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Published: Thursday, 5/12/2011

'Adrift in Macao' closes Village Players' season

BY NANCIANN CHERRY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Two seasons end and another starts with shows opening this weekend on area stages.

The Village Players winds up its 2010-11 season with the musical comedy Adrift in Macao.

Written by satirist Christopher Durang, with music by Peter Melnick (grandson of Richard Rodgers), the show is a spoof of those film noir movies set in the Orient with mysterious men and curvaceous dames.

"It's very tongue-in-cheek, with a lot of the Durang kind of silliness" says producer Laura Hansen.

Bill Perry plays Rick Shaw, a nightclub owner who hires Loreena (Renee Niese) because she looks great in a slinky dress. But Corrina (Angelina Palumbo), a rival singer, isn't ready to cede her turf to the newcomer. Then there's Mitch (Jeff King), an American ex-pat with a secret, and the stereotypical inscrutable Asian, Tempura (Laura Crawford). Also in the cast are Thomas Moore and Diane Ley in multiple roles.

Hansen is particularly pleased with Palumbo and Niese. "They're both new to the Village Players, and they both have phenomenal voices," she said.

Also new to the Village Players is Caitlin McAlister, who directs.

Hansen believes the show is fine for older children. There is a bit of off-color dialogue, but she expects it will go over the heads of the younger members of the audience.

"Adrift in Macao" opens at 8 p.m. Friday in the Village Players Theatre, 2740 Upton Ave. Additional 8 p.m. performances are scheduled Saturday and May 19-21 and 26-28. A matinee is at 2 p.m. May 22. Tickets are $16 for adults and $14 for seniors and students. Information: 419-472-6817.

Man in black

The sounds of Johnny Cash will ring through Adrian's Croswell Opera House as it presents Ring of Fire, a revue of Cash's life told in song and monologue.

It's the first production in the theater's eight-show Broadway season, which runs through December. Other shows in the season include Hairspray, Annie, Singin' in the Rain, The 39 Steps, 43 Summers at the Croswell, Obsession, and White Christmas.

Instead of a straightforward birth-to-death plot, Ring of Fire provides glimpses into the influences of Cash's life: growing up poor, family tragedy, striking out on his own, emerging as a songwriter, and finding his future wife, June Carter. Songs include "I Walk the Line," "Daddy Sang Bass," "I've Been Everywhere," "Five Feet High and Rising," and "Ring of Fire."

Directed by Adrian native Eric Parker, the cast includes Phil Baugh, Kyrie Bristle, Tim Ganun, April Gray, Bruce Hardcastle, Natasha Ricketts, Beth Skochelak, and Steven Smith. Musical direction is by Dave Rains, with choreography by Cassandra Cardenas.

"Ring of Fire" is scheduled at 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and May 20 and at 3 p.m. Sunday and May 21 and 22 in the theater at 129 East Maumee St., Adrian. Tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and students, and $15 for those 12 and younger. Information: 517-264-7469 or croswell.org.

Cast members for the production of 'Hats! The Musical ' at the Sandusky State Theatre include, front row from left: Gidget Propst as Baroness, Deb Swartz as Mary Anne, and Arlene Eishen Strohl as Contessa (and the play's music director). Middle: Marje Rody, choreographer, and Lorrain Lash as Dame. Back: Mary Schiwitz, who plays Princess. Cast members for the production of 'Hats! The Musical ' at the Sandusky State Theatre include, front row from left: Gidget Propst as Baroness, Deb Swartz as Mary Anne, and Arlene Eishen Strohl as Contessa (and the play's music director). Middle: Marje Rody, choreographer, and Lorrain Lash as Dame. Back: Mary Schiwitz, who plays Princess.
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Friendship rules

Sandusky State Theatre celebrates friendship when it presents Hats! The Musical.

The show by Anthony and Marcia Milgrom Dodge, which takes its inspiration from the Red Hat Society, centers on a woman who is definitely not happy about her approaching 50th birthday. The woman's mother and friends prove, through story and song, that the future may hold as many potential celebrations as hardships.

Co-directed by Sandusky State Theatre Executive Director Thomas Kazmierczak III and Trish Sandberg, the cast comprises Joyce Carolyn, Lorrain Lash, Gidget Propst, Marje Rody, Mary Schiwitz, Arlene Eishen Strohl, and Deb Swartz.

"Hats! The Musical" is scheduled at 2 p.m. Thursday and Saturday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Sandusky State Theatre, 107 Columbus Ave., Sandusky. Tickets range from $21 to $31; a dinner theater option, which comprises a preshow meal and theater tickets, ranges from $39 to $49. Information: 419-626-1950 or toll-free 877-626-1950.

Season-ender

Lima's Amil Tellers of Dramatics closes out its season with Moonlight and Magnolias, a Ron Hitchinson comedy about the filming of Gone with the Wind.

Directed by George Dunster, the cast features Jeff Kerr as David O. Selznick, Chad McNeal as Ben Hecht, Dan Stanowick as Victor Fleming, and Victoria Covarrubias as Miss Poppenghul.

"Moonlight and Magnolias" is scheduled at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through May 22 in the Encore Theatre, 991 North Shore Drive, Lima. Tickets are $13 for adults, $11 for seniors, and $8 for youngsters. Information: 419-223-8866 or 800-944-1441.

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



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