Teens energize Downriver musicals

Photo courtesy of Acting Out Productions of Taylor Acting Out Productions of Taylor presents the musical “Anything Goes,” with Taeryn McCardell (fifth from left), 17, of Trenton as Reno Sweeny; and chorus dancers Riley Klauza (left), 17, of New Boston; Zachary Beasley, 17, of Newport; Madison Sakajas, 15, of New Boston; Stephanie Glitz, 17, of Southgate; Melanie Hulslander, 16, of Trenton; Nina Lomas, 12, of Trenton; Kaitlin Jenkins, 18, of Allen Park; and Bethany Fink, 18, of Allen Park.

Photo courtesy of Acting Out Productions of Taylor
Acting Out Productions of Taylor presents the musical “Anything Goes,” with Taeryn McCardell (fifth from left), 17, of Trenton as Reno Sweeny; and chorus dancers Riley Klauza (left), 17, of New Boston; Zachary Beasley, 17, of Newport; Madison Sakajas, 15, of New Boston; Stephanie Glitz, 17, of Southgate; Melanie Hulslander, 16, of Trenton; Nina Lomas, 12, of Trenton; Kaitlin Jenkins, 18, of Allen Park; and Bethany Fink, 18, of Allen Park.

 

Untitled-1DYPAC presents, ‘13,’ AOP presents ‘Anything Goes’

Talented teens energize Downriver with upbeat summer shows, with Trenton’s Downriver Youth Performing Arts Center offering the contemporary coming-of-age teen musical “13,” and Taylor’s Acting Out Productions presenting a youth production of “Anything Goes.”

DYPAC PRESENTS ‘13’

Whether you remember the emotional roller coaster of your teenage years with mixed emotions or you’re still experiencing its highs and lows, the musical “13” will transport you to a time when you discovered that the best friends aren’t necessarily the most popular ones.

With music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown and book by Dan Elish and Robert Horn, DYPAC brings “13” to life at 7 p.m. Aug. 11 and 12 and 2 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Trenton Village Theatre, 2447 W. Jefferson.

The show is directed by Bailey Shaver of Grosse Ile Township, with Sarah Altenburg of Allen Park as the vocal and musical director and choreography by Madeline Balavitch of Wyandotte and Jenna Perugi of Trenton.

When Evan Goldman is uprooted from New York City to a small town in Indiana after his parents get divorced, he worries about fitting into a new social circle at school as well as his impending bar mitzah. Amid jocks, cheerleaders and geeks, he learns not only what manhood entails but what true friendship means.

Shaver said the story is authentic.

“Downriver community theaters do a lot of big, show-stopping, fun productions, but I think this production is realistic and intimate,” he said. “It is not too serious, but still gives the audience a chance to think about what it means to be popular and how to succeed with the social world that we live in.”

Shaver said the teen cast members are dealing with similar issue in their own lives.

“They remember how it felt to be a geek, or a girl struggling with societal pressure, or a guy who is not good or cool or manly enough,” he said. “They are doing a great job of portraying that and it’s translating on stage beautifully.”

Noah Trudeau, 14, of Trenton, who plays Evan, said his character has to choose between superficially fitting in with the crowd or finding true friendship with a small circle of friends who appeal to him.

“It is a story about him becoming a man and choosing how he wants to live the rest of his life, and labels that seem to last a lifetime when you are that age,” he said.

Madison Ganzak, 13, of Dearborn Heights, who plays Cassie, one of the cheerleaders, said the show is not one that is done that often, but one to which audiences can relate.

Madison Goethe, 16, of Wyandotte, who plays Patrice, the eccentric, bookish “geek” who has a crush on Evan, said the show will uplift audiences and make them laugh. She said while teens can relate to the situations now, adults will remember the ups and downs.

“They will sit there and remember being 13, having flashbacks of when they were younger and not fitting in or trying to keep up with all the cool kids,” Goethe said.

Adrian Adkins, 17, of Woodhaven, who plays Archie, an outsider with muscular dystrophy, said it is a show that can apply to people at any point in their lives.

“I still can reflect back and say ‘Wow, I really understood that then, and I still can to this day,’” he said. “It’s really relatable.”

Others in the cast include Abbey DeMorrow, 18, of Allen Park in the ensemble; Kaitlyn Fujii, 17, of Belleville as Molly, a cheerleader; and Brownstown Township residents Connor Counts, 15, as Malcolm, an intimidating football player; Fouad Diry, 16, in the ensemble; Youssef Fadel, 13, as Simon; and Aiyanna Fivecoat, 14, and Nina Nelson, 15, in the ensemble.

Veronica Bailo, 12, of Dearborn is in the ensemble, with Glen Bourgeois, 16, of Detroit as Eddie, an intimidating football player; Flat Rock residents Joslyn Kaiser, 14, and Kayla Rodriguez, 14, in the ensemble; Hailey Holbdy, 12, of Gibraltar in the ensemble; and Grosse Ile residents Liliana Finazzo, 13, as Lilliana and Luke Markley, 13, as Richie.

Alexis Gambino, 13, of New Boston is in the ensemble, with Nicholas Fioretti, 17, of Riverview as Brett, the football star, and Susan Hammermeister, 14, in the ensemble; Brooke Scherer, 16, of Rockwood is in the ensemble; and Sergio Krzesowiak, 13, of Southgate is in the ensemble.

Trenton cast members include Ellie Cartwright, 14, and Chance Day, 13, in the ensemble; Forrest Day, 15, as the rabbi; Sara Huffmaster, 15, in the ensemble; and Ashley Marshall, 15, as Kendra, the prettiest and most popular girl.

Woodhaven cast members include Isabelle Grima, 16, and Kaya Shell, 12, in the ensemble, and Makena Shell, 16, as Charlotte, a cheerleader; and Olivia Johnson, 16, of Wyandotte as Lucy, Kendra’s best friend.

Tickets are $12 for preferred seating and $10 for adults, with a $2 discount for seniors and students. Call 734-771-7945 for information. To order tickets online go to dypac.com.

TAYLOR’S ACTING OUT PRODUCTIONS PRESENT ‘ANYTHING GOES’

Taylor’s Acting Out Productions takes audiences on an ocean cruise with the upbeat Cole Porter musical “Anything Goes,” which follows the madcap antics aboard an ocean liner bound from London to New York in the mid-1930s.

When stowaway Billy Crocker falls in love with heiress Hope Harcourt,who is engaged to British Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, his cause is helped by nightclub singer Reno Sweeny and gangster Moonface Martin.

The show introduced the familiar songs “Anything Goes,” “You’re the Top,” and “I Get a Kick Out of You,” and both the 1987 and 2011 Broadway productions won Tonys for Best Revival of a Musical.

The show runs 7:30 p.m. Aug. 5, 11 and 12 and 3 p.m. Aug. 6 in the Royal Majestic Theater at Trillium Academy, 15740 Racho Blvd, Taylor.

Justin Hernandez, 17, of Wyandotte, who plays Billy Crocker, said “Anything Goes” is a funny, feel good show with great music.

“The energy, from beginning to end of each dance, scene and song will sit on the audience’s mind even after the show ends,” he said.

Stephanie Glitz, 17, of Southgate, who plays Faith, one of the Angels, said the choreography is challenging and the leads are strong.

“It’s just a fun and goofy show for all ages,” she said. “The humor can resonate with anyone.”

The leads include Taeryn McCardell, 17, of Trenton as Reno Sweeney, Adam Bedikian of Lincoln Park as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, Moira McCardell of Trenton as Hope Harcourt and Charles Doodie as Moonface Martin.

The other Angels include Allen Park residents Bethany Fink, 18, as Charity and Kaitlin Jenkins, 18, as Patience; New Boston residents Riley Klauza, 17, as Chastity, and Madison Sakjas, 15, as Temperance; Zachery Beasley, 17, of Newport as Virtue; and Trenton residents Melanie Hulslander, 16, as Purity, and Nina Lomas, 12, as Honor.

Tickets are $15, with a $3 discount for students and seniors. Tickets are $10 if ordered online at actingoutdownriver.com/jazzhands.

AOP will also present “Jack and the Beanstalk,” with cast members ages 3 to 10, at 3 p.m. Aug. 5, 12 and 13 at the theatre. The production is a product of AOP’s teen mentor program, which gives teens directing and production experience. For more information, go to actingoutdownriver.com.