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By |2005-01-19T09:00:00-05:00January 19th, 2005|Entertainment|

Professional Theater News Hot Off the Wires:

Broadways’ biggest blockbuster comes to Detroit and Affirmations has tickets

FERNDALE – Affirmations has reserved a block of tickets for one of Broadway’s top-grossing musicals, “Wicked,” which arrives for the first time in Detroit on May 31 at the Masonic Temple. This new take on an old favorite tells the tale of Oz through the eyes of the perhaps not-so-Wicked Witch of the West.
Now touring the country, the show has sold out one engagement after another – and tickets are expected to fly out of the Masonic Temple box office when they go on sale Feb. 1. So don’t be left out: Simply click your heels together three times and call Affirmations to reserve your seats before they go on sale to the general public.
Tickets are $34 and $71 and are available for the 8 p.m., June 15 performance. Tickets are limited with half already sold – deadline for ticket orders is Friday, Feb. 24.
For tickets or more information, contact Affirmations at 248-398-7105 or http://www.GoAffirmations.org.

Edge Of The Brook Series returns to Meadow Brook Theatre

ROCHESTER – T. Andrew Aston’s Edge of the Brook Series has returned to Meadow Brook Theatre. With an innovative array of staged readings, new works, one-acts, performance artists, music and full-length films, this non-traditional theater experience is one that inspires and engages the audience in a familiar and comfortable setting.
The Series runs on the main stage through May 1.
As a featured component of the Edge of the Brook Series, Heartlande Theatre Company, in cooperation with Meadow Brook Theatre, provides many opportunities for up and coming playwrights to showcase their work and learn from audience feedback. This season, Heartlande will again deliver three new works in the form of staged readings. The first, “Downhearted Blues” by Ann E. Eskridge, was read Dec. 12 to an excited audience, garnering great praise. The second, “Weather” by Gary Baxter, will be performed Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m. The third play is yet to be announced and will be presented on May 1, also at 7:30 p.m.
On Tuesday, Jan. 23, Heartlande will present a Playwriting Showcase in collaboration with Kitty Dubin’s Advanced Playwriting class through Oakland University. The plays, “Anything Goes Wrong” by Jessica Horvath and “Knick Knack” by Franco Vitella, are still considered works-in-progress. The reading will give the writers an opportunity to hear their plays read by professional actors and to benefit from the public feedback sessions. The Showcase will be in the downstairs rehearsal room of Meadow Brook Theatre.
“The reading will provide a transition from the university classroom to a professional setting. Hearing an audience respond and listening to their comments during the talkback will be a great opportunity for these playwrights to continue development of their work,” said Mary E. Rychlewski, who will facilitate the feedback session. “The fact that the reading will take place in the rehearsal room at Meadow Brook [rather than on the mainstage] will provide an intimate atmosphere that should lend itself to the exploration of the writing.”
The evening will be divided into two “acts” with each play running approximately 1 hour. An ensemble of actors will read parts in both plays. The cast includes John Lewis, Barbara Coven, Jodie Ellison, David Davies and Rick Carver.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to become more involved with the work coming out of Kitty’s class,” said HTC producer Jan Radcliff. “We’ve included a number of her students’ short scripts in our marathon over the years and are glad to see that O.U. has now expanded its program to include an advanced class that is concentrating on longer one-acts and full-length plays.”
Ms. Dubin has had her plays produced at the Jewish Ensemble Theatre, the State Fair Theatre, the BoarsHead Theatre and the Live Oak Theatre in Austin, Texas. Her most recent play, “Coming of Age” is slated for production this spring at the JET with Gillean Eaton as the director.
Also returning this season are “Flix at Meadow Brook.” In an effort to bring an assortment of movie entertainment to the community, films of all genres are shown including Spanish, French, German and Japanese language films, as well as films with environmental and social awareness themes. “Flix” will be shown on Tuesdays through April 4.
Donations are gratefully accepted for all staged readings; movies are $4.
For complete schedule information, visit http://www.mbtheatre.com or call the MBT box office at 248-377-3300.

Mosaic to ring in New Year with Tesserae One-Act Play Festival

DETROIT – Among the many creative offerings of the internationally-renowned Mosaic Youth Theatre’s 2005-2006 season, the Tesserae One-Act Play Festival may be the most evolved, and it’s certainly one of the most exciting.
Tesserae began as a workshop, affording the members of the Mosaic Acting Company the opportunity to put on more than one performance a year while presenting to them the challenge of performing the works of legendary playwrights.
Now in its third year, Tesserae is a full-fledged theatrical festival playing to public audiences at the General Motors Mosaic Theatre, Jan. 19-26.
Taking its name from the Latin translation of “ticket to the theatre” as well as “mosaic tiles,” Tesserae is a mixed bag of zesty, evocative theatre designed for audiences of all ages. It features the much acclaimed work of the Mosaic Acting Company and the Mosaic Technical Crew.
This year Mosaic will tackle Moliere’s “The Flying Doctor,” Chekhov’s “The Bear,” Inge’s “To Bobolink, For Her Spirit,” David Ives’ “The Universal Language,” and a favorite from last year, Rich Orlaff’s “Playwrighting 101: The Rooftop Lesson,” which demonstrates the ensemble’s adeptness with physical comedy.
Director, Kate Peckham, a veteran Detroit theater actor whose film credits include the Hollywood hit, “Almost Famous,” explains, “Mosaic’s young actors grow tremendously as artists from this experience. The standards we set for them are literally on par with those professional actors are held to. The incredible thing is they truly rise to the occasion. It’s wonderful to see.”
Tesserae opens Thursday, Jan. 19 amid the bustle of the Superbowl and all of its relative festivities — some of which will include performances by the Mosaic Singers.
The festival will take place at the General Motors Mosaic Theatre located at 610 Antoinette in Detroit. The performance begins at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, with a Sunday matinee at 4 p.m.
General admission is “pay what you can,” as Mosaic encourages all audiences to attend this very special event. Box office opens one hour before curtain, no advance reservations.
For further information, call 313-872-6910 or visit http://www.mosaicdetroit.org.

‘Funny Dogs’ comes to the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts

CLINTON TWP. – Todd Oliver brings his wild and whacky “Funny Dogs” show to the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts Saturday, Jan. 28 for shows at both 2 and 8 p.m. The real talking dogs – Irving, a live Boston Terrier who throws witty insults and sings; and Lucy, the only dog in the world to out talk Irving – lead a cast of characters that also includes: Pops, a crazy confused old timer; Miss Lilly, his lifelong love; and Joey, the loveable bad boy. This clean, outrageous, family fun will have you rolling in the aisles.
Widely known as America’s most popular ventriloquist, Oliver’s one-of-a-kind comedy attracts audiences of all ages as he headlines aboard the Showboat Branson Belle in Branson, Missouri, and tours extensively. His humor is situational and contemporary, resulting in a clean universal comedy that makes you feel good and leaves you wondering, “How does Irving talk?”
Todd and Irving’s television appearances are extensive and include “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” The Oak Ridge Boys’ “Live in Las Vegas,” Penn and Teller’s Vegas special “Sin City Sensational,” “The Howie Mandel Show,” “Nashville Now,” and “Walker Texas Ranger.”
Joining Todd and his cast of characters on tour are juggling sensation Andrei and Marina and magician Jonathan Neal.
Ticket prices for “The FUNNY DOGS” range from $25-$32 with discounts available seniors, senior citizens, and to groups of 20 or more.
{For tickets or other information, call the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts ticket office at 586-286-222 or log on to }http://www.macombcenter.com.

Planet Ant introduces ‘AntJam’

HAMTRAMCK – Are you familiar with the term ‘Long Form Improv’? If you are, than you may be exactly who Dave Davies is looking for!
Although Long Form Improv has been happening every Monday night at Planet Ant Theatre for several years now, many local improvisers don’t often get the chance to perform it. Even those who do often work repeatedly with the same individuals and don’t have the luxury of working with other experienced improvisers. That is, until now!
Beginning Monday, Jan. 16 around 10 p.m., “AntJam?” is your chance to perform Long Form Improv in front of a crowd with many other seasoned and novice improvisers from around the area. It’s also an opportunity to network with these improvisers. You could even discover that person who may be the improv yin to your improv yang. Okay, you get the idea.
If performing doesn’t interest you, it’s a chance to see some of the most unpredictably wild improv ever!
The focus of the “AntJam” is to provide local improvisers a space to perform Long Form Improv, gain valuable Improv experience, and do it in front of an audience. It will also provide local producers, directors, and/or talent scouts to see who is coming up through the ranks.
But what if you’re too intimidated to perform? Don’t be! You can read all the books you want, but the quickest way to get better at improv is to put in the time performing. Come learn from working with other improvisers and they will in turn learn from working with you. It’s always a friendly atmosphere in which everyone is rooting for you!
“AntJam” will alternate the Monday late night slot with “Bottle Of Red,” the improv powerhouse duo of Margaret Edwartowski and Nancy Hayden.
Come see improv as good as it gets!
Stay tuned to the http://www.planetant.com/improv_monday.htm for more information on “Bottle Of Red” and “AntJam.”


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