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Glacity Theatre Collective’s presentation of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, a contemporary comedy with echoes of 19th-century writer Anton Chekhov, of all people, opens Friday in the University of Toledo’s Center for Performing Arts.
The play, by Christopher Durang, was a success on Broadway, winning the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play. The plot involves three children, Vanya, Sonia, and Masha, named after Chekhov characters by parents who were theater aficionados. Two of them, Vanya, who is gay, and Sonia, who was adopted, have an uneasy alliance by virtue of sharing the family homestead, complete with cherry orchard, in present-day Bucks County, Pennsylvania. They had been caring for their elderly parents, now deceased. The two are supported by sister Masha, a Hollywood star who owns the house, and is getting tired of paying the bills. She arrives one day with her latest significant other, Spike, an aspiring actor who shows off his physique by spending a lot of time in his briefs. Family drama ensues.
“As soon as I read the play, I knew that I wanted to direct it. It is so funny from page to page; my stomach hurt after reading it. The characters are so very relatable and it makes me think that everyone has a crazy family who has their good and rough moments in life,” director Irina Zaurov said in an email.
The Glacity cast includes Tim Keogh as Vanya, Jennifer Lake as Sonia, Pam Tomassetti as Masha, Jeffrey Burden II as Spike, Lynnette Bates as Cassandra, and Elizabeth Cottle as Nina.
The Glacity production will be presented at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in Center Theatre of the University of Toledo’s Center for Performing Arts, 1910 W. Rocket Dr. on UT’s main campus. Additional performances will be at 8 p.m. Aug. 1-2, and 2 p.m. Aug. 3. Tickets are $20, from glacity.tix.com or at the door. This weekend’s Sunday performance is Glacity’s Pay-What-You-Can show and tickets will be available at the door only. Student rush tickets are $5, and will be available at the door on any night with open seating remaining 10 minutes before curtain.
At the Croswell
The musical comedy Catch Me If You Can continues at the Croswell theater in downtown Adrian.
The Broadway production, which was nominated for the 2011 Tony Award for Best Musical, is based on the book and 2002 film of the same name. The show was written by Marc Shaiman and Scott Whittman, with a book by Terrence McNally.
It tells the real-life story of Frank Abagnale, Jr., a talented con artist dedicated to searching for the good life, with his charm and millions in forged checks. Young Abagnale poses as a doctor, a lawyer, and a jet pilot in pursuit of his dreams, with FBI agent Carl Hanratty in hot pursuit. Catch Me If You Can offers that exciting chase, a swinging 1960s score, a stylized set, and a cast with plenty of showgirls, presented with the Croswell’s new LED lighting effects and projection equipment, and costumes made especially for the show.
The cast includes Patrick Wallace of Flushing, Mich., as Frank Abagnale, Jr.; Paul Manger of Adrian as Carl Hanratty; Jared Hoffert of Ann Arbor as Frank Abagnale, Sr.; Lucy Hagedorn of Toledo as Mrs. Abagnale, and Kyrie Bristle of Clinton, Mich., as Frank’s love interest, Brenda. The Croswell’s production is directed by Michael Yuen and choreographed by Sarah Nowak. Music direction is by David Rains, scenic design by Leo Babcock, costumes by Pam Krage, projection design by Kelvin Roberson, lighting design by Tiff Crutchfield, and sound design is by Elizabeth and Philip Baugh. Sam Castle is the stage manager.
Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday, 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the theater, 129 E. Maumee St., Adrian. Tickets range from $15 to $35 for adults, $15 for students age 15 and under, from 517-264-7469, at the box office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, or croswell.org.
Motor City Puppet Blast, the Puppeteers of America Great Lakes Regional Festival, will be presented by the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Detroit Puppeteers Guild Friday through Sunday. Most events are at the museum, 5200 Woodward Ave. in Detroit.
Puppet shows will range from classics such as The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast to original stories such as Lula del Ray, performed almost entirely without dialogue, and The Snowflake Man, which uses Czech-style marionettes. The Snowflake Man, at 3:30 p.m. Friday, opens the festival’s weekend of performances.
For a festival schedule and to register for events, go to greatlakespoa.com/Festival.html. All puppet shows are free with museum admission. General admission is free for Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb county residents and DIA members. For all others it is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors ages 62 and older, and $4 for children ages 6–17.
Send theater items two weeks in advance to Sue Brickey at email@example.com.