DAG does ‘Noises Off;’ HFC presents A Raisin in the Sun

Photo by Suchyta. The Downriver Actors Guild presents the farce “Noises Off,” with Peyton Bias (left) of Southgate as Brooke Ashton, Trey Allen of Southgate as Gary Lejeune, Katie Suchyta of Dearborn as Dotty Otley, Ashley Blevins of Allen Park as Poppy Norton-Taylor, Tony Primeau of Wyandotte as Tim Allgood, Nick Szczerba of Brownstown Township as Lloyd Dallas, Kevin Kaminski of Detroit as Frederick Fellowes, and Keri Geftos Harris of Riverview as Belinda Blair. Show times are 7:30 p.m. July 31, Aug. 1, 7 and 8, and 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the theater, 2656 Biddle in Wyandotte. For tickets or more information, call 313-303-5269 or go to downriveractorsguild.net.

Photo by Suchyta. The Downriver Actors Guild presents the farce “Noises Off,” with Peyton Bias (left) of Southgate as Brooke Ashton, Trey Allen of Southgate as Gary Lejeune, Katie Suchyta of Dearborn as Dotty Otley, Ashley Blevins of Allen Park as Poppy Norton-Taylor, Tony Primeau of Wyandotte as Tim Allgood, Nick Szczerba of Brownstown Township as Lloyd Dallas, Kevin Kaminski of Detroit as Frederick Fellowes, and Keri Geftos Harris of Riverview as Belinda Blair. Show times are 7:30 p.m. July 31, Aug. 1, 7 and 8, and 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the theater, 2656 Biddle in Wyandotte. For tickets or more information, call 313-303-5269 or go to downriveractorsguild.net.

By SUE SUCHYTA

Tickets are $12 for adults, and $10 for students and seniors. To order, call 313-303-5269, or go to downriveractorsguild.net.

Director Lucinda Chavez said the show is arguably the best farce ever written, and audiences are in for a unique and hilarious night of entertainment.

“The show itself is cleverly written and funny,” she said.

The cast includes Ashley Blevins of Allen Park as Poppy Norton-Taylor; Katie Suchyta of Dearborn as Dotty Otley; Keri Geftos-Harris of Riverview as Belinda Blair; Southgate residents Trey Allen as Garry Lejeune, and Peyton Bias as Brooke Ashton; Tony Primeau of Wyandotte as Tim Allgood; Nick Szczerba of Brownstown Township as Lloyd Dallas, and Detroit residents Kevin Kaminski as Frederick Fellowes, and Jim Wolbrink as Selsdon Mowbray.

HFC PRESENTS ‘A RAISIN IN THE SUN’

Henry Ford College presents Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun” at 8 p.m. Aug. 6 to 8, and 13 to 15, and 2 p.m. Aug. 9 and 16 in Adray Auditorium in the MacKenzie Fine Arts Center on the main campus.

Tickets are $12 general admission, and $10 for HFC staff and students. For more information, call 313-845-9817. To order tickets online, go to theatre.hfcc.edu.

When an African-American family living in poverty in Chicago receives a windfall insurance check, the family chooses to spend some of the money to move to an all-white neighborhood.

When the show debuted on Broadway in 1959, it was a turning point in American theater, at a time when audiences were predominately white.

It was also the first Broadway play written by an African-American woman.

Director Christopher Bremer said he feels that “A Raisin in the Sun” ranks among the best 100 plays, and that Hansberry had amazing insight into the human condition as well as the future direction of African-American culture before the civil rights movement began.

“It’s really just a wonderful piece,” Bremer said. “Now when you look at it, it’s kind of an historical piece, but it really is just an amazing piece of art.”

Bremer said the play is also a strong vehicle for actors.

“It needs and deserves the light of day, and over and over to be seen,” Bremer said. “Our job is to train actors, and what better material to work with than such a fabulous, fabulous play?”

The play represents American families of many different backgrounds who have struggled to assimilate, Bremer said.

“If you were an Italian family who struggled to be assimilated into this country, an Arabic family, a Greek family, whatever place that you came from,” Bremer said. “Remember, we’re a big melting pot.

“Everyone has had to fight to be accepted, and that’s what this play is – how we stand up, become part of society, fighting the prejudices that sadly, everyone has had to fight, from the Irish in the 1800s to Asians.”

Bremer said African-Americans have faced more difficult challenges than other nationalities, but the story is reflective of the American dream, our collective desire to make better lives for our families, and that is why people should come to see it.

“Yes, it is definitely the African-American story, pre-civil rights, but it is a universal story,” Bremer said.
Gloria E. Niles of Detroit, who plays matriarch Lena Younger, said it is important for young people to understand what their ancestors went through for them to have a better life.

“In our effort to make life better for our children, sometimes we don’t tell them the history as much as we should,” Niles said. “It is so important to know where you came from, where you started. That way you appreciate it, and it helps you grow, and to take pride more in your people, those people that have paved the way for you.”

Others in the cast includes London Johnson of Detroit as Walter Younger, Anita Banks-Holsey of Westland as Ruth Younger, Edward Austin of Redford Township as Travis Younger, and Taylor Wilson of Lincoln Park as Beneatha Younger.

Beneatha’s two suitors are played by Marcellus Hogan of Detroit as Joseph Asagai, and Terrence Wilburn of Ypsilanti as George Murchison.
Matt Van Houten of Allen Park plays Karl Lindner, a white representative of the neighborhood they plan to move into, who offers to buy them out.

SHOWBIZ FAMILY THEATER PRESENTS “HAPPY DAYS – A NEW MUSICAL”

Showbiz Family Theater presents “Happy Days – A New Musical” at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 7, 8, 14 and 15 at the Royal Majestic Theater inside Trillium Academy, 15740 Racho Road in Taylor.

Tickets are $10, and can be purchased at the door, or by email from  janineshowbiz@ gmail.com.

The new musical “Happy Days,” with book by Gary Marshall, and music and lyrics by Paul Williams, is based on season four of the television series.  When Arnold’s Malt Shop is threatened with demolition to make way for a mall, the group plans both a dance concert and a wrestling match to raise money to save the iconic spot.

With stage and vocal direction by Sarah Leonard, the show features the choreography of Kelly Klug.
The cast includes Allen Park residents Bethany Fink, 16, as Marion Cunningham, and Brendan Siddall, 16, as Jumpy Malachi; Lucas Klug, 16, of Lincoln Park as Howard Cunningham; and Emily Hunt, 14, of Riverview as Lori Beth Hunt.

Also, Southgate residents Tyler Goethe, 17, as Chachi, and Maddie Goethe, 14, as Pinkette Tina and a calendar girl; and Taylor residents Donte Bankston, 14, as Arnold, Joe Oliveri, 15, as the Fonz, Ariel Parks, 16, as Leopard Manny, and Harold LaBeau, 18, as Count Malachi.

Also. Trenton residents Jenna Perugi, 16, as Joanie Cunningham, and Melanie Hulslander, 14, as Pinky Tuscadero; and Wyandotte residents Austin Charlebois, 15, as Richie Cunningham, and Justin Hernandez, 15, as Ralph Malph.

Also, Nic Abernathy, 13, of Brownstown Township as Leopard Mac; Hannah Scheinfeld, 15, of Grosse Ile as Pinkette Lola, and a calendar girl; and Charlie Prohaska, 17, of Rockwood as Potsie.

Pinkettes and calendar girls include Sami Darnell, 15, of Allen Park; Adriana James, 12, of Lincoln Park; Kalyn Browne, 14, of Taylor; and Rachel Kret, 16, of Wyandotte.

Mini Pinkettes include Sofia Klug, 5, of Lincoln Park; Ella Doddie, 6, of Southgate; and Natalia Shadik, 5, of Romulus.

Ensemble members include: Allen Park residents Ryan Boos, 13, and Abbey Demorrow, 16; and Lincoln Parks residents Cody Holman, 11, Jackson Klug, 8, and Julia Klug, 11; and Robyn Hunt, 11, of Riverview.

Also: Southgate residents Tori Brown, 4,  Abigail Doddie, 10, Talan Doddie, 8, Sydney Kelley, 14, Anna Manor, 13, Olivia Murphy, 13, Emelia Yoscovits, 10, and Trinity Yoscovits, 14; and Trevor Coit, 9, of Taylor.

Also:  Heather Sherry, 16, of Monroe; Kennedy Klauza, 12, of New Boston; L’Stasia Brantley, 11, of River Rouge; Emily Prohaska, 12, and Sarah Prohaska, 8, of Rockwood; Alyssa Shadik, 10, of Romulus; and Martha Kimberlin, 14, of Wayne.