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Published: Thursday, 1/12/2006

Village Players open new year with comedy 'Gun-Shy'

The Village Players start the new year with the Toledo premiere of Gun-Shy, a comedy about the various ramifications of relationships, including love, passion, infidelity, infertility, and diets.

Written by Richard Dresser, the play centers on the recently divorced Evie and Duncan. As they try to negotiate the treacherous waters of a broken relationship and the remaining connection through their adolescent son, they try to build new lives with their lovers, Carter and Caitlin. This is not as easy a task as they thought it would be when the relationships were brand-new.

The show stars Debbie Marinik as Evie, John Jennens as Carter, Larry Farley as Duncan, and Shannon Cooch as Caitlin. Norb Mills and JaMay Edwards play various minor characters.

Directing the show is Dave DeChristopher, a Toledo native and member of Actors Equity, who has worked with theaters across the United States and in Israel.

The theater suggests that the production is for adults.

"Gun-Shy" opens tomorrow and runs through Jan. 28 in the Village Players Theatre, 2740 Upton Ave. Performances are 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, with a matinee at 2 p.m. Jan. 22. Tickets are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and students. Information: 419-472-6817.

For its final weekend of Mrs. Shakespeare Dishes the Dirt, the Performance Network Theatre in Ann Arbor is bringing in a special guest to talk about the arts: Tom Hulce, who was nominated for an Academy Award for the title role in Amadeus.

"Gillian Eaton, an associate artist here, wrote the show as a winter fund-raiser for us and is starring in it," executive director David Wolber said.

"She has been in touch with [Hulce], who is now a producer, about the show. He's very interested in it, so he's coming in to see it, and he agreed to a public discussion to help us out."

Based on the book by Robert Nye, the one-woman show is about Anne Hathaway, the wife of the famous playwright. While the world may think William Shakespeare is a peerless author, Hathaway knows another side of him, and her acerbic observations are shocking, funny, and entertaining.

At 4:30 p.m. Saturday, after the matinee, Hulce, Eaton, actor-director Malcolm Tulip, and artistic director Carla Milarch will gather to discuss "Does Theatre Matter?" Admission to the discussion is free with a ticket stub from Mrs. Shakespeare or $20 for those who didn't attend the show.

Performance Network Theatre is a resident professional troupe offering Broadway-quality shows, theater education, children's productions, and staged readings in downtown Ann Arbor. Its next scheduled production, Moonglow by Kim Carney, starts Jan. 26.

"Mrs. Shakespeare Dishes the Dirt" is scheduled at 8 p.m. today and tomorrow, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in Performance Network Theatre, 120 East Huron St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $20, except for Saturday night, when they are $30. Information: 734-663-0681.



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