Children’s ‘Winnie the Pooh’ opens Downriver

Front_Row

Photo by Sue Suchyta The Downriver Actors Guild youth theater presents “Winnie the Pooh” Friday to Sunday with Trenton residents Joanna Bailey (left), 5, as little Winnie the Pooh and Madalyn Bailey, 9, as Kanga.

Photo by Sue Suchyta
The Downriver Actors Guild youth theater presents “Winnie the Pooh” Friday to Sunday with Trenton residents Joanna Bailey (left), 5, as little Winnie the Pooh and Madalyn Bailey, 9, as Kanga.

“Winnie the Pooh,” performed for children by children, brings favorite characters to life at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday, at the Downriver Actors Guild, 2656 Biddle in Wyandotte.

Tickets for the one-act, 30-minute show are $8, and are available by calling 313-303-5269 or going to downriveractorsguild.net.

Director Debbie Aue of Taylor said the show is family-friendly and geared to appeal to younger children.

“Kids won’t get bored,” Aue said. “It’s all the familiar characters that they have either seen on TV or in their storybooks. The costumes are done very true to the book, so I just think it is something they will relate to.”

She said cast members range in age from 3 to 10, with older children playing the leads and mentoring younger cast members.

“It would be a really good opportunity to introduce your child to live theater,” Aue said, “because it’s familiar characters, fun music, not a lot of dialogue – mostly all music – and it is kids performing for kids.”

Parents will enjoy the nostalgia and the subtle adult humor in the show, Aue said.

Producer Stephanie Primeau said the show gives families an enjoyable, classic story in a short time frame.

“The younger kids you can capture their attention for a shorter period of time,” Primeau said. “It’s a really cute story that I think anyone who attends will enjoy. It has great music and it will be enjoyed by the kids and the adults.”

The cast includes Allen Park residents Ethan Fink, 6, as a wolf; Jaclyn Sayger, 8, as a raccoon; and Michelle Sayger, 4, as a dancing bee.

Also Lincoln Park residents Caroline Nieues-Gueits, 4, as a dancing bee, and Lily Steele, 10, as Tigger.

Also Riverview residents Cassidy McFarland, 10, as the blue narrator; Isabella Owens, 9, as a bird; Molly Pelkey, 10, as the green narrator; Annabelle Wright, 9, as the violet narrator; and Max Wright, 6, as a squirrel.

Also Southgate residents Annabelle Anderson, 5, as a dancing bee, and Joseph Stein, 9, as a wolf.

Also Taylor residents Kaylee Marsh, 6, as a dancing bee; Kaylin Messer, 3, as a frog; and Lacy Remisoski, 10, as Owl.

Also Trenton residents Madalyn Bailey, 9, as Kanga; Joanna Bailey, 3, as Pooh’s tummy; Anna Bruce, 10, as Pooh; and Emily Bruce, 10, as the orange narrator.

Also Wyandotte residents Andrew Dmitruchina, 7, as a fox; Matthew Cole, 7, as an animal; Griffin Gardner, 6, as a bear; Simon Gardner, 3, as a chipmunk; Eliana Pettigrew, 9, as Rabbit; Adia Pettigrew, 7, as Roo; and Tovah Pettigrew, 5, as a dancing bee.

Also Brownstown Township residents Jana Funk, 8, as the indigo narrator; Marisa Jackson, 10, as the red narrator; and Elaina Primeau, 9, as the yellow narrator.

Also Grosse Ile Township residents Lily Bargamian, 9, as Eeyore; Kate Bargamian, 6, as a dancing bee; and Brayden and Dresden Keding, both 6, as animals; and Woodhaven resident Bianka Bryant, 5, as a butterfly. Also Canton Township resident Evan Sartor, 6, as Piglet.

‘ROMEO AND JULIET’ AT THE HILBERRY

Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” continues Wayne State University’s graduate theater company’s season at the Hilberry, which is celebrating its 52nd year.

The show runs in rotating repertory Oct. 24 to Dec. 13, with shows at 8 p.m. Oct. 24, 25, 30, and 31, Nov. 1 and Dec. 11, 12 and 13, and 2 p.m. Oct. 25, 29 and Dec. 13.

Tuesday school matinees are at 10 a.m. Oct. 28, Nov. 4, Dec. 9, Jan. 27, Feb. 3, and March 3, 10 and 24.

Tickets are $10 to $31, and are available at 313-577-2972, online at wsushows.com, or at the box office, 4743 Cass in Detroit.

Director Blair Anderson said he is emphasizing the theme of young love, with emphasis on Juliet’s interpretation of events.

The set, designed by Tonae Mitsuhasi, fills the entire theater with an immersive scenic design with the impact of an art installation.

Local talent in the cast and crew include Brandon Grantz of Dearborn Heights as Mercutio and Friar John, and Anne Suchyta of Dearborn as the costume designer.

Others in the cast include Bevin Bell-Hall as Benvolia, Miles Boucher as Romeo, Devri Chism as Juliet, Julian David Colletta as Balthasar, Kyle Mitchell Johnson as the Prince and Peter, Annie Keris as Lady Montague, Michael Manocchio as Paris, Sarah Hawkins Moan as the Nurse, Brandy Joe Plambeck as Friar Lawrence, Mary Sansone as Gregory, Michael Phillip Thomas as Capulet, and Tiffany Michelle Thompson as Lady Capulet.

Undergraduate actors in the production include Logan Hart as Sampson and a watchman, Dante’ Jones as an understudy to Friar Lawrence, Taylor Morrow as a dancer, Chris Peterson as Abram and a page, and Kendall Rose Talbot as a dancer.

Additional production team credits include Heather DeFauw as lighting designer, Mario Raymond as sound designer, Brain Dambacher as technical director, Stephanie Baugher as properties master, and David Sterritt as fight choreographer.

HEIGHTS NATIVE PLAYS LEAD IN ‘THE LIFE’ AT OU

Dearborn Heights native Cassidy Temple plays a lead in the Tony Award-winning musical “The Life” through Oct. 19 at Oakland University’s Varner Studio Theatre.

The show features book by David Newman, Ira Gasman and Cy Coleman, music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Ira Gasman.

Tickets run from $10 to $18, and are available at 800-585-3737 or online at startickets.com. The show contains adult themes, and is inappropriate for children under 18.

The show depicts life on the streets around New York’s Times Square from the point of view of the pimps and prostitutes, druggies and dealers, runaways and street people in the 1980s on 42nd Street.

Remaining performances include 2 p.m. Oct. 12 and 19, 10 a.m. Oct. 17, and 8 p.m. Oct. 15 to 18.

For a campus map, go to Oakland.edu/map. Parking is free.