Red Green is the master of contraptions. Do you have an aging Cadillac in your driveway, and a mound of dirt you need to move before the relatives arrive for a visit? Red Green has a solution: All you need is that car (make sure the power windows and sunroof work) a tall ladder, a ThighMaster, a metal trash can, clothesline pulleys, and duct tape (always), and you can build your own Cadillac Backhoe. (See YouTube for the details.)
Comic/storyteller Red Green (real name, Steve Smith) will have more bright ideas when he brings his new one-man show, How To Do Everything, to the Stranahan Theater at 7 p.m. Friday as part of a 32-city tour. Tickets are $50.50 at the box office.
Audiences will get DIY tips, relationship advice, and more. “I’d like to flatter myself and say I do a Mark Twain thing, telling stories,” he said in a telephone interview, adding that he uses slides from his TV series to illustrate. He designs the tour shows to make people laugh, he added. “There are 500 punchlines in there, and most of them will hit you.”
His TV series, The Red Green Show, a parody of home improvement, DIY, and outdoors shows, began on Canadian television. It ran for 15 seasons, from 1990 to 2006, with 300 episodes, Green said. It is now in reruns on PBS stations, including WBGU-TV, at 10 and 10:30 p.m. Saturdays. His inspiration was Canada’s The Red Fisher Show, in which Fisher narrated the action over silent films of his adventures. “[Fisher] had a lazy way of talking and didn’t think he could ever bore you,” said Green, adding that the host even recited poetry.
Green credits his popularity to being different; not many others are doing shows like his. He also believes most people have a “Red Green” in their family — “and if you don't think so, it’s probably you,” he said.
Most of his fans are men, but there are a surprising number of women and young people in his audiences. He has more than 600,000 followers on Facebook, and “the young only know things from the Internet.” And the women? He thinks his shows help men appreciate their wives, and women get to see how their husbands think, “so it’s both complimentary to them, and educational.”
His Toledo show probably will include advice from his latest book (he has written three), Red Green’s Beginner’s Guide to Women (For Men Who Don’t Read Instructions). “It’s a lot of ‘here’s what I do and it didn’t work, so don’t do that,’ ” he said.
Green has been in Toledo before, at a sportsmen’s show during the early days of his career. A fisherman with his own booth came over and told him he should have a bright future. “I thought, ‘what have you been smoking?,’ but he was right.”
What is Green’s favorite among his hundreds of TV episodes? He has memorable bits and pieces from several shows, but he does favor one: In a Handyman’s Corner segment, he built a perpetual motion machine ... and then couldn't get it started.
Drama and Motown
Detroit ’67, a two-act play by Dominique Morisseau, will be presented as part of the Elsewhere season sponsored by Bowling Green State University’s department of theatre and film to create learning opportunities for writers, directors, and performers. It will be presented in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre at BGSU’s Wolfe Center for the Arts at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. There is no charge.
With Motown’s hit music as a soundtrack, the drama is set in 1967 in Detroit, a time when riots are tearing the city and its people apart. Chelle and her brother, Lank, turn their basement into an after-hours bar and lounge to raise extra cash. But the family business and new relationships create serious problems.
Detroit ’67 is directed by Michelle Cowin-Mensah. The cast includes Treyvon Carter, Evan Crawford, Manone Ellis, Arreille Hudgies, and Ashli York. The play has strong language and adult themes.
The dome screen of Lourdes University’s Appold Planetarium will showcase the film NASA’s Black Holes: From Here to Infinity at 7:30 p.m. April 19 and 26 and May 3 and 10. The film, narrated by actor Liam Neeson, shows audiences animations of the formation of the early universe, star birth and death, the collision of giant galaxies, and a simulated flight to a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. Lourdes’ dome screen offers an immersive experience, making audiences feel like they are part of the action, said Dr. Laura Megeath, Appold Planetarium coordinator. Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for children under 12 and for Lourdes students with student ID. Shows at the planetarium are limited to 50 people and often sell out. For tickets, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 419-517-8897.
Toledo Repertoire Theatre has received $5,000 from the Toledo Rotary Foundation to upgrade and renovate facilities for its Rep Ed and Young Rep programs, including classroom and rehearsal space for productions. Renovations will begin this spring and will be completed by mid-summer 2014.
Send theater news to Sue Brickey at email@example.com.