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Published: Thursday, 2/7/2008

Area productions offer something for everyone

BY NANCIANN CHERRY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
From left, Jeff Smith, Kevin Harrington, and Tara Adams portray three fetuses sharing a womb in Deliver Us Not! From left, Jeff Smith, Kevin Harrington, and Tara Adams portray three fetuses sharing a womb in Deliver Us Not!
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Area stages will be humming this week as troupes prepare to open shows both old and new, for youngsters to adults.

For its midwinter show, Oregon Community Theatre has opted for the short story instead of the novel. It's presenting three one-act plays in a package billed as "Three shows spanning birth to death and everything between."

Opening the evening is Deliver Us Not! (or Birth, Where is Thy Sting?), a comedy by Lee Howard and Greg Gamble, directed by Lisa Gordon. Jeff Smith, Kevin Harrington, and Tara Adams portray three fetuses sharing a womb. As they try to come to terms with their impending due-date, they debate the possibilities of life-after-birth, offering humorous takes on atheism, new age platitudes, and life as a cosmic joke.

Don Dauer directs himself as well as Renee Harrington, Bill Brown, and Jessica Land in The Soon-to-be In-Laws, written by Curtice, Ohio, native Courtney Imbery. When Sam brings his fiance, Bailey, to meet his parents at a Hanukkah dinner, his mother is less than thrilled at the non-Jewish woman who has ensnared her beloved (and smothered) son. And Sam's father, who has overindulged in the dinner wine, helps the evening progress rapidly downhill.

In Gary Apple's When God Comes for Breakfast, You Don't Burn the Toast, the Almighty drops in to share a casual meal with Harry and Beatrice Katzman. Carol Foley directs Cheryl Tanner, Ron Davis, and Ronnie Tanner in a warm-hearted play that points out that we don't always recognize the good things that happen to us because they're not dramatic.

Regular performances are staged in Fassett Middle School, but this Sunday, a dinner-theater production will be presented as a benefit for the Little Sisters of the Poor, with the meal at 12:30 p.m. and the play at 2 p.m. in the Sacred Heart Home, 930 South Wynn Rd., Oregon. Tickets are $25. Advance reservations are required. Information: 419-698-4331.

Oregon Community Theatre's "A Night of One Acts" is scheduled at 8 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, and Feb. 15 and 16 and 3 p.m. Feb. 17 in the auditorium of Fassett Middle School, 3025 Starr Ave., Oregon. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. Information: 419-691-1398 or www.oregoncommunitytheatre.org.

•A murderously good time is the aim of the Waterville Playshop when it presents Chicago this week. Set in the 1930s, the Tony and Oscar award-winning show, with music by John Kander and Fred Ebb, deals with the power of celebrity as it tells the story of two accused murderesses, Velma Kelly, a vaudeville performer, and Roxie Hart, who wants a career on the stage. Each uses the scandal-hungry press - and each other - to her own advantage.

Sam Macera directs Lindsay Denham as Velma, Kaitlin Majoy as Roxie, Brian Carlucci as celebrity lawyer Billy Flynn, and Vicki Clyce as "Mama" Morton, matron of the Cook County women's jail. Also in the cast are Samantha Anderson, Barry Argentine, Joe Barton, Jen Devane, Steve Horvath, Ricky Logan, Austin Olano, Matt Oster, Melanie Reihing, Kimberly Rife, Spencer Rife, Tim Robinson, and Kelly Rodriquez.

The Waterville Playshop's production of "Chicago" is scheduled at 8 p.m. today-Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday in Anthony Wayne High School, 5967 Finzel Rd., Whitehouse. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. Information: Sam Macera at smacera859@aol.com, 419-878-6826, or www.watervilleplayshop.org.

•Lourdes College presents The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favourites as its next Theater Vision offering. Performed by Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, the show also includes The Little Cloud and The Mixed-Up Chameleon. The production, which features life-sized puppets and black-light special effects, is so popular that the Theater Vision program schedules it every year, and most tickets are snapped up quickly by school groups. Of four performances this year, a limited number of tickets remain for the show at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, and the public is welcome to purchase them.

"The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favourites" is scheduled at 10 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday in the auditorium of the Franciscan Theatre & Conference Center of Lourdes College, 6832 Convent Blvd., Sylvania. Tickets are $7. Information: 419-824-3986.

•The youth theater arm of Lima's Encore Theatre presents Donald Lewis' comedy Alexander and the United Snakes of America this weekend. When a homeless man and his son, seeking a new start in life, jump aboard a boxcar on a train heading west, they discover that they're sharing the ride with a group of snakes heading to a convention. They also discover that the snakes can talk. The humans and snakes are forced to overcome their differences in a quest for survival. The cast includes Eli Tucker as Alexander and Ethan Briggs as his father; Leah Bohn, Zachary Tucker, Dianna Ward, Mackenzie Brock, and Katie Chung as the snakes; and Allyssa Schimmoeller as the polluter. Charis Weible is the director.

"Alexander and the United Snakes of America," will be presented at 8 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Encore Theatre, 991 North Shore Dr., Lima, as a production of the Macdonald's Youth Theatre. Tickets are $7. Information: 419-223-8866 or 800-944-1441

Contact Nanciann Cherry: at ncherry@theblade.com

or 419-724-6130.



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