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Published: Thursday, 10/9/2008

UT opens season with 'Coronado'


Dennis Lehane wrote the novel Mystic River upon which the Academy Award-winning movie was based. He has also written for the critically praised television series The Wire. In the last few years, he took one of his short stories, Until Gwen, and expanded it into a full-length play called Coronado.

The University of Toledo department of theater and film opens its 2008-09 theater season with this drama.

Lehane often provides a voice for the uneducated, the poor, the abused, the underclass. Coronado focuses on a few of these people whose desire for love leads them in different directions, often with devastating consequences.

The action takes place in a bar in rural America, where a pair of young lovers plan a murder, a psychiatric patient confronts her demons, and a father-and-son con artist team search for a stolen diamond.

Directed by Jeanette Turner, a senior theater major at UT, the cast comprises Kristopher Parker as Will, Halina LaRiccia as Gina, Jason Santel as the doctor, Elif Ertuck as the patient, Ryan Dressel as Bobby, Brad Arner as Bobby's father, Megan Smith as Gwen, Mike Osowik as Hal, and Alysha Hill as the waitress.

The production is for mature audiences.

"Coronado" opens tomorrow and runs through Oct. 26 in the Studio Theatre of UT's Center for Performing Arts. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $13 for adults, $11 for senior citizens and UT employees and alumni, and $9 for students. Information: 419-530-2375 or utoledo.edu/BoxOffice.

The Ritz Players open their 25th anniversary season in Tiffin with Neil Simon's The Odd Couple.

The classic comedy about the fastidious Felix Unger, who, after a divorce, becomes a reluctant roommate of the slob Oscar Madison, stars Matt Feck as Felix, Charles Groth as Oscar, Charles Hayward as Murray, Dale Depew as Roy, Jim Kitzler as Speed, Rick Frederick as Vinnie, Miranda Knepp as Cecily, and Erin Schalk as Gwendolyn.

Betsy Gerhart directs.

Performances of Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple" will be at

7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturday through Oct. 18 and 2 p.m. Oct. 19 in the Ritz Theatre, 30 South Washington St., Tiffin. Tickets are $11 for adults and $7 for students. Information: 419-448-8544 or 800-586-7382.

Contact Nanciann Cherry at ncherry@theblade.com or 419-724-6130.

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