detroit as Emily Webb, Katelyn Foster of Harrison Township as Mrs. Webb, Carl Bentley of Flat Rock as Dr. Gibbs, Dante Jones of Detroit as the Stage Manager, Gaia Klotz of Midland as Mrs. Gibbs and Luke Rose of Harrison Township as Mr. Webb.

Also in the cast are Maggie Beson of Riverview as Wally Webb, Jacob Boida of Warren as Si Crowell and Sam Craig, Breon Canady of Detroit as Mrs. Soames, Patrick Ceglarek of Ferndale as Professor Willard, Dan Finn of Armada as Howie Newsome, Shannon Grant of Livonia as Rebecca Gibbs, James Jordan of Detroit as Constable Warren, Jason Lacombe of Troy as the baseball player, Doug Lubaway of Wyandotte as Joe Stoddard, Daniel Miller of Harper Woods as the Man in the Auditorium, Bryauna Perkins of Chesterfield as the Lady in the Side Box, Anthony Scamihorn of Marshal as Simon Stimson and Graham Todd of Shelby Township as Joe Crowell.

Planet Ant Theatre at 2357 Caniff in Hamtramck, a non-profit professional theater, celebrates its 20th anniversary with performances by past and present Planet Ant artists at 8 p.m. Oct. 11 at Detroit’s Gem Theatre, 333 Madison Ave. in Detroit.

The one-night event features the group’s music, stage work and improvisational comedy.

Included are comic musical numbers from original Planet Ant productions, improvisation, and live band performances by 19.5 Collective, The Twilight Babies, and Pewter Club with Scott Sanford.

“It has been an honor to have worked with so many talented performers, directors, designers and writers who have given so much of themselves to entertain so many people over the years,” said Planet Ant founder Hal Soper. “There is no way that we could have fit a celebration like this into our little, purple home on Caniff. I’m grateful to the amazing Gem Theatre for allowing us to use their magnificent room for the occasion.”

Tickets for Planet Ant’s 20th Anniversary event are $30 for the balcony and $50 for the main floor, and are available online at