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Published: Thursday, 11/5/2009

Rep, Players staging comedic thrillers

BY NANCIANN CHERRY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Area theaters are serving up variety this week. Comedy, mystery, drama, and music - sometimes in the same show - will be on stages in Toledo and the region.

For its second show of the season, the Village Players offers Murder Among Friends. The Bob Barry thriller is a lot of fun, according to producer Laura Hansen.

"The husband's trying to kill his wife, the wife's trying to kill her husband, and they're both cheating on each other with the same guy," she said cheerfully.

For the production directed by Jennifer Rockwood, Jim Norman plays egocentric actor Palmer Forrester, who is trying to dump his fabulously wealthy wife, Angela (Kate Abu-Absi), but keep her fortune. Angela contemplates a future with her lover, Ted (Bill Lancz), who happens to be Palmer's manager (and his lover), but to do that, she'll have to get rid of her narcissistic spouse. Rounding out the cast are Jennifer Lake, John Meadows, and Matt Black.

The show is definitely for adults, Hansen said, pointing to the theme and some of the language.

"The dialogue is catty, witty, and snarky. I love it."

The Village Players opens "Murder Among Friends" at 8 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday in its theater at 2740 Upton Ave. Additional performances are at 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays through Nov. 21 and 2 p.m. Nov. 15. Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for seniors and students. Information: 419-472-6817 or thevillageplayers.org.

The Toledo Repertoire Theatre refuses to provide any details for its next show, but that's only because it doesn't want to spoil the fun.

Accomplice, which opens tomorrow and runs through Nov. 22, has been called a comedic mind-bending murder mystery, much in the style of Deathtrap and Sleuth. Suffice it to say, nothing will be what it seems initially.

Matthew Bowland directs the whodunit by Rupert Holmes, who also wrote the Tony Award-winning The Mystery of Edwin Drood and the Tony-nominated Curtains.

"Accomplice" is scheduled at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 21, with additional performances at 8 p.m. Nov. 19 and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 15 and 22 in the Toledo Repertoire Theatre, 16 10th St. Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, $10 for students 13 and older, and $5 for those 12 and younger. Information: 419-243-9277 or toledorep.org.

•Fiddler on the Roof is the season-opener for Oregon Community Theatre. The musical by Sheldon Harnick, Jerry Bock and Joseph Stein, based on the stories of Sholem Aleichem, follows Tevye, a poor milkman in tsarist Russia. Trying to find husbands for his three older daughters, Tevye works to balance his cultural traditions with the encroaching outside world. Directed by Kevin Wietrzykowski, the large cast features Mark Taylor as Tevye; Dawn Yard as his wife, Golde; and Christine Sauerlender, Emily Taplin, and Nicole Been as daughters Tzeitel, Hodel, and Chava. Performances are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 14 and at 3 p.m. Nov. 15 in the auditorium of Fassett Middle School, 3025 Starr Ave., Oregon. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors and are available at the door or in advance by calling 419-691-1398.

•Genoa Civic Theatre opens the comic thriller Evil Doings at Queen Toot's Tomb tomorrow in the Historic Genoa Town Hall Opera House, 509 1/2 Main St., Genoa. Mary Lowry directs Billy St. John's comedy, which is set in the 1920s and has a plot reminiscent of The Mummy movies, with much more emphasis on fun. Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 15. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and students.

•Buried Child, Sam Shepard's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, will be presented at 8 p.m. today-Saturday in Francoeur Theater at Siena Heights University in Adrian. Directed by Doug Miller, a professor of theater at Siena, the drama probes the breakdown of the family and the disintegration of the American dream. Tickets are $8 for the public and $6 for students and Siena employees. Information: 517-264-7840.

•Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward opens Wednesday at the University of Findlay. The comic farce revolves around author Charles Condomine, who, in the process of researching his latest novel, hires an occultist to hold a seance. The occultist, Madame Arcadi, inadvertently summons the spirit of Condomine's late wife, Elvira. The jealous Elvira is not thrilled to learn that Charles has remarried, and she sets out to disrupt his relationship with Ruth. Performances will be at 8 p.m. Nov. 11-14 and 2 p.m. Nov. 15 in Grimm Theatre of the Egner Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for students and seniors, and free for UF employees and students. Information: 419-434-5335.

Contact Nanciann Cherry at: ncherry@theblade.com

or 419-724-6130.



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