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Tuesday, September 30, 2014
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Published: Sunday, 5/25/2014 - Updated: 4 months ago

Lightening Up: Music, fun to dominate area stages this summer

BY SUE BRICKEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

BLADE ILLUSTRATION/ JEFF BASTING Enlarge

Imagine spending your summer with the likes of a Frankenstein, some of the Jersey Boys, a wizard, or a bunch of pirates. It could happen, if you look for some magic in area theaters.

The Toledo Repertoire Theatre previews the season of fun with its debut June 6 of Young Frankenstein, The New Mel Brooks Musical on its 10th Street Stage. The comedy, with book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan and music and lyrics by Brooks, is inspired by the 1974 comedy film of the same name written by Brooks and Gene Wilder, who also starred. Performances are June 6-7, June 13-15, and June 19-22; Thursday, Friday, and Saturday shows are at 8 p.m., Sundays are at 2:30 p.m. For tickets, $25-$5, call 419-243-9277 or go to toledorep.org.

The Village Players’ young-adult group, the Upton Players, present Into the Woods at 7:30 p.m. July 17, 18, and 19, and at 2:30 p.m. July 20, at the Players theater, 2740 Upton Ave. The musical, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, has characters inspired by several Brothers Grimm fair tales, and an original story about a childless couple and the witch who places a curse on them. Tickets will go on sale June 1 at thevillageplayers.org or 419-472-6817.

Just after Labor Day, the Village Players will open their 2014-2015 season Sept. 5 with Quartet, a play by Ronald Harwood that is spiked with humor. The production is set in a home for retired opera singers in England, where each year on Oct. 10, there is a concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday. But one year the celebration becomes complicated. Tickets will go on sale Aug. 1; call 419-472-6817.

The Actors Collaborative Toledo will present a reading of Glengarry Glen Ross, written by David Mamet, at 8 p.m. June 14 in the Recital Hall at the University of Toledo’s Center for Performing Arts. The sharp-edged drama laced with dark humor, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1984, is about unscrupulous real estate salesmen who take advantage of their unwitting customers. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door.

The University of Toledo offers the comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, written by Christopher Durang; it won the Tony Award for best play in 2013. The plot involves siblings Vanya and Sonia who are supported by their movie star sister, Masha. Trouble begins when Masha and her lover, Spike, arrive at the family’s Pennsylvania house. Performances are July 25-27 and Aug. 1-3; Friday and Saturday performances are at 8 p.m., Sunday shows are at 2 p.m., in the Center Theatre of the Center for Performing Arts on UT’s main campus. Tickets are $20 (The July 27 performance is a Pay What You Can matinee), from 419-530-2375, utoledo.edu/​box office, and the box office at Towerview and Rocket Boulevard on the UT campus.

Bowling Green State University’s summer entertainment will include Broadway’s Next H!t Musical at 7:30 p.m. July 12 in Donnell Theatre in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. An improvised, two-act musical based completely on impromptu audience suggestions will be created by a troupe of improv professionals. The first act is the awards ceremony for four of the “best musical” nominees, based on song titles the audience creates. The second act is the entire musical, based on the winning song from act one. For tickets, $25, go to BGSU.edu/Arts or call the Arts Box office at 419-372-8171.

Under the Streetlamp, a group of former cast members of the Broadway musical Jersey Boys, will perform hits from the American Radio songbook of the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s at 7:30 p.m. June 10 at the Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd., as part of their national tour. Gentlemen’s Rule also will perform. Tickets, $45 to $27.50, are available from 419-381-8851, stranahantheater.org, or the box office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The Perrysburg Musical Theater Company will present the always-popular show, The Music Man, July 31 and Aug. 1-2 at 7 p.m. and Aug. 3 at 2 p.m., at Perrysburg High School, 13385 Roachton Rd. Tickets, $12-$10, will be available at the door.

The Croswell Opera House in Adrian has a summer full of musicals. Tickets are $35-$15, from 517-263-6868; croswell.org, or the box office, 129 East Maumee St., Adrian. The shows include:

● Oliver!, the enduring musical inspired by the Charles Dickens classic, Oliver Twist, about an English orphan who is introduced to picking pockets on the streets of 19th century London by the Artful Dodger and Fagin, features many memorable songs, including Consider Yourself, Food Glorious Food, and As Long As He Needs Me. Shows will be June 14 at 8 p.m., June 15 at 2:30 p.m., June 20 at 8 p.m., June 21 at 2:30 and 8 p.m., and June 22 at 2:30 p.m.

● Catch Me If You Can, a fun production with lots of song-and-dance numbers, is based on the real life story of Frank Abagnale, Jr. who, before the age of 19, conned millions of dollars and posed as a Pan Am pilot, doctor, and prosecuting attorney; he also was the inspiration for the 2002 film. Shows are July 18-19 at 8 p.m., July 20 at 2:30 p.m., July 25 at 8 p.m., July 26 at 2:30 and 8 p.m., and July 27 at 2:30 p.m.

● Sweet Charity, the classic musical about a dance hall worker searching for love, features such songs as If My Friends Could See Me Now and Big Spender. The show was written by Neil Simon with music and lyrics by Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields. Performances are Aug. 15-16 at 8 p.m., Aug. 17 at 2:30 p.m., Aug. 22 at 8 p.m., Aug. 23 at 2:30 and 8 p.m., and Aug. 24 at 2:30 p.m.

Williams County Community Theater’s production of Leaving Iowa, a comedy about one family’s summer vacation, opens at 8 p.m. June 6 in the Little Theater Off the Square, 208 W. Butler in Bryan. Additional performances are June 7, 12, 13, and 14 at 8 p.m., and June 15 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets, $12, are available from mywcct.com or 419-636-6400.

The Ohio Light Opera, the resident professional company of the College of Wooster, has a summer calendar full of performances during its festival season, June 14 to Aug. 9. The classic shows My Fair Lady and Pirates of Penzance, are just two of the productions to be presented at the Freedlander Theatre, 329 E. University St. in Wooster. A schedule of shows and ticket information are available at www.ohiolightopera.org or 330-263-2345.

The Wizard of Oz comes to the Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway St., Detroit, in multiple performances June 17-29. Tickets, $115 to $24, are available from Ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.

At the Huron Playhouse in Huron, Ohio, the long-running summer theater’s offerings include Camelot, at 8 p.m. July 22 through July 26. Also scheduled are The Producers, June 24-28; Nunsensations! The Nunsense Vegas Revue, July 1-5; Bus Stop, July 8-12, and The 39 Steps, July 15-19. Shows are presented at McCormick School, 325 Ohio St., Huron. Tickets, $18-$14, are available from the playhouse office at 304 Williams St., Suite F, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday, or at huronplayhouse.org. Information: 419-433-4744.

Children’s theater

Oregon Community Theatre’s Children’s Summer Theatre production will be Disney’s Peter Pan Jr., starring boys and girls from second to eighth grades from Oregon and the surrounding communities. It will be presented at 7 p.m. July 17, 18, and 19 at Fassett Auditorium, 3025 Starr Ave. Tickets are $10-$8, from 419-691-1398 or oregoncommunitytheatre.org.

Contact Sue Brickey at: sbrickey@theblade.com.



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