Theatre: 7-17

Young actors are taking over area stages

From left, Brittany Essen as Nellie, Becky Perry as Lucy, and Bridgette Dona as a Red Rat dancer in the Young Rep production of ‘‍Jekyll and Hyde,’ opening today.
From left, Brittany Essen as Nellie, Becky Perry as Lucy, and Bridgette Dona as a Red Rat dancer in the Young Rep production of ‘‍Jekyll and Hyde,’ opening today.

Northwest Ohio young people have starring roles in summer theater productions opening this week.

Toledo Repertoire Theatre’s Young Rep group will present Jekyll and Hyde beginning today on the 10th Street stage. The dramatic musical is based on the classic Robert Louis Stevenson novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, about a doctor whose obsession with good and evil in human nature leads to the creation of a monster that grows within the doctor and becomes a danger to many, including his fiance, Emma, and Lucy Harris, who catches Hyde’s eye.

The show has a score by Frank Wildhorn and lyrics by Wildhorn, Leslie Bricusse, and Steve Cuden, and features such memorable songs as This is the Moment, Once Upon A Dream, and In His Eyes.

Half of the cast of 29 performers, ages 14 through 19, are making their Rep debut. They are students at the University of Toledo and several Ohio and Michigan schools. In leading roles are Nolan Thomaswick of UT as Edward Hyde; Carter Wiese of Maumee High School as Henry Jekyll; Mackenzie Box of Bedford High School as Emma, and Becky Perry of Sylvania Southview as Lucy Harris. The Rep production is directed by James MacFarlane; Jennifer Braun is music director.

Performances are at 7 p.m. today, Friday, and Saturday, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the 10th Street stage, 16 10th St. Tickets, $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 12 and under (show contains mature subject matter), are available from 419-243-9277 or

The River Raisin Youth Theatre’s summer show is the hit comedy-horror rock musical Little Shop of Horrors, to be staged Friday through Sunday at the River Raisin Centre for the Arts in Monroe.

Little Shop of Horrors‘’ plot centers on Seymour Krelborn, a quiet assistant in a florist’s shop who stumbles across a new breed of plant he names “Audrey II,” after a co-worker he admires, Audrey. The carnivorous plant has an unusual talent — it sings rock and rhythm and blues and talks, too, promising Seymour fame and fortune as long as he keeps feeding it — blood. Seymour eventually finds out where Audrey II is really from, and what the plant’s nefarious plans are.

The musical, inspired by director Roger Corman’s 1960 film The Little Shop of Horrors, has book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken. Songs include Skid Row (Downtown), Somewhere That’s Green, and Suddenly, Seymour. The River Raisin Show will feature a band.

Auditions for the River Raisin show were open to actors in the seventh grade through age 20, and everyone chosen for the cast of 48 is from Monroe County. In leading roles are Will Henkel as Seymour Krelborn; Morgan Lemanski as Audrey; Chad Shultz as Mr. Mushnik, the shop owner, and Zach Douglas as Audrey II. The show is directed by Tracy Glover; Josh Glover is music director, Alyssa Langmeyer is choreographer, and Craig Cousino is stage manager.

Performances of Little Shop of Horrors will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 3 p.m. Sunday at the theater, 114 S. Monroe St. in Monroe. Tickets, $18 general admission, $15 for students and seniors, are available from 734-242-7722 or

Oregon Community Theatre’s Children’s Summer Theater will present Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. in cooperation with the Oregon Recreation Department, today through Sunday at Fassett Auditorium. The cast includes performers in grades 2 through 8.

The musical is based on the Disney film and J.M. Barrie’s play and novel. Characters include Peter, the boy who wouldn’t grow up, as well as Wendy, the Lost Boys, mermaids, Captain Hook, and more.

Oregon’s production of Peter Pan Jr. is directed by Beth Giller. Kim Padley is music director, and Heather Roecker is the producer, coordinating about 100 children and teens who are performing or serving in the backstage crew.

Peter Pan Jr. will be presented at 7 p.m. today, Friday, and Saturday, with a matinee at 2 p.m. Saturday, at Fassett Auditorium 3025 Starr Ave. Tickets, $10 general admission, $8 for and seniors and students, are available from 419-691-1398 or

Fremont Community Teen Theatre’s production of Shrek the Musical opens today at 8 p.m. at 1551 Dickinson St., Fremont. Additional performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets, $10, are available from 419-332-0695 or

The cast includes Joey Magnuson of Fremont as Shrek; Cyrus Foos of Gibsonburg as Shrek’s friend, Donkey, and Kyleigh Harrison of Burgoon, Ohio, as Princess Fiona. The rest of the cast of teens ages 13 to 19 represent several area high schools as well as Bowling Green State University.

Send theater items at least two weeks in advance to Sue Brickey at