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Published: Thursday, 6/16/2011

Comedies, drama on stages this weekend

BY NANCIANN CHERRY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Two musical comedies and an intense drama are available to Toledo-area theatergoers this weekend.

In Adrian, the Croswell Opera House opens Hairspray.

Based on the 1988 John Waters film and set in Baltimore of 1962, Hairspray revolves around plus-sized teen Tracy Turnblad, whose dreams of dancing on television’s Corny Collins’ Show lead to bigger things, including love and integration.

The cast includes Toledoans Bridget Harrington as Tracy, Derrick Jordan as Seaweed, and Kirsten Crockett, Jasmine Easler, and Joslynn Smallwood as the Dynamites.

Also performing are Eric Swanson of Ferndale, Mich., as Edna Turnblad, Matthew Bowland of Genoa, Ohio, as Corny Collins, and Marlena Hilderley, Mark Hyre, and Jordyn Norkey of Tecumseh, Mich., and Michelle Force and Lena Spiegel of Adrian.

Lucas Wells, originally from Lambertville and now of New York, stars as Link Larkin, the quintessential teen heartthrob who falls for Tracy.

Wells, a former student at Siena Heights University, appeared often at the Croswell before performing for two years in the first national tour of the Tony Award-winning musical Spring Awakening.

Making her Croswell directing debut will be Chris Sancho-Beckman. She’ll be assisted by choreographer Deb Calabrese of Toledo, David Rains as musical director, Ryan Tymensky as scenic and lighting designer, and costumers Pam Krage and Betsy Lackey.

On Broadway, Hairspray won eight Tony Awards, including best musical and best original score.

Friday’s opening night is a fund-raising event for the opera house, with pre and post-show parties requiring separate tickets.

“Hairspray” is scheduled at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through June 26 in the Croswell Opera House, 129 East Maumee St., Adrian. Tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and students, and $15 tickets for those 12 and younger. Information: 517-264- 7469 or croswell.org.

Benefit reading

A reading of Marsha Norman’s ’night Mother will be presented Friday as a benefit for the Old West End Association.

The play, which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for drama, explores the final hours of Jessie, a young woman who has decided that life is no longer worth living. Although her mother is initially disbelieving, Jessie’s calm determination as she nonchalantly organizes the household and makes lists of things that need to be done leads to a growing sense of desperate inevitability.

For the presentation by J&J Productions, Cindy Bilby portrays Jessie and Barbara Barkan is Mama. Jeffrey Albright directs.

“’night Mother” is scheduled at 8 p.m. Friday in the Mansion View Inn, 2035 Collingwood Blvd. A reception begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10. Information: 419-244-5676.

The ‘Peanuts’ gang

Staged Right Productions presents You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown this weekend in Hope United Methodist Church in Whitehouse.

The musical, written in 1967 by Clark Gesner, follows members of Charles Schulz’s Peanuts gang on a single day. Coming to life will be memorable episodes from the comic strip, including Charlie Brown trying to fly a kite, Lucy trying to get Schroeder to pay attention to her, and Snoopy as the World War II flying ace.

Matt Richardson directs as well as plays Schroeder. Also in the cast are Ben McGilvery as Charlie Brown, Sara Ledzianowski as Lucy, Matt Zwyer as Snoopy, Joel Logsdon as Linus, and Kate Hoover as Sally.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday in the church at 10610 Waterville St, Whitehouse. Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, and $5 for children and can be purchased by calling 419-270-1204 or through the Web site at stagedrightproductionsinc.mfbiz.com. They are also available at the door.

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



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