By Sue Suchyta
The Players Guild of Dearborn continues it 88th season with a well-acted, fast-paced production of Agatha Christie’s murder mystery “The Mousetrap,” the world’s longest running play, now entering its 64th year.
David Reynolds’ set design, with Gordon Mosley as master carpenter and Marybeth Oravec’s scenic painting is amazing: one is transported to a beautiful and stylish British country house with rich wood paneling, a beautiful faux marble fireplace (with a roaring fire courtesy of a flat screen TV), and a desolate, snowbound landscape seen out the window.
The only anomaly in the classic, richly appointed set are skylight-like stained glass windows in a design too modern to fit the character of the rest of the house, with bright rectangles sans anything to suggest lead glass panes in a nearly 100-year-old house.
Inez Hernandez’s ’50s era costumes are wonderfully nostalgic and beautifully tailored.
Lindel Salow’s hair and makeup design add to the feeling of the era, and are beautifully done, with the exception of Parivicini’s overly heavy hand with the rouge, which should be more subtle in keeping with speculative references from other characters.
The show, directed by Karen Pritchard of Garden City, has a strong ensemble, with standout performances by Andrew St. John of Dearborn as Christopher Wren; Tiffany Mullins of Livonia as Molly Ralston; and Northville residents Patricia LaFramboise as Mrs. Boyle and Sarah Zakaria as Miss Casewell.
Others in the strong cast include Dearborn residents Chris Boudreau as Giles Ralston and Kenneth Overwater as Detective Sergeant Trotter, Ross Grossman of Farmington Hills as Mr. Paravincini, and Marc Walentowicz of Garden City as Major Metcalf.
The audience is drawn into the murder investigation at the snowed-in guest house, with the law arriving on cross-country skis and the phone line dead.
The show continues its run at 8 p.m. March 12, 18 and 19, and 2:30 p.m. March 13 and 20 at the Players Guild of Dearborn, 21730 Madison.
Tickets are $17, with a $2 student discount. For tickets and more information, call 313-561-TKTS or go to playersguildofdearborn.org.
OBTC ENTERTAINS WITH VONNEGUT-BASED ONE ACTS
More area audiences are discovering the wonderful performances of Southgate’s Open Book Theatre Company, at Penelope’s Venue, 12219 Dix Toledo Road in Southgate.
The talented ensemble brings three of Vonnegut’s short stories to life amid appreciative laughter from the house in playwright Aaron Posner’s “Who Am I This Time? (and other conundrums of love).”
The three stories are tied together by an affable director of a fictional East Coast community theater, likably played by Joshua Brown in a style somewhat reminiscent of Garrison Keillor.
Romantic love and its complications is the common thread of the three Vonnegut stories. theater
“Long Walk to Forever” tells of a young man who goes AWOL to keep his childhood sweetheart from marrying another man, showcasing Allison Megroet of Berkley and and Chris Peterson of Sterling Heights.
In “Who Am I This Time?” a traveling telephone company trainer falls in love through the magic of community theater, and finds a way to break through the shyness of a young man who lives vicariously only through his stage roles.
Megroet is wonderful as the traveling trainer and Stella (from Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire”), while Richard Payton of Ferndale proves his wide range of talent as he plays a painfully shy hardware store clerk who only comes alive through his stage alter-ego, this time Stanley Kowalski of “Streetcar.”
Sarah Hawkins Moan of Detroit is delightful as the feisty yet flexible outgoing director of the show within the show.
The third short play, “Go Back to your Precious Wife and Son,” follows an overly dramatic film star, wonderfully played by Moan, and her writer husband, played by Sean Paraventi of Redford Township. They come to the small town, buy a retreat house, and order some special windows from handyman and narrator Tom Newton, played by Brown, who quickly realizes that he has become a voyeur to the celebrity couple’s over the top verbal feuds.
Brown’s sloppy drunk scene with Paraventi, and later his wife Kate, long-suffering yet lovingly played by Krista Schafer Ewbank of Grosse Ile Township, is laugh-out-loud funny in a down-to-earth manner.
Directed by the talented Topher Payne of Royal Oak, the strong ensemble show continues its run at 8 p.m. March 17, 18 and 19, and 2 p.m. March 13, followed by a discussion with the company.
Tickets are $20, with a $5 discount for students and seniors. For tickets or more information, call 734-288-7753 or go to openbooktc.com.
DAG ANNOUNCES 2016 – 17 SEASON
The Downriver Actors Guild, 2656 Biddle in Wyandotte, is accepting applications for the paid positions of director, vocal and music director and choreographer for “Oliver!” which will run May 5 to 21, 2017; for the family musical “Peter Pan,” which runs July 28 to Aug. 6, 2017; and “Sleepy Hollow,” a musical performed by children 8 to 18, running Sept. 16 to 25, 2016. A director is also sought for “Dearly Departed,” an adult non-musical comedy, which runs June 2 to 11, 2017.
A teen musical, to be announced soon, will fill the Feb. 24 to March 5, 2017, time slot.
Other shows in DAG’s 2016-17 season (for which staff positions have been filled), include “Bonnie and Clyde the Music” Oct. 14 to 29, 2016; “No Bullies, Get Real!,” an anti-bullying teen show, Nov. 11 to 13, 2016; “Home for the Holidays, Christmas Then and Now,” Dec. 9 to 18, 2016; and “Chicago, the Musical,” Jan. 20 to 29, 2017.
For more information and to download application forms, go to downriveractorsguild.net or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEITZ PRESENTS ‘LITTLE MERMAID JR.’
Riverview’s Seitz Middle School presents Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.” at 7 p.m. March 15 and 17, at 17800 Kennebec. Tickets are $3.
The cast includes Sydney Robinson as Ariel, Dylan Seets as Prince Eric, Gizelle Whitmire as Ursula and Josh Prim as King Triton.
Keagan Rodden plays Sebastian, with Paris Fisher as Flounder and Nicole Kormos as Scuttle.