Monroe troupe presents 'Escanaba in Love'

Seated: Steve Ryder; standing, from left,   Norb Nowak, Deanna Hauser, David P. Wahr.
Seated: Steve Ryder; standing, from left, Norb Nowak, Deanna Hauser, David P. Wahr.

MONROE -- Albert Soady, Jr., commits the most grievous sin arriving at deer camp with his new wife this weekend when Monroe Community Players presents Escanaba in Love at Monroe County Community College.

"The first rule at deer camp is no women," said director Karl Hauser. It's no place for a woman according to the hunters, because there's "drinking, farting, and belching; all the stuff that happens at deer camp that you women aren't supposed to know about but you already do."

Deanna Hauser as Big Betty Ballou makes her presence known. "She can out-drink you, out-fish you, and out-hunt you. She's kind of rough around the edges," he said.

In this prequel to Escanaba in Da Moonlight, which Monroe presented in 2003 and 2005, playwright Jeff Daniels goes back a generation to explain how the characters came to be. "I think this is better written than Escanaba in Da Moonlight. It very much has a plot unfolding and a tie-up at the end," the director said. "People will enjoy it because they can identify with the characters, especially if they've ever been hunting or to deer camp."

The cast also includes Steve Ryder as Alphonse Soady, the patriarch of the family; David Wahr as Albert Soady, Sr., his son; Kevin Bilbrey as Albert Soady, Jr., and Norb Nowak as "Salty" Jim Negamanee, a close family friend.

Daniels also has written Escanaba that completes the trilogy. It goes back a generation earlier than Escanaba in Love and is not yet available to the community theater venue.

"Escanaba in Love" will be performed by Monroe Community Players at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday in La-Z-Boy Center Meyer Theater at Monroe County Community College, 1555 S. Raisinville Rd., Monroe. Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $13 for seniors and students. Tickets at the door are $2 more. Information: 734-241-7900 or

Sinking Ship

3B Productions opens its 2012-2013 season this weekend with a huge production of Titanic: A New Musical at the Maumee Indoor Theatre.

"It's amazing to hear 85 people sing. I call it a wall of sound when they sing," said director Joe Barton.

This year commemorates the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the great ship on April 15, 1912. More than 1,500 people died in the frigid North Atlantic Ocean.

Barton is eager to direct this musical again. "This is one of my favorite musicals. I directed it a few years ago for Waterville Playshop. I am a Titanicphile. I have in my own collection [of] probably 10 different books on the Titanic."

"Titanic: A New Musical" will be performed by 3B Productions at 8 p.m. today through Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Maumee Indoor Theater, 601 Conant St., Maumee. Tickets are $15 for preferred seating, $13 for adults, and $11 seniors and students. Information:

Menopause Laughs

Menopause is a laughing matter Wednesday when Menopause the Musical comes to the Stranahan Theater.

Four women meet by chance at a lingerie sale, conversation starts, and the tales of hot flashes, forgetfulness, wrinkles, mood swings, chocolate binges, and night sweats are told. Familiar tunes from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s will be heard, but the words won't be what you recall. These songs parody "The Change" and tickle the funny bone.

This Jennie Linders 90-minute musical comedy celebrates women and has been touring the world for more than a decade. It's been to more than 450 cities in the United States, 15 countries, and 300 international cities.

"Menopause The Musical" will be performed at 8 p.m. Wednesday and Oct. 11 at the Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd. Ticket prices range from $45 to $65 plus handling fees. Information: 419-381-8851 or

'8' Reading

The University of Toledo Sunday will host a reading of 8, a play chronicling the historic federal case filed by the American Foundation for Equal Rights to overturn Proposition 8 that stripped the freedom of homosexuals to marry.

Dustin Lance Black wrote the dialogue using Federal District Court trial transcripts from the case Perry V. Schwarzenegger, interviews with plaintiffs and their families, and first-hand courtroom observations. Its Sept. 19, 2011, Broadway world premiere was sold out. The reading is being presented by the AFER and Broadway Impact.

A talk-back session with leaders of Equality Toledo will follow the reading. "8" will be read at 7:30 p.m. Sunday in the University of Toledo's University Hall Doermann Theatre. Admission is free. Information: 419-530-2330.

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