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Village Players turn to 17th century for love, comedy


The cast of the Village Players' production of 'School for Husbands' rehearses for this weekend's opening. From left are J.P. Welch, Emily Larson, and John DuVall.

The Blade/Lori King
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EDITOR'S NOTE: This version corrects caption identification in the Village Players photo.

Two brothers with opposite philosophies on rearing children will learn life lessons in Moliere's School for Husbands opening this weekend on the Village Players' Upton Avenue stage.

"It's a dichotomy of both age and philosophy and who shares it and how they share it," said director Barbara Barkan.

Sganerelle, played by John DuVall, and Ariste, played by Matthew Gretzinger, are guardians for sisters Isabelle (Emily Larson) and Leonor (Clara Engle). Sgnarelle raises his charge with an iron fist, believing she must be sheltered from worldly temptations. Ariste takes a more liberal approach, allowing freedom of expression. What will happen when the young lover Valere (J.P. Welch) enters the picture?

"It's a charming love story. It's high comedy that takes place in 17th-century France. It was bold and bawdy and high farce for that time," Barkan said. This production is a departure from contemporary theater, she added. "We're doing it in their style as it would have been done."

"School for Husbands" will be presented at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday through March 24 at Village Players, 2740 Upton Ave. Matinee performances are at 2 p.m. Sunday and March 18. There also are 8 p.m. performances on March 15 and March 22. Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for seniors and students. Information: 419-472-6817 or

Funeral Fun

SANDUSKY -- Irish music, singing, dancing, and a missing corpse are all part of the interactive musical dinner theater performance Thursday and Saturday in Finnegan's Farewell at the Sandusky State Theatre in Sandusky.

This Irish wake is filled with comedy and family discord as they celebrate the life of Patrick James Finnegan, who won $42.2 million shortly before his death.

"Finnegan's Farewell'' performances are at 2 p.m. Thursday and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Sandusky State Theatre, 107 Columbus Ave., Sandusky. Tickets for the dinner and show are $39. Doors open one hour before show time. Information: 419-626-1950 or

Heroes vs. Villains

20 North Gallery will present Broadway in the City: Heroes vs. Villains, a musical cabaret, this weekend on its N. St. Clair Street stage.

The six-person ensemble -- Eric Hillenbrand, Victoria Monhollen, Elizabeth Cottle, Jarrod Alexander, Steve Brown, and Lindsey Denham -- will sing 24 songs accompanied by Meaghan Roberts. Emcee Kathrine Bodie will tie the songs together with background on each number.

"We come full circle. We start out with the good guys, go into villains, and at the end of the show we come back to the good guys," said Denham, who has produced and directed Broadway in the City since 2008.

"It's turned into my little baby of a show," she said. For this production she's chosen well-known songs from popular musicals including "Edelweiss" from The Sound of Music, "Seasons of Love" from Rent, and "Little Girls" from Annie, and lesser-known gems such as "Blue Hair" from The Black Suit.

"It's fun. It's laid back. It's a nice date night," Denham said. "We have a lot of fun doing it."

Performances of "Broadway in the City: Heroes vs. Villains" are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee at 20 North Gallery, 18 N. St. Clair St. Doors open 20 minutes before the show. Tickets are $20 and include an appetizer buffet before the performance and at intermission. Information: 419-343-1302 or

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