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Archive for December, 2010

Warm up your winter with laughter!

Warm up your winter with laughter!
Grosse Pointe Theatre presents Relatively Speaking, the hilarious comedy by popular British playwright Alan Ayckbourn

Grosse Pointe Theatre presents Relatively Speaking, a witty, charming and beautifully constructed comedy of manners and mistaken identities from one of England’s most popular playwrights, Alan Ayckbourn,

The show opens with a 2:00 p.m. matinee on Sunday, January 16 in the Fries Auditorium of the Grosse Pointe War Memorial, 32 Lake Shore Road , Grosse Pointe Farms. Relatively Speaking continues with shows on January 20, 21 and 22 at 8:00 p.m., January 23 at 2:00 p.m., and January 26, 27, 28 and 29 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $18. Group rates are available. Call 313-881-4004 for tickets or visit the Grosse Pointe Theatre website at http://www.gpt.org for more information.

British playwright Alan Ayckbourn considers Relatively Speaking the best play he has written. The farcical plot involves Greg, a young man, who plans to marry Ginny.  Greg visits, unexpectedly, the country home of a middle-aged couple, Sheila and Phillip, whom he believes to be Ginny’s parents. Then Ginny shows up. Hilarious events ensue as characters grapple with a tangled web of mistaken identity and misinterpretation. Only the audience knows the real story! It’s a classic farce, played out as only Alan Ayckbourn can do!

The role of Sheila is played by Delores Basile of Grosse Pointe Woods. Philip is played by Nick Szczerba of (Woodhaven), Greg is played by Matt Raya of (Sterling Hts), and Ginny is played by Annie Kordas of (Grosse Pointe Farms).

Relatively Speaking is directed by Barbara Bentley of Grosse Pointe and assisted by Mike Trudel of Grosse Pointe Park.  Lyndsey Briggs, of Grosse Pointe Woods, is the producer.
Stage Manager: Mickie Pizzimenti (Warren)
Technical Directors: Bob Brown (Windsor) and Don Adzigian (Grosse Pointe Woods)
Set Designer: Barbara Bentley
Set Dressing: Ruth Ellen Mayhall (Grosse Pointe Woods)
Properties: Francesca Catalfio (Grosse Pointe Farms
Costumes: Marie Delong (St. Clair Shores)
Lighting: Eric Leszczynski (Grosse Pointe Woods)
Sound: Bill Tuthill (Grosse Pointe)
Makeup: Arlene Marie Schoenherr (St. Clair Shores)

Grosse Pointe Theatre’s 63rd Season continues:

Following Relatively Speaking, Grosse Pointe Theatre presents The Exonerated by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, through its Purdon Studio Theatre program, Feb 18-20 and 26-27, 2011 at the  Edsel & Eleanor Ford House Activity Building , 1100 Lakeshore Road , Grosse Pointe Shores. The next main stage production (at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial) is Dixie Swim Club By Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, March 6, 10-13, 16-19, 2011, followed by The Scarlet Pimpernel, based on the works by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, book and lyrics by Nan Knighton, May 8, 12-15, 18-21, 2011.  Grosse Pointe Theatre’s Youth on Stage will produce a children’s version of the musical Annie, 9th and 10th of April, 2011.

For more information about Grosse Pointe Theatre, please visit the website at http://www.gpt.org or phone 313-881-4004. (end)

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Grosse Pointe Theater Call For Directors

Are you an experienced director, looking to take on an exciting show?  Or have you always wanted to to take on the challenge of directing a show but just haven’t found the right situation?  Well, do we have an opportunity for you!   Grosse Pointe Theatre is looking for interested Director candidates for the upcoming 2011-2012 season.   This first request is for individuals who would be interested in directing one of our 2011-2012 Musicals.  But please keep an eye out, because in the near future, we will be looking for candidates interested in directing one of our straight (non-musical) shows.  Following  is a brief synopsis of the 9 shows that are still in contention for the upcoming season.

The Director presentations for Musicals will be held on the morning of Saturday January 15th.  Please prepare a 20 minute presentation that you feel would convince the Board that you are the right candidate for the Show(s) that you are interested in directing. Please be prepared for questions regarding your proposal from the Board.  Also please be prepared to let the Board know if you have time constraints that will limit when, during the season, you would be willing/able to direct this show. If you are interested, please contact Marianne Casey mtcasey618@aol.com so that you may schedule a time slot for the 15th.

Musicals (In Alpha Order):
1940’s Radio Hour – Fabled WOV, a seedy little New York radio station takes to the air at the beginning of World War II, this time to record a broadcast for the troops overseas.
The narrative concerns the harassed producer whose leading singer is often drunk, the delivery boy who wants a chance in front of the mike, the second banana who dreams of singing a ballad, and the trumpet-playing sound effects man who chooses a fighter plane over Glenn Miller.

Hairspray – Tracy Turnblad, a large girl with big hair and a kind heart, has only one passion–to dance. She wins a spot on the local TV dance program, “The Corny Collins Show” and is quickly transformed into a teen celebrity. She then successfully sets out to vanquish the program’s reigning princess, win the heart of the super handsome Link Larkin, and racially integrate the television show.
Jekyll and Hyde – Concerns a brilliant doctor whose experiments with human personality create a murderous counterpart. Convinced the cure for his father’s mental illness lies in the separation of Man’s evil nature from his good, Dr. Henry Jekyll unwittingly unleashed his own dark side, wreaking havoc in the streets of late 19-century London as the savage, maniacal Edward Hyde. He manages to kill scores of people without getting caught. Finally as Jekyll is about to marry his lover, Emma, he turns into Hyde and kills a wedding guest. In the end, Hyde/Jekyll begs his friend Utterson to kill him. Utterson holds a blade to Hyde/Jekyll’s heart but cannot harm his friend. However, Hyde/Jekyll falls forward onto the sword, committing suicide.
Man of LaMancha – The story takes place in the late 16th century. Miguel de Cervantes (a tax collector, soldier, and author) and his assistant, Sancho, foreclose on a church that failed to pay its taxes. Thus, the two men are thrown into prison by the Spanish Inquisition. The prisoners then steal Cervantes’s possessions. However, he convinces them to allow him to win back a package of papers that would not be of value to other people. Pleading his case, Cervantes gives a dramatic defense by reenacting the story of Don Quixote of La Mancha: the passionate and poignant tale of a noble knight who lives in a world of madness and cannnot see that chivalry has died. His holy quest is a mission of salvation to find compassion not for himself but for others. Don Quixote falls in love with the fair maiden, Aldonza(Dulcina), and convinces her to live a moral life. When Quixote is being knighted, the muleteers brutally assault Aldonza. Quixote and Sancho quickly come to Aldonza’s rescue but in the end, Quixote only preaches forgiveness. Next, Quixote fights off his darkest foe, the Enchanter. Moved by the story, the prisoners return Cervantes’ manuscript (which turns out to be his unfinished novel about Don Quixote) just before he is called before the Inquisition.
Music Man – Con man Harold hill travels to the small town of River City, Iowa to earn his fortune. He decides to convince the town that they need a boys’ band and then plans to run away once the boys have paid for instruments and uniforms. He even claims to be a professor of music. His scheme is moving along perfectly until Harold falls in love with the town piano teacher, Marian. Even though she knows that he’s a con man, she still loves him for the hope that he brought to the town. Harold, on the other hand, is inspired by Marian’s goodness, reveals his secrets to the town and becomes an honest man.
Straight Shows (In Alpha Order):
The Heiress – Catherine Sloper, the plain-Jane daughter of wealthy widower Dr. Austin Sloper. Catherine is not only unattractive, but lacks most of the social graces, thanks in great part to the domineering attitudes of her father. When Catherine falls in love with handsome young Morris Townsend, she is convinced that her love is reciprocated, else why would Morris be so affectionate towards her? Dr. Sloper sees things differently, correctly perceiving that Morris is a callow fortune hunter. Standing up to her father for the first time in her life, Catherine insists that she will elope with Morris; but when Dr. Sloper threatens to cut off her dowry, Morris disappears. Still, Catherine threatens to run off with the next young man who pays any attention to her; Sloper, belatedly realizing how much he has hurt his only child, arranges to leave her his entire fortune. Years pass: Morris returns, insisting that he’d only left because he didn’t want to cause Catherine the “grief” of being disinherited. Seemingly touched by Morris’ “sincerity”, Catherine agrees to elope with him immediately. But when Morris arrives at the appointed hour, he finds the door locked and bolted. Asked how she can treat Morris so cruelly, Catherine replies coldly “Yes, I can be very cruel. I have been taught by masters.” Though The Heiress ends on a downbeat note, the audience is gratified to know that Catherine Sloper has matured from ugly-duckling loser to a tower of strength who will never allow herself to be manipulated by anyone ever again.
Moonlight and Magnolias – Legendary film producer David O. Selznick is five weeks into shooting Gone With the Wind when he realizes the script is awful and the director doesn’t have a clue. He has five days to replace them and restart the shoot or the production shuts down. Selznick calls Victor Fleming from the set of The Wizard to Oz to direct, and he taps legendary playwright, screenwriter and “script doctor” Ben Hecht to rewrite the script. There’s only one problem – Hecht hasn’t read the book. Over the course of five madcap days, the three men, assisted by Selznick’s assistant, Miss Poppenghul, frantically craft one of the most beloved screenplays of all time, as Selznick and Fleming act out the book for Hecht and the phone rings off the hook with calls from the likes of Vivien Leigh, Louis B. Mayer and Ed Sullivan. The play is written as farce, but the characters also deal with serious questions about race and the tenuous power of Jewish executives in Hollywood.
The Trip to Bountiful – Set in the 1940s, the story tells of an elderly woman, Carrie Watts, who wants to return home to the small town where she grew up, but is frequently stopped from leaving Houston by her daughter-in-law and an overprotective son who won’t let her travel alone.  Old Mrs. Watts is determined to outwit her son and bossy daughter-in-law, and sets out to catch a train, only to find that trains don’t go to Bountiful anymore. She eventually boards a bus to a town near her childhood home. On the journey, she befriends a girl traveling alone and reminisces about her younger years and grieves for her lost relatives. Her son and daughter-in-law eventually track her down, with the help of the local police force. However, Mrs. Watts is determined. The local sheriff, moved by her yearning to visit her girlhood home, offers to drive her out to what remains of Bountiful. The village is deserted, and the few remaining houses are derelict. Mrs. Watts is moved to tears as she surveys her father’s land and the remains of the family home. Her son eventually turns up, and drives her back to Houston.
The Women – Playwright Clare Boothe Luce herself admitted in her introduction to the play, that while the title suggests it will look at the entirety of half the population, her play The Women focuses on a small and exclusive group, as she describes them, “a numerically small group of ladies native to the Park Avenues of America”. But the play is entirely populated by women – there is not a single man in the 35 person cast. And so the play does open a window into the world of women. Not only do we meet these Park Avenue princesses, but we listen into the conversations of the hairdressers, manicurists and saleswomen who serve these women, and share their own lives and concerns.  The play centres on Mary Haines – the ’nice one’ in a group of Manhattan friends. In the opening scene, the ladies play bridge and complain, mostly about men. Mary Haines becomes the object of fun because of her happiness, her seeming contentment with marriage and her husband. Because these are all women with money, this is really all they’ve got to do with their time – they can’t go out and get jobs and so their lives become about shopping, having children, and gossip. And Sylvia’s got the juiciest gossip of the day – Mary Haines’ perfect husband is cheating on her! Sylvia’s manicurist revealed the details to her while painting her nails a divine shade of Jungle Red: Edith (thrilled): Someone we know? Sylvia: No! That’s what’s so awful about it. She’s a friend of this manicurist. Oh, it wouldn’t be so bad if Stephen had picked someone in his own class. But a blonde floosie! Edith: But how did Stephen ever meet a girl like that?  Sylvia: How do men ever meet girls like that? That’s what they live for, the rats! They don’t tell Mary what they know – it’s clear Mary doesn’t know about her husband’s indiscretions either – but Sylvia does flaunt her Jungle Red nails and Mary decides to visit this famous manicurist as well. And Mary’s seemingly perfect world falls apart. She gets all kinds of helpful and not-so-helpful advice from friends and her mother (she advises her daughter to keep quiet, “Keeping still, when you ache to talk, is about the only sacrifice spoiled women like us ever have to make.”) What follows are confrontations between Mary and the Other Woman – Crystal Allen – in dressing rooms of department stores, more gossiping among friends during exercise class and at the salon. Finally, Mary decides on a Reno divorce but before she can go through with it, she decides not to be the nice girl anymore

The Dixie Swim Club Audition Notice

This is a great ensemble comedy piece and sure to be a real audience pleaser. Every summer five
college swim-team friends rent a cottage on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. We first meet the lively
ladies in 1978, 23 years after college graduation, then again in 1983, 1988, and finally in 20ll. For
most of the play the women should look like they’re in their mid-forties to mid-fifties (one is pregnant).
The brief final scene when they are in their 70’s takes place after a short blackout, there is no
time for a complete make-up change, just a wig (possibly) and an overdress. The aging must be accomplished
by skillful acting.
Show dates: March 6-19, 2011
Audition: Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010, *10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 12, 2010, *4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
*Note difference in times
Location: G.P.T. Rehearsal Studio, 315 Fisher Rd., Grosse Pointe 48230
For a refundable fee of $20, scripts will be available for loan at the above address.
Call G.P.T.’s Box Office, 313-881-4004, for staffing hours.
Character Descriptions
SHEREE HOLLINGER, the perennial team captain, is practical, supportive, and a fount of boundless
energy. Never without her to-do lists or Pocket Scheduler, her tendency to be hyper-organized
drives her friends a bit crazy. She is the eternal tomboy, a health nut and an all-American mom who
lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her family.
DINAH GRAYSON, the wise-cracking cynic of the group, has fought her way to the top and relishes
the view. A lawyer in the biggest and most prestigious law firm in Atlanta, Dinah excels at everything…
except romance. Armed with a dry martini and an even drier sense of humor, Dinah seldom
reveals her softer side as she tackles life head-on.
LEXIE RICHARDS, a true Southern belle who lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is the vain, youthobsessed
event planner for a chain of four-star hotels. She has never shied away from the occasional
nip or tuck and keeps her cosmetic surgeon on speed dial. Always one to revel in her status
as a man-magnet, Lexie can be counted on to share wild and hilarious tales of her romantic exploits.
JERI NEAL MCFEELEY is the dizzy ray of sunshine of the group. She’s perky and naïve and always
sees the positive side of everything. Having been a nun for many years, Jeri Neal has been
protected from life’s seamier side. Even though she appears to be predictable on the surface, Jeri
Neal, recently located to Charlottesville, Virginia, continually makes life choices that surprise and
amaze her friends.
VERNADETTE SIMMS is a hard luck case if there ever was one. Marriage and motherhood came
shortly after college, and a dark cloud has hovered above her ever since. A public school teacher
with limited finances and a problematic home life in Spivey’s Corner, North Carolina, Vernadette is
self-deprecating by necessity. She faces her tribulations with gallows humor and the unwavering
support of these lifelong friends.