Zombies invade Wyandotte theater with ‘Night of the Living Dead’

Photo by Rob Pratt. Wyandotte's TNT Productions presents “Night of the Living Dead” Sept. 30 to Oct. 8 at DeSana Center with Erica McClain (left) of Wyandotte as Barbara, Tommy Stoll of Brownstown Township as the main zombie and Nick Mullins of Allen Park as Johnny. For tickets or more information, call 734-626-8395.

Photo by Rob Pratt. Wyandotte’s TNT Productions presents “Night of the Living Dead” Sept. 30 to Oct. 8 at DeSana Center with Erica McClain (left) of Wyandotte as Barbara, Tommy Stoll of Brownstown Township as the main zombie and Nick Mullins of Allen Park as Johnny. For tickets or more information, call 734-626-8395.

By SUE SUCHYTA

Zombies will rise from the dead for the third year in a row as TNT productions revives the 1968 cult film “Night of the Living Dead” as a stage show at the James R. DeSana Center for Arts and Culture, 81 Chestnut St. in Wyandotte.

Performances are 7 p.m. Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 7 and 8, and 10 p.m. Oct. 1 and 8.

Tickets are $10. To order, call 734-626-8395 or go to squareup.com/store/tnt-productions-3.

Directed by Tim Wojtala of Wyandotte, the show features Nick Mullins of Allen Park as Johnny; Joy Zouzaneas of Lincoln Park as Judy; Kirk Hayhurst of Southgate as the newscaster; John Bruske of Trenton as Tom; and Wyandotte residents Kevin Bencik as Harry and Erica McClain as Barbara.

Barbara Day of Belleville plays Helen, with Tommy Stoll of Brownstown Township as the main zombie and Dinah Tutein of Rockwood as Ben.

OBTC’s ‘PETER AND THE STARCATCHER’ FILLED WITH FAST-PACED TALENT

“Peter and the Starcatcher” launches the Open Book Theatre Company’s third season in its new location, 1621 West Road in Trenton.

The new performance space, in a completely renovated double storefront, is both audience-friendly and designed with cast and crew needs at the forefront.

The season’s opening show, “Peter and the Starcatcher,” is a must-see for actors and people who take theater seriously: the show is fast-paced, very well-acted, captivating, and makes one think.

Performed in the round with audience on all four sides, and with Harley Miah’s amazing lighting, director Krista Schafer Ewbank and the unflagging energy and fast pace of the cast bring the show to life.

There isn’t a weak link in the company. Taylor Morrow is amazing as Molly, bringing talent, energy and exuberance to the role, and her age-defying appearance will probably ensure she is carded for the next 30 years. Mindy Padlo, as Prentice, and Jaclynn Cherry, as Ted, are entertaining as her comedic sidekicks.

Jonathan Davidson is a nifty villain as Black Stache, and Dennis Kleinsmith is regal as Lord Aster.
Also in the strong cast, playing multiple roles, are James Busam, Dan Johnson, Sean Paraventi, Kez Settle, Alexander Sloan, Nick Szczerba and Lenora Whitecotton.

The run continues at 8 p.m. Sept. 29, 30 and Oct. 1 at the theater. Tickets are $20, with a $5 discount for students and seniors. For more information, call 734-288-7753. To order tickets, go to openbooktc.com.

HILBERRY LAUNCHES PROMISING SEASON WITH ‘YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU’

Wayne State’s Hilberry Theatre launches its 2016-17 season with laughter through Oct. 2 with George Kaufman and Moss Hart’s comedy “You Can’t Take It with You.”

From Emily Willemse’s gorgeous set to the talented cast, audiences will laugh and enjoy in the classic comedy.

Most of the lead and supporting roles are double cast, but with such a strong, veteran company, both casts produce a show worth watching.

Clever cameos include Mary Sansone’s drunk actress, Kyle Mitchell Johnson’s fireworks creating Mr. De Pinna and Breayre Tender’s dancing Essie.

Wesley Cady is wonderful as the “normal” daughter Alice Sycamore, and Devri Chism is entertaining as her mother Penelope Sycamore.

Alyssa Gawel’s costumes are simple yet elegant and well-tailored, and delightfully true to the period.

Show times are 8 p.m. Sept. 30 and Oct. 1; 3 p.m. Oct. 1 and 2; 7 p.m. Sept. 29; and 10 a.m. Sept. 27 at the theater, 4743 Cass in Detroit. For tickets, call 313-577-2972, go to hilberry.com.

GUILD LAUNCHES ARK AND SEASON WITH MUSICAL ‘TWO BY TWO’

The Players Guild of Dearborn opens its season with the musical story of Noah’s ark, “Two by Two,” with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Martin Charnin and book by Peter Stone.

While Rodgers’ music becomes more memorable when paired with Oscar Hammerstein’s lyrics, the musical, with a cast of eight, appeals to audiences who are open to a Biblical retelling that presents Noah and his family as real, fallible people instead of distant, lofty saints.

Guild veterans will immediately see the parallels between Mike Moseley’s Noah and his past portrayal of Teveye in “Fiddler on the Roof” – he talks to God in both, and one almost expects him to break out in a chorus of “Tradition.”

Brian Townsend’s comic characterization of Shem is fun to watch, and Leah Paige Cooley’s incredible voice is showcased through her portrayal of Goldie in the second act. It is also entertaining to see Julie Ballantyne Brown as Leah, Shem’s wife, embrace a role so opposite her own warm personality.

Kathleen Duffy as Rachel, Tom Varitek as Ham, Mark Wagner as Japheth and Sue Delosier as Esther also add unique touches to their roles.

The show runs 8 p.m. Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, and 2:30 p.m. Oct. 2 at the theater, 21730 Madison in Dearborn.

For tickets, call 313-561-TKTS or go to playersguildofdearborn.org.