‘The Nutcracker’ slated by Ballet Americana troupe

Photo courtesy of Ballet Americana Members of Ballet Americana perform the Dance of the Mirlitons during a performance of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker.” The Taylor-based troupe will present the classic Christmas ballet Dec. 5 and 6 at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center in Dearborn.

Photo courtesy of Ballet Americana
Members of Ballet Americana perform the Dance of the Mirlitons during a performance of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker.” The Taylor-based troupe will present the classic Christmas ballet Dec. 5 and 6 at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center in Dearborn.


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The spotlight will be on Abby Phillips as Clara, and Matthew Niemiec as Herr Drosselmeyer, in the Ballet Americana production of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” this weekend at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, 15801 Michigan Ave., Dearborn.

Performances are slated for 8 p.m. Dec. 5 and 1 and 7 p.m. Dec. 6 in the center’s Michael A. Guido Theater. The Detroit Symphony Civic Orchestra, led by Kenneth Thompson, will accompany the dancers.

Guest artists from the Miami City Ballet and the American Ballet Theater also are scheduled to appear, along with members of the Ballet Americana Ensemble, composed of Samantha Blackburn, Sarah Geer, Kelsey Kochan and MacKenzie Phillips, as well as Abby Phillips.

For ticket prices, call 313-943-2354 or go to www.dearborntheater.com.

Ballet Americana also will perform for a “Sugarplum” luncheon Dec. 12 at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial.

Joy Squire is director of the Ballet Americana; Patricia Squire Lorenz, artistic director; and Leif Lorenz, technical director.

Open Book slates ‘Red’
Abstract expressionist Mark Rothko, well known for his murals at New York City’s Four Seasons Restaurant, is the focus of the Open Book Theatre’s second production of the season, “Red,” scheduled for six performances at Penelope’s Venue in Southgate beginning Dec. 5.

The play stars Dennis Kleinsmith as Rothko, and Richard Payton as Ken, the artist’s young assistant.

According to Open Book’s artistic director, Krista Schafer Ewbank, “Red” offers a portrait of the artist’s ambition and vulnerability as he tries to create a definitive work for an extraordinary setting.

Performances will take place at 8 p.m. Dec. 5, 6, 11, 12 and 13. A 3 p.m. Dec. 7 performance will be followed by a discussion about the play with the actors.

Also involved in the production are Topher Alan Payne, director; Harley Miah, lighting designer; Brandy Joe Plambeck, sound; and Kat Walsh, movement.

Tickets are $20 ($15, students and seniors). For tickets or more information, go to www.openbooktc.com or call 734-288-7753. Penelope’s Venue is at 12219 Dix-Toledo Road.

Holiday show set at college
Approximately 60 artists and crafters will offer their creations Dec. 6 at the Downriver Arts and Crafts Guild Holiday Show, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 6 in the Heinz C. Prechter Educational & Performing Arts Center of Wayne County Community College District Downriver, 21000 Northline Road, Taylor.

Among the many items for sale will be fine art (oil paintings and watercolors, pastels, acrylics and drawings), wood crafts, designer clothing and accessories, ceramics, photography, jewelry, ornaments and wreaths.

Admission is free.

DCA planning yule luncheon
Mark McPherson of Grosse Ile Township, well known in the Downriver area as an actor and storyteller, will portray Charles Dickens, the author of “A Christmas Carol,” Dec. 7 at the annual holiday luncheon of the Downriver Council for the Arts.

The event is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the James R. DeSana Center for Arts & Culture, 81 Chestnut, Wyandotte.

“Meet Mr. Dickens” is the title of the program in which McPherson will explain the author’s inspiration for writing the classic tale.

The luncheon will include roast turkey with stuffing, cranberry relish, green beans, rolls and red velvet cake. Reservations, $25, are being accepted at the DCA office and 734-720-0671.

Coming up . . .
Dec. 1 — Health-insurance enrollment open house, sponsored by The Information Center; 3 to 8 p.m. in the Ray Mix Room of Wayne County Community College District Downriver, 21000 Northline, Taylor; no charge; door prizes and light refreshments; for more information call the center at 734-282-7171.

Dec. 5 — Downriver Community Prayer Breakfast, 7 a.m. at Crystal Gardens, 16703 Fort St., Southgate; the speaker will be Chuck Gaidica, former weatherman at WDIV Channel 4, who is transitioning to pastor at Oak Pointe Church in Novi; tickets are $20 per person; the breakfast is sold out, call Bovitz CPA, 734-671-5300, for possible cancellations.