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Thursday, September 18, 2014
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Published: Thursday, 5/13/2010

Popular Sister returns to town to regale 'class'

BY NANCIANN CHERRY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

From music of the 1940s to a few offbeat lessons in marital bliss to the passion for performing, variety reigns on regional stages this week.

At the Valentine Theatre, the popular Late Nite Catechism series continues with Til Death Do Us Part. As always, a Catholic nun in traditional habit leads her class in a series of lessons, and interaction between "Sister" and her class - the audience - is a must.

This time, however, her class isn't parochial-school students, it's composed of married couples and those about to embark on marriage. Doesn't matter what the age, though, if someone's chewing gum, she'll nail him (or her).

While much of the "plot" revolves around the sacrament of marriage and the last rites, there will be a whole lot of improv going on, as well as Sister's own particular version of The Newlywed Game.

Mary Zentmyer of Chicago plays Sister in the show written by Maripat Donovan, who created the series and was the original Sister.

Earlier Saturday, the family-friendly Henry and Mudge finishes the Children's Series season at the Valentine.

Based on the children's books by Cynthia Rylant, the show by Theatreworks USA revolves around young Henry, who moves with his family from the city to the country. There are few children around, which doesn't bother the lad too much. He's too busy playing with and taking care of his dog, Mudge.

It's a big responsibility - literally. Mudge weighs 182 pounds and needs a lot of training, and he's vastly interested in the spooky forest that's beyond the fenced yard of Henry's new home.

"Henry and Mudge" is scheduled at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Valentine Theatre, 400 North Superior St. Tickets are $12 and $16 for adults, $8 and $12 for youngsters. "Til Death Do Us Part" opens at 8 p.m., with tickets ranging from $33 to $45. Information: 419-242-2787.

Adrian's Croswell Opera House is taking a sentimental journey to the 1940s this weekend as it presents Swingtime Canteen.

The musical revue by Linda Thorsen Bond, William Repicci, and Charles Busch is set during World War II, when movie legend Marian Ames and three of her gal pals head for London to entertain the troops.

Cindy Farnham of Palmyra, Mich., directs Stephanie Jass of Milan, Mich., and Lena Spiegel, Joyce Cameron, and Kaylar Marsh of Adrian. If the names sound familiar, it's because the four performed together in the Croswell's 2008 production of Beehive. Lucy Hagedorn is also in the cast.

David Rains of Adrian is the music director, and John Hopkins of Toledo is the choreographer for the show that includes such songs as "Don't Fence Me In," "I'll Be Seeing You," "How High the Moon," "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square," "Apple Blossom Time," and a medley of Andrews Sisters hits.

"Swingtime Canteen" performances are at 8 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and students, and $15 for children 12 and younger. Information: croswell.org or by calling 517-264-7469.

A Chorus Line has been beguiling audiences since it opened on Broadway in 1976, winning nine Tony Awards. 3B Productions brings its version to the Maumee Indoor Theater this weekend.

A story of hopes, dreams, and secret lives is set in a theater, on a bare stage, where 17 dancers are auditioning for eight roles in a Broadway musical. The director, Zac, has approved the contenders on their dancing skills, but before he makes the final cut, he wants to get to know them. He asks them to introduce themselves and talk about their pasts. The ensuing scenes provide glimpses into what fuels the passion of each dancer, as well as the director.

Toledoan Stephanie Stephan directs a cast that includes Joe Barton (who also produces), Eli Brickey, Ashley Brown, Heaven Burns, Chad Campbell, Dylan Coale, Rhianon Cowden, Joe Dennehy, Jared Dorotiak, Pattie Ellis, Jeffery Foor, Derrick Jordan, Sam Martin, Bob Marzola, Nicole Navarre, Neil Powell, Helane Stiebler, Sara Swisher, Emily Taplin, Leigh Yenrick, Katie Zarecki, and Ryan Zarecki.

Music director Todd Schreiber plays the role of Zac, and Ryan Porkarski is his assistant, Larry.

A Chorus Line has no intermission, and parents are strongly cautioned because of situation and language that the show may not be appropriate for young children.

"A Chorus Line" is scheduled at 8 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday in the Maumee Indoor Theater, 606 Conant St., Maumee. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. Tickets are available at the door.

Contact Nanciann Cherry at: ncherry@theblade.com

or 419-724-6130.



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