The Studio Theatre Presents A Song For Coretta Featuring Local Cast and New Faculty Director Billicia Hines.

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(from left to right): Tayler Jones, Maria Simpkins, Breon Canady, Erian Williams

Theatre and Dance at Wayne presents Pearl Cleage’s uplifting play A Song For Coretta November 6–16, 2014 at The Studio Theatre. Set in Atlanta in 2006, A Song for Coretta chronicles five African American women and their shared experience as they mourn and celebrate the legacy of the great civil rights activist Coretta Scott King. Tickets are $10 – $12 and are available by calling the theatre box office at (313) 577-2972, online at http://www.wsustudio.com, or by visiting the box office in the Hilberry Theatre located at 4743 Cass Avenue on the corner of Hancock.

 The following excerpt from the Detroit Free Press after Mrs. King’s death encapsulates what her legacy means to so many:

“Mrs. King endeavored to be both mother to the King children and keeper of the King legacy…America may not yet have fulfilled Dr. King’s dream, but because of Mrs. King, it will never be forgotten. Nor will she.” – Detroit Free Press 1 Feb. 2006.

Set on the sidewalk in front of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, A Song For Coretta centers on five African American women who, despite their differences, share a common desire to pay their respects to Coretta Scott King. From aspiring journalist, to artist, to enlisted military, these women come together from their diverse backgrounds and remember a woman who changed the face of history with her monumental imprint on the civil rights movement. The Studio Theatre production will feature a cast of actors and designers from the metro Detroit region. Specific hometowns are listed below.

Billicia Hines Headshot

Billicia Hines

A Song For Coretta also features the debut of Faculty Director Billicia Hines. Hines is an Assistant Professor and the Director of the Black Theatre Program at Wayne State University. Previously, she was Director of Theatre at Elizabeth City State University. She began her formal training in drama in the high school program at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Thereafter, she attended North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University in Greensboro, NC (BFA, Professional Theatre) and University of Missouri at Kansas City (MFA, Acting). She is a Certified Teacher of the Michael Chekhov Technique from the Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium, an organization in which she proudly holds the position of Associate Artist.

The cast includes (in alphabetical order):
Breon Canady (Gwen – Detroit), Tayler Jones (Helen – Detroit), Kayla Mundy (Keisha – Detroit), Maria Simpkins (Mona), Erian Williams (Zora – Ypsilanti)

 The production team includes:
Billicia Hines (Director), Delaney O’Brien (Stage Manager – Brighton), Sarah Bloch (Costume Designer – Warren), Jonathan Pigott (Scenic Designer – Wyandotte), Peter Lawrence (Lighting Designer ), Aaron Beckius (Sound Designer – Grosse Pointe), Madeline Schnorr (Properties Master – Marshall), Kevin Replinger (Publicist).

About the Studio Theatre
The Studio Theatre is an intimate, 110-seat, open-stage theatre in the lower level of the Hilberry Theatre on Wayne State University’s campus that is often used for experimental, student, and classroom productions. Annual programming includes the Student Stage and the Louise Heck-Rabi Dramatic Writing Competition. For nearly fifty years the Studio Theatre has presented outstanding theatre featuring WSU undergraduate students. With generous support from patrons and donors, the Studio Theatre recently underwent renovation. For box office hours and information on performances, tickets, and group discounts, call the box office at (313) 577-2972 or visit the theatre’s website at www.wsustudio.com

About Wayne State University
Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic–programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 29,000 students.

Calendar Information
November 6 – 16, 2014
Thursday 8 p.m.          November 6 (Opening), 13
Friday 8 p.m.               November 7, 14
Saturday 8 p.m.           November 8, 15
Sunday 3 p.m.             November 9, 16 (Closing)

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(from top, clockwise): Tayler Jones, Erian Williams, Maria Simpkins, Breon Canady

PETER PAN Soars into the Spotlight at the Bonstelle Theatre

521x186The Bonstelle Theatre season continues to soar with a high-flying production ofthe beloved tale, Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie, adapted by Janet Allard. Playing November 14 – November 23, 2014, join the students of Wayne State University as they grab some pixie dust from Tinker Bell and take to the sky with help from Hall and Associates, one of the stage industry leaders in flying effects, and race towards Neverland. Tickets are $15-20, with student rush tickets available for $10 on the day of the performance. Tickets are available for purchase by calling (313) 577-2960, by visiting http://www.bonstelle.com, or by visiting the Wayne State University Theatre Box Office located at 4743 Cass Avenue on the corner of Hancock Street.

Originally performed in London in 1901, Peter Pan has since traversed lands and oceans, becoming popular in multiple mediums. This magical story has stretched over a century and continues to delight all ages with defying feats, mythical creatures, fantastic swordsmanship, fierce pirates, legendary battles, and most of all, high flying tricks with the help of a little pixie dust.

With larger than life locations and intricate costumes, be prepared to be whisked off to Neverland to fly with Peter Pan, battle Captain Hook, and meet Wendy and the notorious crocodile who’s always creating mischief. There’s enough fun, magic, and adventure for the whole family.

The Cast (In Alphabetical Order)
Alexis Barrera – Howell, MI (Cecco), Shakirra Berry – Detroit, MI (Indian/Mermaids), Maggie Beson – Detroit, MI (Peter Pan), Anna Busse – Trenton, MI (Indian/Mermaids), Patrick Ceglarek – Ferndale, MI (First Twin), Sean Ceglarek – Ferndale, MI (Second Twin), Veronica Estigoy – Livonia, MI (Indian/Mermaids), Jordan Fritz – River Rouge, MI (Curly), Irenie Froman – Dearborn, MI (Jane), Forrest Gabel – Walled Lake, MI (Michael/Young Peter), Shannon Hurst – Warren, MI (Wendy), Jason LaCombe – Detroit, MI (Tootles), Katelin Maylum – Detroit, MI (Skylights), Clearie McCarthy – Detroit, MI (Indian/Mermaids), Monica Mingo – Farmington Hills, MI (Tiger Lily), Shane Nelson – Windsor, ON (John), Maria Ochoa – Clawson, MI (Tiger Lily Sister), Matt Paciorkowski – Brownstown, MI (Nibs), Gerald Palmer Jr. – Rochester Hills, MI (Mullins), Joshua Daniel Palmer – West Bloomfield, MI (Slightly), Patrick Roache – Detroit, MI (Noodler), Luke Rose – Harrison Township, MI (Captain Hook/Mr. Darling), Wyatt Setty – Detroit, MI (Nana/Smee), Graham Todd – Shelby Township, MI (Bill Jukes), Allen Wiseman – Roseville, MI (Gentleman Starkey) Evan Wyatt – Walled Lake, MI (Cookson), Samantha York – Dearborn, MI (Mrs. Darling)

The Production Team
Michael Barnes (Director), Cheryl Turski (Associate Director), Lyndee Hallahan (Stage Manager), Catelyn Girard (Assistant Stage Manager), Fred Florkowski (Set Designer/ Scenic Head), Brian Dambacher (Technical Director), April Thomson (Properties Master), Mary Copenhagen (Costume Designer), Amy Schneider (Light Designer), Michael Hallberg (Sound Designer), Felix Li (Publicist), Amanda Schindler (Assistant Publicist)

The Bonstelle Theatre
The Bonstelle Theatre is a Broadway-style house with a 1,034-seat auditorium featuring a balcony and much of the original Beaux-Arts architecture. The Theatre was built as Temple Beth-El in 1902 and converted to the Bonstelle Playhouse in 1922.

The Bonstelle Theatre Company includes BA and BFA actors, designers, and stage managers in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Wayne State University. Here, future stars of theatre, film, and television follow in the footsteps of successful alumni like Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning S. Epatha Merkerson (NBC’s Law and Order, Lackawanna Blues), Lily Tomlin (9 to 5, ABC’s Desperate Housewives), and Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters, NBC’s Heroes).  For box office hours and information on performances, tickets, group discounts, and corporate packages, please call the box office at (313) 577-2960 or visit the theatre’s website at http://www.bonstelle.com.

The Bonstelle Theatre, Where Wayne Plays.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 29,000 students.

Calendar Information
November 14 – November 23

Fri. 7:00 PM                Nov. 14, Nov. 21
Sat. 2:00 PM               Nov. 15, Nov. 22
Sat. 7:00 PM               Nov. 15, Nov. 22
Sun. 2:00 PM              Nov. 16, Nov. 23

School Matinees        10:00 a.m., Wed. and Thu. November 19-20
(Contact 313-577-0852 for more information about student matinees.)

The Bonstelle proves ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’

by Patty Nolan for The Examiner

A whimsical mix of contemporary and period costumes and conventions make this production of Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well fun for the entire audience.

A whimsical mix of contemporary and period costumes and conventions make this production of Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well fun for the entire audience. Courtesy of Bonstelle Theatre

One of the best things about college theatre programs is that they are empowered to occasionally dig deep into the Shakespeare canon – rushing in where theatre angels fear to tread – to give their students the richest possible experience. In the case of WSU’s Bonstelle Theatre, this means we are treated with a season-opening production of one of the lesser known and seldom performed comedies, “All’s Well That Ends Well.”

Sydney Machesky and Bradley Smith take the lead roles in Bonstelle Theatre's All's Well That Ends Well.

Sydney Machesky and Bradley Smith take the lead roles in Bonstelle Theatre’s All’s Well That Ends Well. Courtesy of the Bonstelle Theatre

It’s a funny play in more ways than one. It is “ha ha” funny – with plenty of laughs, witticisms and comedic situations. But it also has a problematic story premise that every contemporary production has to come to terms with. Essentially, this is the tale of a fabulously lovely and loveable young woman named Helena, with every grace to recommend her, who goes to amazing lengths to win and woo a young nobleman named Bertram who frankly doesn’t deserve her. For this play to end happily – certainly the definition of a comedy in Shakespeare’s day – Bertram must somehow see the light, wed Helena, and manage to become likeable, or at least show potential, to the audience.

Director Carolyn M. Gillespie takes the challenge head on. She adds a prologue, epilogue, and chorus of college students (presumably at WSU) who add just enough wackiness to remind the audience not to take this too seriously. The show opens as a group of students wander on stage waiting for their class on Shakespeare to begin. Since many of them are in Glee Club, they sing to pass the time, and invite the audience to join in. The songs are popular love protestations, ranging from early Beatles to present day, and set the tone for the over-the-top nature of infatuations. The “professor” walks in and begins by offering the class some background on “All’s Well that Ends Well,” noting that the story was already old in Shakespeare’s day and can be traced back to a popular medieval story from Giovanni Boccaccio’s “Decameron.

The Prof asks one of the students to read the first part, and we are transported into the play. The Professor becomes the Lord Lafeu, the students become the Chorus (still dressed in jeans and hoodies) as other actors make their entrance in full Elizabethan costume.

Inspired by the line, “The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together,” Gillespie’s approach weaves both contemporary and period attitudes, characters, and costumes into a tapestry designed to please – so that anachronistic songs and gestures just become part of the fun. The inventive, modern scenic design by Sarah Pearline, the mix of Elizabethan and modern costumes by Mary Gietzen (including some interesting hybrids), and lighting by Thomas Schraeder and Amy Schneider, bring welcome texture to the dreamlike interpretation of this story.

Without invoking any spoiler alerts, we can say that the epilogue eventually brings us full circle in a way that provoked huge, appreciative laughter from the opening night audience. Naturally, to make time for these diversions, Gillespie had to cut some of the original Shakespeare – always controversial with purists. But the story progresses, and things ultimately work to Helena’s advantage. Since this is her story, not ours, we must be content with the explanation that love will find a way. Or as Helena herself says, “All’s well that ends well; still the fine’s the crown;Whate’er the course, the end is the renown.”

The young Bonstelle actors clearly enjoy themselves in this production and the audience is caught up in the merriment. Sydney Machesky is terrific as Helena, offering an interpretation that is true to Shakespeare but leavened with a more feminist sensibility. Bradley Smith has the challenging role of Helena’s beloved Bertram – which he portrays in the most realistic light possible – that of a handsome and privileged young man to whom everything has come too easily. If we cannot forgive his disdain for Helena, we can perhaps believe that he has grown wise enough to recognize his folly.

Garret Harris has the most fun in this production as Parolles, Bertram’s braggadocio, foppish buddy. The fact that Bertram believes Parolles to be a fine, upright man of true valor explains a lot about Bertram’s discernment elsewhere. The counterpoint to Parolles is Lafeu/The Professor, played by Carl Bentley – who gives us a person of true moral fiber, generosity, wisdom and quiet strength.

Hannah Butcher is listed in the program as Widow, but she doubled on opening night as the stand in (for Gaia Klotz) as theCountess and was strong in both roles. Paul Clauson is the likable King; Kendall Rose Talbot is the virtuous Diana; Jacob Boida is the clever clown LaVatch; and members of the Chorus fill multiple roles: Dann Finn, Dante Jones, Ibrahim Karim, Caitlyn Macuga, Michaella Mallett, Chris Peterson, Kiera Schmidt, Paige Stefanski and Michael Vultaggio.

The production team includes: Carolyn Gillespie (Director), Cassandra Maniak (Stage Manager), Sarah Pearline (Scenic Designer), Brian Dambacher (Technical Director), Christa Tausney (Props Designer), Mary Gietzen (Costume Designer), Amy Schneider (Lighting Designer), Patrick Field (Master Electrician), Peter Lawrence (Sound Designer), Felix Li (Publicity Manager) and Jason Goldman (Asst. Publicity Manager).

“All’s Well That Ends Well” runs at the Bonstelle Theatre through October19, 2014. Tickets range from $10 to $20 and are available for purchase online, by calling (313) 577-2960, or at the Hilberry Theatre box office at 4743 Cass Avenue on the corner of Hancock Street. The Bonstelle Theatre is located in Midtown Detroit at 3424 Woodward Avenue, just south of Mack Avenue.

The Bonstelle Theatre Kicks Off Its Season With Shakespeare’s ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL

William Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well opens the Bonstelle Theatre’s 02 Sydney as Helena2014-15 Season in Midtown, Detroit. Playing October 10th through 19th, 2014, Shakespeare’s classic comedy follows the schemes of a young woman as she strives to win the love of a nobleman.  Tickets for All’s Well That Ends Well range from $10-$20 and are available by calling (313) 577-2960, online at Bonstelle.com, or at the Hilberry Theatre box office at 4743 Cass Avenue on the corner of Hancock Street.

One of Shakespeare’s lesser known comedies, All’s Well That Ends Well is believed to have been written between 1604 and 1605, shortly after King James I took the English throne.  Helena, the low born ward of the Countess of Rousillon, sets her sights on the Countess’ son, Bertram, but he is indifferent to her.  In an attempt to rid himself of her, Bertram agrees to marry Helena only if she can complete a series of impossible tasks. Helena uses every bit of her cunning to complete the challenge and convince Bertram that she is the one for him.

Director Carolyn Gillespie returns to Wayne State to direct All’s Well That Ends Well having directed Major Barbara in 2012 at the Hilberry Theatre.  In the intervening years, Ms. Gillespie has directed Much Ado about Nothing at the new Guthrie Green (Tulsa, OK) and performed in Falling at the Meadow Brook Theatre (Rochester Hills, MI).  When not directing or performing in the theatre, Ms. Gillespie is Professor Emerita at University of Michigan-Flint.

Inspired by the line, “The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together,” Gillespie’s approach brings a modern feel as contemporary and period characters mingle in Shakespeare’s time.  She has worked with designers Sarah Pearline, Mary Gietzen and Amy Schneider to weave an image of beauty transformed in a twisted world. Be sure not to miss this charming comedy!

The cast includes (in alphabetical order):
Carl Bentley (Flat Rock, MI) Lafeu, Hannah Butcher (Taylor, MI) Widow, Paul Clauson (Sterling Heights, MI) King, Garett Harris (Royal Oak, MI) Parolles, Gaia Klotz (Midland, MI) Countess, Sydney Machesky (Shelby Township, MI) Helena, Bradley Smith (Waterford, MI) Bertram, Kendall Rose Talbot (Sterling Heights, MI) Diana

Chorus:
Jacob Boida (Warren, MI), Dann Finn (Armada, MI), Dante Jones (Detroit, MI), Ibrahim Karim (Novi, MI), Caitlyn Macuga (Westland, MI), Michaella Mallett (Southfield, MI), Chris Peterson (Sterling Heights, MI), Kiera Schmidt (Livonia, MI), Paige Stefanski (Warren, MI), Michael Vultaggio (Cetner Line, MI)

The production team includes:
Carolyn Gillespie (Director), Cassandra Maniak (Stage Manager), Sarah Pearline (Scenic Designer), Brain Dambacher (Technical Director), Christa Tausney (Props Designer), Mary Gietzen (Costume Designer), Amy Schneider (Lighting Designer), Patrick Field (Master Electrician), Peter Lawrence (Sound Designer), Felix Li (Publicity Manager), and Jason Goldman (Asst. Publicity Manager).

About the Bonstelle Theatre
The Bonstelle Theatre is a Broadway-style House with a 1,035-seat auditorium featuring a balcony and grand architecture remaining from its early 20th century design. Here, future stars of theatre, film, and television follow in the footsteps of many successful alumni including Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning S. Epatha Merkerson (NBC’s Law and Order, Lackawanna Blues), Lily Tomlin (9 to 5, ABC’s Desperate Housewives) and Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters, NBC’s Heroes). For box office hours and information on performances, tickets, group discounts and corporate packages, please call the box office at (313) 577-2960 or visit the theatre’s website at www.bonstelle.com.

The Bonstelle Theatre, Where Wayne Plays.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 29,000 students.

This season is sponsored by CBS Outdoor and Between the Lines.

-Calendar Information-

October 10-19

Thursday 10 a.m.        October 16 (School show, contact 313-577-0852 for more information)
Friday 8 p.m.               October 10 & 17
Saturday 8 p.m.           October 11 & 18
Sunday 2p.m.              October 12 & 19

The Examiner: ‘Guys and Dolls’ at the Bonstelle Theatre is a sure bet

Guys and Dolls” may well be the perfect American musical. Where other shows are happy to have one hit song or memorable tune, this classic is packed with them – “Luck Be A Lady,” “A Bushel and a Peck,” “If I Were a Bell,” “Sue Me,” “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” and of course, the title song. The lyrics are clever and keenly crafted to suit the post WWII smalltime underworld characters who people this play – polite wise guys who would never swear in front of a nice broad.

The Bonstelle Theatre production of “Guys and Dolls” opened this weekend and runs through April 19, 2014, and it’s a sure bet for a swell night on the town.

Based on a mash-up of Damon Runyon stories, “Guys and Dolls” features music and lyrics by Frank Loesser with a wonderful book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows. The play originally opened on Broadway in 1950, where it won five Tony Awards and ran for three years. It has enjoyed a steady stream of revivals on Broadway and around the world and was made into a Hollywood spectacular starring Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Jean Simmons and Vivian Blaine in 1955.

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“Guys and Dolls” is a big show, with a big cast, a big score and a few big production numbers. It has lots of exuberant dancing, multiple scene changes, tricky regional and cultural accents, and all the dramatic demands that make it expensive for small professional theatres to produce. So, you can thank the theatre gods that these features also make “Guys and Dolls” a perfect vehicle for showcasing the talents of the WSU Department of Theatre and Dance. Director Michael J. Barnes makes sure everyone in his young company has a chance to prove what they’re capable of – and the results are most impressive. Additionally, this show affords a perfect swan song for the Bonstelle Theatre Company’s 2014 graduating class.

Seniors with featured roles include a team that has worked well together in the past, most notably in last season’s “Bat Boy.” Jackson McLaskey, Kelly Robinson, Nick Yocum, Matthew Miazgowicz, Colin Mallory, and Anthony Scamihorn return to the roots of musical comedy and make it seem effortless.

Nick Yocum is delightful as Nathan Detroit, the guy behind New York’s oldest established “floating” crap game. Nathan has promised his fiancée of 14-years that he has quit running the crap game, but he’s desperate to raise a bank roll with one more big enterprise. His fiancée is the long suffering Miss Adelaide, featured dancer at the Hot Box night club, played with cheery energy and authentic showgirl wowza by Keira Schmitt. She has many fine performances in “the club,” but the duet “Sue Me” with Yocum is a favorite.

In a ploy to score the $1,000, Nathan bets high-roller Sky Masterson that he can’t get a certain “doll” to go to dinner with him in Havana, Cuba. Sky takes the bet, and then discovers that the “doll” is Sarah Brown, who runs the Salvation Army mission on the corner.

Sky Masterson is played by Jackson McLaskey with a suave, tough-guy confidence that leaves plenty of room to let the show’s comic moments and light romance shine through. Although he pursues Sarah Brown (Kelly Robinson) to win a bet, he finds that he’s truly fallen in love – something that he knows is “no good” for a professional gambler. Kelly Robinson has a thrilling voice, and her scenes with McLaskey – especially “Havana” and “I’ve Never Been in Love Before” – are marvelous. A certain amount of heartache and dumb luck are inevitable, but love eventually beats the odds in this splendid musical.

This dazzling cast also includes: Bailey Allshouse (West Bloomfield, MI) Waiter, Krista Borthwick (Warren, MI) Agatha, Paul Clauson (Sterling Hights, MI) Brannigan, Garett Harris (Royal Oak, MI) Benny, Logan Hart (Grosse Pointe Woods, MI) Angie-the-Ox, Colin Mallory (Lansing, MI) Rusty, Matthew Miazgowicz (Dearborn, MI) Nicely-Nicely, Luke Rose (Harrison Twp., MI) Big Jule, Anthony Scamihorn (Marshal, MI) Harry, Anna Seibert (Detroit, MI) Aileen, Austin Sullivan (Dexter, MI) Louie, Kendall Talbot (Sterling Heights, MI) General, Graham Todd (Shelby Township, MI) M.C., Hot Box Girls: Lydia Di Iorio (Farmington Hills, MI), Maria Iduante (Westland, MI), Ashley Kalchik (Commerce Township, MI), Maria LoPiccolo (Riverview, MI), Molly McMillan (Saline, MI), Hope Morawa (Lincoln Park, MI), Melodie Myshock (Romulus, MI), Shanice Rollins (Detroit, MI), Danielle Wright (Southfield, MI), Lisa Youngs (Wyandotte, MI). Ensemble: Alexis Barrera (Hartland, MI), Breon Canady (Detroit, MI), Nicole Heikkila (Garden City, MI), Taylor Morrow (Warren, MI), Janelle Soulliere (Clinton Township, MI), Samantha York (Dearborn, MI).

Michael J. Barnes’ creative and production team includes: Meg Paul and Jeff Rebudal (Choreographers), Devon Hansen (Music Director), Veronica Zahn (Stage Manager), Sarah Pearline (Scenic Designer), Tonae Mitsuhashi (Paint Charge), Brian Dambacher (Technical Director), Christa Tausney (Props Master), Mary Copenhagen (Costume Designer), Samuel Byers (Lighting Designer), Ryan Koprince (Master Electrician), Amy Schneider (Sound Designer), Michael Hallberg (Assistant Sound Designer), David Sterritt (Fight Director), Andrew Papa (Dialect Director) and Jordan Donahue (Publicity Manager). The 15-piece orchestra is wonderful – just listening to the overture is a treat.

“Guys and Dolls” is a show worth seeing at every and any opportunity, and this Bonstelle Theatre production is worthy of multiple viewings on its own merits. Tickets are $20-$25 and are available by calling (313) 577-2960, visiting the Bonstelle Theatre website, or at the Wayne State University Theatre Box Office, located at 4743 Cass Avenue on the corner of Hancock. Shows are Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. plus a matinee on Saturday, April 19 at 2 p.m. There is a special production for area schools on Thursday, April 17, at 10 a.m. The historic Bonstelle Theatre is located right on Woodward Avenue, just south of Mack Avenue in Detroit.

“Guys and Dolls” hits all the right notes at WSU’s Bonstelle Theatre

By SUE SUCHYTA  –  April 12, 2014

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Are you a fan of musical theater? Do your toes tap during the entr’acte? Do you feel a rush of anticipation when the house lights dim and the curtain rises?

If so, head down to the Bonstelle Theatre at 3424 Woodward in Detroit this weekend and catch a well-performed production of Frank Loesser’s “Guys and Dolls.”

The show runs for two weekends, with remaining performances at 8 p.m. April 12, 18 and 19, with 2 p.m. matinees April 13 and 19. There is also a 10 a.m. April 17 school matinee.

Tickets are $20 and $25, and available by calling 313-577-2960 or at wsushows.com.

Directed by Michael J. Barnes, the undergraduate Wayne State theater company packs energy and a nostalgic fifties flavor into a fast-paced show filled with favorite show tunes, excellent song and dance numbers, and a talented cast that maintains an energetic pace.

Set in 1950s New York City, “Guys and Dolls” is a classic American musical comedy with song favorites like, “A Bushel and a Peck,” “Luck Be A Lady,” and “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.”

Gamblers, nightclub dancing girls and missionaries mix it up and stymie a local police officer trying to close down the “oldest established” floating crap game in town. Romance is also in the air, as gamblers meet their match with a missionary miss and a determined nightclub doll.

Talent abounds in the cast, from the leads to the ensemble dancers.

Nick Yocum of Royal Oak as gambler Nathan Detroit and nightclub performer Keira Schmitt of Livonia as Adelaide are fun to follow as Nathan tries to extend the 14-year engagement Adelaide is determined to bring to the altar.

Jackson McLaskey of Mount Clemens as Sky Masterson is a delightful mixture of con artist and determined suitor as he pursues straitlaced missionary Sarah Brown, played by Kelly Robinson of Royal Oak, first to win a bet, and then to deliberately lose it as he puts it all on the line to win her heart.

Matthew Miazgowicz of Dearborn is wonderfully endearing as Nicely-Nicely Johnson, one of Nathan Detroit’s sidekicks, whose horse bet boasting starts the singing off strong with Benny, played by Garett Harris of Royal Oak and Rusty, played by Colin Mallory of Lansing in “Fugue for Tinhorns” as the show opens. He also delivers a strong performance in “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.”

Choreographers Meg Paul and Jeff Rebudal make magic with the gamblers and the Hot Box girls, having fun and bringing out the best in both the dancers and the theater majors, making the meld smooth and seamless and giving the audience some great numbers to enjoy.  The “Havana” number is a fast-paced favorite, as is the sewer scene “Luck Be a Lady” and the Hot Box girls in the saucy “Take Back Your Mink.”

The set and costumes are as colorful and as vibrant as the cast.  In addition to the wonderful wardrobe of the leads, it is fun seeing the fifties fashion parade that the ensemble sports.

The show closes next Saturday night, so if “Guys and Dolls” is on your hit list, dust off your dice and ante up for a ticket to the “oldest established” crap game on Woodward – you can’t lose!

Guys and Dolls – The Rules of Street Craps

Guys and Dolls rehearsal

Guys and Dolls rehearsal

 

According to the website http://www.mademan.com/mm/street-craps-rules.html

By: Sidney Johns

Break Studios Contributing Writer

The phrase “street craps rules” is almost an oxymoron. The game is played in back alleys, back rooms and schoolyards around the world. Dating back to the early 1900s, the dice-throwing game is an illegal form of gambling. During the hardest times in United States history, the 1930s, the game flourished along the streets of large cities, including Chicago and New York. The poorest people placed their bets in the hope of making a few dollars more for the week. Mainly, they just lost their grim earnings and went hungry for the week, but a few made a living running and playing the game. Street craps remains illegal in modern times. Those who organize the games can actually be charged with racketeering. Before taking up a friendly game in your home, be sure the shades are drawn and the lights are low. Only invite those you know for sure are not stool pigeons or snitches.

  1. Dice. Street craps rules call for two regular game dice be used. Some sneaky organizers use loaded or trick dice to assure the bet placers lose.
  2. Betting. All bets must be placed when the dice are in the hand of the shooter. Street craps rules are mostly enforced when it comes to betting as it is the key to money changing hands.
  3. Pass. In street craps rules, a bet is placed as a “pass” when the shooter believes the sum total of the dice will be seven or eleven. If the dice hit these numbers, the bettor wins.
  4. Don’t pass. Street craps rules include a “don’t pass” betting option just like in a casino. This is when the bet placer thinks a two, three or twelve will be the total of the dice.
  5. Points. In street craps, if the sum of the two dice is four, five, six, eight, nine or ten, it makes a point. These points act as carry over bets for the next round.
  6. Shooter. There is only one shooter at any given time. In street craps, the shooter is the person throwing the dice. The shooter can bet or pass.
  7. Fingers. According to the rules of street craps, all fingers must be kept clear of the shooting area. This goes for feet and other body parts as well.
  8. Player additions. There is no limit on the number of players in street craps. Players may be added between any throw that does not include previous points.
  9. Bounce. Street craps rules require that the dice bounce off a wall or other back stop. If the dice do not bounce, the throw is no good and must be redone.
  10. Run. Possibly the most important street craps rule is to run if the police show up. Illegal gambling is not smiled on by local authorities.

Guys and Dolls runs April 11 – April 19, 2014 at the Bonstelle Theatre.  Purchase tickets today!