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Those who think live theater closes its doors in the summer need only look to the region. Productions are opening in Huron, Findlay, Archbold, Sandusky, and Hamler, Ohio.
All are comedies; no deep thinking here.
In Huron, about 65 miles east of Toledo, the Huron Playhouse is preparing John Patrick's The Curious Savage to open Tuesday. (For now, the gentle musical comedy Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up? continues through Saturday.)
Patrick's plot centers on the adventures of Ethel Savage, who has been left a fortune by her late husband. She is determined to use the money to help people follow their dreams, much to the dismay of her adult stepchildren, who want it for themselves.
The would-be heirs conspire to get Ethel committed to a sanatorium so that they can take control of the money that Ethel has hidden, but Ethel grows to love the offbeat characters with whom she is now living.
Britney Koser of Huron plays Ethel Savage, and Daniel Floren of Eau Claire, Wis., Matthew Harris of Racine, Wis., and Kaleigh Thadani of London are her stepchildren Titus, Samuel, and Lily Belle.
Portraying patients in the sanatorium are Jennifer Majetic of Pittsburgh, Nate Huntley of Sandusky, Krista Flanigan of Wethersfield, Conn., Jacob Robinson of Cincinnati. Julie Koenig of Huron. Jennifer Lefsyk of Niskayuna N.Y., and Andy Herr of Williamsville, N.Y., play members of the sanatorium staff.
The Curious Savage is directed by Jann Graham-Glann, artistic and managing director of the playhouse, which is a division of Bowling Green State University's department of theater and film.
"The Curious Savage" is scheduled Tuesday through July 24 in the Huron Playhouse in McCormick School, 325 Ohio St., Huron, Ohio, where "Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?" continues through Saturday. Performances are at 8 p.m., and tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for students and seniors, and $11 for children 11 and younger from the playhouse box office. Information: 419-433-4744.
Patrick Henry Theater League is opening its two-production summer-stock season tomorrow with Catfish Moon in Hamler, Ohio, about 45 miles southeast of Toledo. The show will be presented in the Studio Theater of Patrick Henry Middle School.
Laddy Sartin's comedy takes place on a dilapidated fishing dock where best buddies Curley, Frog, and Gordon spent as much time as possible in their childhood. Now approaching middle-age, with the joys and disappointments of life eroding their friendship, the men have returned to try to recapture some of their former innocence - and to catch a few fish.
There is some baggage in the way. Curley's sister, Betty, was once married to Frog. Now she's dating Gordon, and the hot-tempered Frog doesn't like it one bit. Curley has an agenda too. He wants the guys to settle their feud so the three of them can buy their favorite fishing site and keep it from a developer.
Directed by Ryan May, Catfish Moon features Taylor Booth as Curley, Jordan Tussinger as Frog, and Patrick Rosebrook as Gordon. Abbie Johnson plays Betty, who is the glue holding the former pals together.
"Catfish Moon" is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday in Patrick Henry Middle School, 6-900 State Rt. 18, Hamler, Ohio. Tickets are $5 at Patrick Henry Community Libraries as well as at the door. The school is fully accessible and the theater is air-conditioned. Information: email@example.com.
• Archbold Community Theatre opens Seussical, the musical based on the works of Dr. Seuss, at 8 p.m. tomorrow in the auditorium of Archbold High School, 600 Lafayette St., about 55 miles west of Toledo.
Kevin Wietrzykowski directs a large cast that features Lauren Zehr as the Cat in the Hat, Jack Melick as JoJo, and Seth Nofziger as the Grinch. Other favorite Seuss characters, such as Horton, Yertle the Turtle, the Whos, Mayzie, and Thing One and Thing Two, will be represented.
Other performances are at 8 p.m. Saturday and July 23 and 24 and at 2:30 p.m. July 25. Advance tickets are $11 for adults and $9 for seniors and children from Diane at 419-267-5717 (6 to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday). At the door, all tickets are $12. Information: 419-267-5717.
• The University of Findlay concludes its summer stock season with Little Shop of Horrors, Howard Ashman and Alan Menken's musical about a young man, a young woman, and one very hungry plant.
Performances will be at 8 p.m. today and tomorrow, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Grimm Theatre of the Egner Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Findlay, 1000 North Main St., Findlay. Tickets are $15. Information: 419-434-5335.
• The Sandusky State Theatre brings back Finnegan's Farewell, an interactive dinner-theater show, at 4 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Tuesday.
A hit when the show was presented in March, it starts out in the "Buckley Funeral Home and Taxidermy" (126 Columbus Ave., Sandusky), where "services" will be held for Patrick James Finnegan, a U.S. postal worker who won big at the slots in Atlantic City but fell off a ladder and died before he could enjoy his wealth.
The "wake" will take place in the State Room of the theater (107 Columbus Ave.), where Creative Cuisine will serve an Irish-themed meal and mourners will celebrate Paddy's life. Unfortunately, the corpse is missing and his will is likely to cause some friction.
Tickets for dinner and the show are $34; performances are at 2 p.m. today and Sunday, 2 and 7 p.m. tomorrow, and 7 p.m. Saturday and Tuesday. Information: 877-626-1950.
Contact Nanciann Cherry at: