Audience pleasing musicals on local stages

Photo by Sue Suchyta Maria Loyo (left) of New Boston plays Mayzie LaBird, with Madison Ganzak of Dearborn Heights as Gertrude McFuzz, Thomas Peck of Garden City as Horton the Elephant and Kahrah Noel of Detroit as a Wickersham Brother, as Henry Ford College and Dearborn Youth Theatre present “Seussical the Musical” at 8 p.m. Nov. 10, 11, 17 and 18, and 2 p.m. Nov. 12 and 19 at Adray Auditorium in the MacKenzie Fine Arts Center, 5101 Evergreen Road, Dearborn. For information, call 586-939-1687. For tickets, go to theatre.hfc.edu.

Photo by Sue Suchyta
Maria Loyo (left) of New Boston plays Mayzie LaBird, with Madison Ganzak of Dearborn Heights as Gertrude McFuzz, Thomas Peck of Garden City as Horton the Elephant and Kahrah Noel of Detroit as a Wickersham Brother, as Henry Ford College and Dearborn Youth Theatre present “Seussical the Musical” at 8 p.m. Nov. 10, 11, 17 and 18, and 2 p.m. Nov. 12 and 19 at Adray Auditorium in the MacKenzie Fine Arts Center, 5101 Evergreen Road, Dearborn. For information, call 586-939-1687. For tickets, go to theatre.hfc.edu.

 

HFC presents ‘Seussical,’ Crestwood offers ‘Little Shop of Horrors’

Untitled-1It may be cold outside, but area theaters are heating up the houses with toe-tapping musicals and songs you’ll be singing long after the curtain falls.

Four local theater groups open musicals Nov. 10: “Seussical the Musical,” with the combined the talents of Henry Ford College and the Dearborn Youth Theatre; “Little Shop of Horrors” at Crestwood High School in Dearborn Heights; “Promises, Promises” at the Players Guild of Dearborn; and “The Addams Family” by the Southgate Community Players.

The Downriver Actors Guild also adds music to the mix with a performance by its own Avenue A Cappella group Nov. 11 at the Catherine A. Daly Theatre on the Avenue, 2656 Biddle, Wyandotte. For tickets or more information, call 734-407-7020 or go to downriveractorsguild.net.

‘SEUSSICAL’S’ ENERGY JUMPS OFF THE PAGE TO THE STAGE

“Seussical the Musical” transfers its energy from the page to the stage as HFC and the DYT team up to bring the musical to life.

Directed by Mary Bremer, the show runs 8 p.m. Nov. 10, 11, 17 and 18, and 2 p.m. Nov. 12 and 19 at Adray Auditorium in the MacKenzie Fine Arts Center, 5101 Evergreen Road, Dearborn.

Bremer said she chose the show because it has a large cast, is contemporary and people are familiar with Dr. Seuss.

“It’s appropriate for all ages, from pre-K through high school,” Bremer said. “It’s a draw, it’s a lot of fun, it’s a musical, but there’s a wonderful message.

“It really teaches people to be good citizens, how to use your imagination. Seuss wrote wonderful things about how to be a good friend, how to stand up for the truth, things we need to teach our children today.”

Bremer said the message is relevant to adults as well as children.

Lon Jemma of Allen Park, who plays General Gengis Kahn Schmitz, said children’s theater can impart adult lessons from which audiences can benefit.

Thomas Peck of Garden City, who is double-cast as Horton the Elephant, agrees. He said in addition to imparting wisdom to all ages, the show has humor for both children and adults.

“There are a lot of different lessons that are taught through the show,” Peck said.

Mariah Johnson of Warren, who plays the Sour Kangaroo, said that even though we associate Dr. Seuss with children’s literature, there is adult humor in the show.

“There is a lot of innuendo and things like that,” Johnson said. “The message is be good to all people no matter who they are, and I believe everybody needs a little bit of that.”

Madison Ganzak of Dearborn Heights, who is double-cast as Gertrude McFuzz, said the show is heartwarming and entertaining.

“It’s lots of fun,” Ganzak said. “The Cat in the Hat is very funny, the Wickershams are jumping around. It’s very entertaining. It just gets you in a really good mood.”

The cast also includes Allen Park residents Sophia Kozlo as a Bird Girl; Jessie Maddox triple-cast as the Cat in the Hat; and Michelle and Trevor Redmond as a Whoville citizen.

Dearborn cast members include Calum Carscadden, triple-cast as JoJo; Joshua Cliff, triple-cast as the Cat in the Hat; Isabella Robinson, double-cast as the Grinch; Joe Sullivan as Yertle the Turtle, the judge of the jungle; Salem Akar, Daniel Cajas, Keith Harrington and Joe Jabara as Wickersham Brothers; and Zaina Berri, Margaret Carscadden, Eliana Quesada, Samarah Saggers and Julia Schoen as Bird Girls.

Dearborn cast members playing Whoville citizens include Elyas, Habib and Jumana Abbas, Alora Bazzi, Carolyn Cajas, John Dauzy, Isabella Marcoux, Mike Ross, Sherry Saggers, Emily and Makayla Schade, Lola Rose Song and Penelope Sorrano.

Dearborn Heights cast members include Solomon Shorter triple-cast as the Cat in the Hat; Lucee Wilson as a Bird Girl and Kurtis Wilson as a Wickersham Brother.

Detroit cast members include Kennedy Cooper double-cast as the Mayor’s wife; Marcus Cunningham, double-cast as Horton; Elijah Liddell as the Mayor, Kahrah Noel as a Wickersham

Anastasia Pauli of Lincoln Park is triple-cast as JoJo, with Danny Alnouri of Melvindale as aWickersham Brother, Mariah King of Macomb Township plays a Whoville citizen, Maria Loyo of New Boston as Mayzie LaBird, Katherine Kummer of Romulus as a Whoville Citizen and Eve Leigh of Royal Oak, who is double-cast as the Mayor’s Wife.

Warren cast members include Cassandra Bremer as a Bird Girl, Iris Bremer triple-cast as JoJo; and Isabella Johnson double-cast as Mayzie LaBird.

Dominick Hamilton of Westland plays a Wickersham Brother, while White Lake resident Katherine Seeley is double-cast as Gertrude McFuzz and Rachel Seeley of White Lake plays a Bird Girl.

Also in the cast are Salman Ghaleb as a Wickersham Brother; Gallin Gordo as a Whoville Citizen; and Chalon Jefferson, Kyra Jolly, Katherine Klei and Avise Wilson as Bird Girls.

Tickets are $15, with a $5 discount for students, staff and seniors. For information, call 586-939-1687. To order tickets, go to theatre.hfc.edu.

‘LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS’ OFFERS CAMPY DELIGHT

Crestwood High School has established a reputation for offering delightful, well-performed musicals to packed houses, and its fall musical, “Little Shop of Horrors” promises to please.

The show runs 7 p.m. Nov. 10, 11, 16, 17 and 18 at the high school, 1501 N. Beech Daly, Dearborn Heights.

Directed by “Little Shop of Horrors” features the music of Alan Menken, with book and lyrics by Howard Ashman.

Set on Skid Row, the campy musical comedy follows the rise and fall of Seymour, a nerdy orphan with a penchant for strange plants, who discovers an odd, carnivorous plant following a total eclipse of the sun. As the plant grows, so does his future and fortune, but the price he must pay to keep the plant alive becomes more than the budding botanist can bear.

The cast includes Markus Monolidis as Seymour Krelborn, Alyssa Balish as Audrey, Adam El-zein as Mr. Mushnik and Karim Hazime as Orin Scrivello.

Austin Thomas is the puppeteer for Audrey II, phase 1 and 3, while George Roberson is the puppeteer for Audrey II, phase 4. Adam El-Zein provides the voice for Audrey II.

The cast includes Ronin Castoreno, Saif Baidas and Mohammad Elhalabi as Winos; Karim Hazime as Bernstein, Luce, and Skip Snip; Jennifer Gladowski as Customer 1; Lauren Littlejohn as Chang; Savannah Kramer as Martin, Ahmad Abdul-hak as the WSKID interviewer, and ensemble members Serena Irani, Ayla Sudorowski, Hannah Anttila and Hayat Nachar.

Tickets are $15 for reserved VIP seats, $10 for general admission, and $9 for students, staff and seniors. For tickets or more information, call 201-500-TKTS or go to chstheatre.shutterfly.com.

PGD CONTINUES SEASON OF SIMON WITH ‘PROMISES, PROMISES’

With a score by Burt Bacharach, lyrics by Hal David and and script by the inimitable Neil Simon, the Players Guild of Dearborn continues its 90th anniversary “Season of Simon” with the musical “Promises, Promises,” based on the screenplay “The Apartment.”

When an ambitious young bachelor lends out his apartment to senior executives for hanky-panky, he faces a serious dilemma when he discovers the woman he adores is having an affair with his married boss, who holds the key to his future and apartment.

Bacharach fans will recognize the memorable melody, “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” and the title song “Promises, Promises.”

The show runs 8 p.m. Nov. 10, 11, 17, 18, 24 and 25, and Dec. 1 and 2, and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 12, 19 and 26 and Dec. 3 at the playhouse, 21730 Madison, Dearborn. Tickets are $20, with a $2 student discount with valid identification. To order, call 313-561-TKTS or go to playersguildofdearborn.org.

SCP OFFERS ‘ADDAMS FAMILY’ MUSICAL COMEDY

The Southgate Community Players presents “The Addams Family” at 7 p.m. Nov. 10, 11 and 17 and 3 p.m. Nov. 18 at Davidson Middle School, 15800 Trenton Road, Southgate.

When Wednesday Addams falls in love, she worries whether her fiance’s “normal” family and her decidedly different clan will be able to come together as one. Audiences will laugh and snap their fingers as Morticia, Gomez, Fester, Lurch, Cousin It, Pugsley, Grandma and the Ancesters meet the Lucas, Mal and Alice Beineke.

Tickets are $18, with a $3 discount for students and seniors. For tickets or more information, call 734-282-4727 or go to scponstage.com.