TIFFIN -- Messiah on the Frigidaire pokes fun at small-town southern culture and get-rich-quick schemes and sounds like a light-hearted comedy opening this weekend at the Ritz Theatre.
"Initially, everybody thinks 'Oh, it's a comedy, it's a comedy,' but it isn't," said director Nancy Betz. "There are a lot of lessons and the biggest one is 'be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.'"
Sure, there are lots of laughs along the way in this John Culbertson play. After all, there's a shadow on the refrigerator housed on the trailer home's front porch that bears resemblance to Jesus -- or is it Willie Nelson? There's grape Nehi and unsalted saltines being passed around as bread and wine. The town bigwigs are looking to generate some commerce and convince Rev. Cecil Hodges, played by Rick Frederick, that visions or messages from the Frigidaire would go a long way to help. And Betsy, played by Ashley Hushour, is more than willing to oblige and receive messages from the Frigidaire image. Then there's Dwayne, who is always looking for a way to strike it rich and move his beloved Lou Ann out of the trailer park.
This show appeals to Betz and the actors for the meaty characters: Dwayne, played by Jason Jerisha; his wife Lou Ann, played by Mandy Wolber, and her best friend, Betsy. "All three of the leads are good [roles] for actors to sink their teeth into. They all really evolve in the course of two hours," Betz said.
"Messiah on the Frigidaire" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and July 21 with a 2 p.m. matinee July 22 at Ritz Theatre, 30 S. Washington St., Tiffin. Tickets are $11 for adults and $7 for students 18 and younger. Information: 419-448-8544 or ritztheatre.org.
ARCHBOLD, Ohio -- A host of fairy tale characters take the stage this weekend and next as Archbold Community Theatre presents Into the Woods at Archbold High School.
This Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine musical won two 1988 Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score and shows the sometimes tragic outcome of getting and not getting what your heart desires. It opened on Broadway in 1987 and closed in 1989, after 765 performances. It also had two revivals, in 1997 and 2002.
In Archbold's production, the Baker, played by Perry Andre, and his wife, played by Carissa McCurdy, remain childless because of a curse. As they try to undo the curse, their lives entwine with other residents of the woods including Chelsea Ennen as Little Red Riding Hood, Kimberly Bright as Cinderella, Moriah Rosales as Rapunzel, and Ryan Mooney as a Prince.
"Into the Woods" will be performed by Archbold Community Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Archbold High School, 600 Lafayette St., Archbold, Ohio. Additional performances are at 7: 30 p.m. July 20 and 21 and at 2:30 p.m. July 22. Advance tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students. Tickets are $15 at the door. Information: 419-267-5717.
The Toledo Repertoire Theatre Young Rep opens Footloose this weekend on its 10th Street Stage.
Ren, a Chicago transplant who moves to a small conservative farming community, sets his sights on lifting a dancing ban. This musical features popular songs "Footloose" and "Holding Out for a Hero."
"Footloose" will be presented by Toledo Repertoire Theatre Young Rep at 7 p.m. tonight through Saturday with a 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinee at 16 10th St. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students 12 and younger. Information: 419-243-9277 or toledorep.org.
The Huron Playhouse continues its summer season with the farce Greater Tuna opening Tuesday.
In this Off-Broadway hit two actors play 20 male and female characters of various ages who comment and satirize small-town southern ways. Geoff Stephenson and Jim Williams will play multiple roles under the direction of Ken McCoy.
"Greater Tuna" will be performed by Huron Playhouse at 8 p.m. nightly Tuesday through July 21 in McCormick School, 325 Ohio St., Huron, Ohio, about 65 miles southeast of Toledo. Tickets are $17 for adults, $16 for seniors and students, and $13 for children 11 and younger. Information: 419-433-4744.
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