Brighton Beach Memoirs Part one of Neil Simon’s semi-autobiographical trilogy is a portrait of the writer as a Brooklyn teenager in 1937. Staged Wednesday through Sunday (excluding Friday) by the Jewish Ensemble Theatre Company at the Aaron DeRoy Theatre, West Bloomfield, through June 5. Tickets: $27 – $37. 248-788-2900. http://www.jettheatre.org.
Bus Stop A howling snowstorm drives a busload of weary travelers to take shelter in a roadside diner. Presented Wednesday through Sunday at Purple Rose Theatre, Chelsea, through June 4. Tickets: $17.50 – $32.50. 734-433-7673. http://www.purplerosetheatre.org.
Deceptions to the Rule An original comedy inspired by classic film noir about an ex-con hotel heiress’s plot to rub out her washed-up father and alcoholic brother. Presented Thursday through Sunday at Planet Ant Theatre, Hamtramck, through June 5. Tickets: $10 – $15. 313-365-4948. http://www.planetant.com.
Grease Frankie Avalon guest stars in the popular musical that plays tribute to those fabulous fifties! Presented at the Wharton Center, East Lansing, June 3 – 5 only. Tickets: $27.50 – $55. 517-432-2000. http://www.whartoncenter.com.
Hannibal of the Alps A play that chronicles young Langston Hughes’ early struggles to sort out the ambiguities that plagued his heritage, his heart and his talent. Presented Thursday through Sunday by the Detroit Repertory Theatre, Detroit, June 2 – 26. Tickets: $17. 313-868-1347. http://www.detroitreptheatre.com.
Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train A raw and powerful drama about a first time offender and a psychopathic serial killer turned born again Christian examines issues of morality, faith, punishment and forgiveness. Staged Friday through Sunday by the African Renaissance Theater of Detroit at 1515 Broadway, Detroit, through May 30. Tickets: $20. 313-333-1444.
The Laramie Project A town in Wyoming reacts to the murder of a gay 21-year-old college student. Presented by the Detroit Ensemble Theatre, Roseville, June 3 – 4, 10 – 12 & 17 – 18. Tickets: $15. 888-220-8471. http://www.detroitensembletheatre.com.
Les Miserables The legendary musical that sweeps through three turbulent decades of 19th century France. Presented Tuesday through Sunday by the Broadway Theatre Guild at the DeVos Performance Hall, Grand Rapids, through May 29. Tickets: $32 – $67. 616-235-6285. http://www.bwaygr.org.
Little Shop of Horrors The giant plant that conquered Broadway comes looking for blood in the Motor City. Presented Tuesday through Sunday at the Fisher Theatre, Detroit, May 31 – June 12. Tickets: $25.50 – $72.50. 313-872-1000. http://www.nederlanderdetroit.com.
Menopause The Musical A joyful musical parody about four women who have nothing in common except a certain shared experience! Presented Tuesday through Sunday at the Gem Theatre, Detroit, for an open run. Tickets: $39.50. 313-963-9800. http://www.gemtheatre.com.
Nunsensations – The All New Nunsense Vegas Revue The regional premiere of the latest chapter in the adventures of the Little Sisters of Hoboken stars Georgia Engel and is directed by series creator Dan Goggin. Presented Wednesday through Sunday at Mason Street Warehouse, Saugatuck, through June 5. Tickets: $27.50 – $30. 269-857-4898. http://www.masonstreetwarehouse.org.
Over the Tavern The popular comedy about growing up Catholic in the early 1950s returns with Carmen Decker and the original cast for a limited run. Presented Wednesday through Sunday at the BoarsHead Theatre, Lansing, through May 29. Tickets: $25 – $29. 517-484-7805. http://www.boarshead.org.
Spunk Three tales by Zora Neale Hurston focus on men and women trapped inside “the laughin’ kind of lovin’ kind of hurtin’ kind of pain that comes from being human.” Staged Thursday, Saturday and Sunday by Plowshares Theatre Company at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, through June 19. Tickets: $15 – $25. 313-872-0279. http://www.plowshares.org.
Summer and Smoke The Tennessee Williams’ story that asks: Where can passion be found – in the spirit or in the flesh? Presented Thursday through Sunday at Performance Network Theatre, Ann Arbor, through May 29. Tickets: $20 – $34.50. 734-663-0681. http://www.performancenetwork.org.
The Tribute to Frank, Sammy, Joey & Dean The Rat Pack returns in a fast-paced theatrical musical play in which those misbehaving but loveable guys are sent back from heaven to do just one more show. Presented Tuesday through Sunday at the City Theatre, Detroit, June 7 – July 3. Tickets: $35.50 & $39.50. 313-872-1000. http://www.nederlanderdetroit.com.
Opal A musical based on the real-life story of Opal Whiteley, a girl orphaned in a shipwreck off the coast of an Oregon lumber town in 1904. Staged by Oakland University’s Dept. of Music, Theatre and Dance in the Varner Studio Theatre, Rochester Hills, May 25 – 27 & May 31 – June 5. Tickets: $12. 248-370-3013.
The Last Five Years A contemporary song-cycle musical that chronicles the five-year life of a marriage from meeting to break-up. Presented Friday and Saturday by Whole Art Theater, Kalamazoo, through June 11. Tickets: $18. 269-345-7529. http://www.wholeart.org.
A Man of No Importance A middle-age Dublin bus conductor who loves the amateur theater group he leads and the writings of Oscar Wilde struggles to come to terms with his sexuality. Staged Thursday through Saturday by Actors’ Theatre at Spectrum Theater, Grand Rapids, through May 28. Tickets: $23. 616-234-3946. http://www.actorsatspectrum.org.
Richard III Unmoved by the celebration surrounding Edward IV’s coronation and the promise of peace, Richard continues his quest for the crown. Staged Thursday through Saturday by Flint City Theatre at Good Beans Caf, Flint, through May 28. Tickets: $5. 810-237-4663. http://www.flintcitytheatre.com.
Seussical The characters and stories of Dr. Seuss are blended and re-imagined into a delightful musical for children and adults alike. Presented by Stagecrafters at the Baldwin Theatre, Royal Oak, May 27 – 29, June 2 – 5, June 9 – 12 & June 17 – 19. Tickets: $16 & $18. 248-541-6430. http://www.stagecrafters.org.
The Spitfire Grill A story of hope and redemption that is awash with a charming hybrid of folk, country and pop ballad tunes. Presented Thursday through Sunday at Riverwalk Theatre, Lansing, June 2 – 12. Tickets: $16. 517-482-5700. http://www.riverwalktheatre.com.
Sweet Charity A dance-hall hostess always seems to give her heart and her dreams to the wrong man. Presented by St. Dunstan’s Theatre Guild of Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills, June 3 – 4, 10 – 11 & 16 – 18. Tickets: $18. 248-644-0527. http://www.stdunstanstheatre.com.
Theater for Young Audiences:
Turtle Island A new puppet show based on Native American legends. Presented every Saturday in May at PuppetART, Detroit. Tickets: $5/children, $7/adults. 313-961-7777. http://www.puppetart.org.
Improvisation/Late Night/Interactive/Dinner Theater:
Improv Inferno A new comedy lounge in Downtown Ann Arbor with five nights of fun: “The Ladies Show: The Breast Show in Town” hits the stage on Wednesday nights; Thursday hosts “Catfight” & “High Octane”; Friday and Saturday features “The Damnation Game,” and at Midnight, “The X Show”; and open mike night rules on Sunday with “Get Up Stand Up.” Special engagement May 27 & 28 only: Hypnotist Kevin Lepine. Tickets: $5 – $10. 734-214-7080. http://www.improvinferno.com.
Interactive Musical Murder Mysteries Board a train, eat dinner and solve a murder mystery, all in one evening! Staged every Saturday by Random Acts on the Old Road Murder Mystery Dinner Train, Charlotte. Tickets: $57.95, includes dinner and show. 888-726-8277. http://www.random-acts.net.
Monday Night @ Planet Ant The Ant’s resident improvisational troupe, the Improv Colony, is joined each week by a Guest Team that performs the evening’s first act. Presented every Monday night (except holidays) at Planet Ant, Hamtramck. Tickets: $5. 313-365-4948. http://www.planetant.com.
The Reality Buffet Short plays selected by the audience are based upon the lives, perspectives and experiences of Detroit’s acting and improv communities. Staged every Sunday evening by Motoprism at the Matrix Theatre, Detroit. Tickets: $10. 313-967-0999. http://www.matrixtheatre.org.
Red-Eye Late-Night Festival A late-night festival in which four productions will be staged over four weeks, each running four nights. Staged Wednesday through Saturday at the Mosh Pit Theatre, Ann Arbor, through May 28. Tickets: $10. 734-663-0681. http://www.performancenetwork.org.
Righting the Show: A Night at the Round Table An original comedy directed by Topher Owen. Presented Thursday through Saturday as a Late Night program at Planet Ant Theatre, Hamtramck, May 26 – June 4. Tickets: $5. 313-365-4948. http://www.planetant.com.
Storm Warning An independent and hot-tempered big band chart writer visits a lakeside retreat looking for solitude and finds much more. Staged Friday and Saturday by StarBrite Presents Dinner Theater at the 14th Street Grille and Bar, Madison Heights, through June 25. Tickets: $39.50, includes three-course dinner. 248-589-9900. http://www.starbriteprod.com.
AUDITIONS & CLASSES:
BREATHE ART THEATRE PROJECT – auditions for 2005/06 season, June 15, 313-549-4108; MICHIGAN OPERA THEATRE – offering “Learning at the Opera House,” a series of educational programs for young and old alike, July 5 through Aug 13, 313-237-3270; IMPROV INFERNO – offering several improv classes beginning in June, 734-214-7080; THE MACOMB COMMUNITY CHORUS – auditions for a new group of adults 18 and older who want to sing traditional choral repertoire, May 30, June 20 & July 18, 586-286-2044; FLINT YOUTH THEATRE – auditions for “Robin Hood (The Somewhat True Tale),” June 7, 810-237-1530.