FCP Ghost Light Series Presents Staged Readings in February

Cover Ghost light Feb

Flint Community Players’ Ghost Light Series is proud to present two powerful dramas in February. Our first offering, Stop Kiss, is the touching story of two young lovers who are assaulted after their first kiss. The next up on our schedule is Topdog/Underdog, which tells of the tormented lives of two African-American brothers, and will be presented in honor of Black History Month. Both shows will be performed as staged readings.

Stop Kiss
By Diana Son
February 5 at 4:00pm
After Callie meets Sara, the two unexpectedly fall in love. Their first kiss provokes a violent attack that transforms their lives in a way they could never anticipate.

By Suzan-Lori Parks
February 10 & 11 at 7:30pm
February 12 at 2:30pm
The chronicles of two African-American brothers, Lincoln and Booth, who cope with women, work, gambling, racism, and their troubled upbringings.

All shows in the Ghost Light Series are intended for mature audiences and aimed at adults who enjoy exploring the human condition.

Tickets $7.00
Call or go online

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FCP Starts 2017 With Steve Martin Comedy

picasso-facebookReviewed by Kathleen Kirby

Given the general tenor of the times, a comedy may understandably be the way to start the New Year. Possibly to that end, Flint Community Players’ newest offering, Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile, does make progress toward filling the bill.

The year is 1904 on the cusp of the 20th century and the scene unfolds in a Paris bar known as the Lapin Agile. (Compliments are in order for the detailed and well-executed set by designers Tomoko Miller and Rick Doll.)

Patrons begin to arrive and among the first are a doddering elderly gentleman known as Gaston (Jonathan Smith) who proves himself a master of the zinger as he interjects perfectly timed comic quips throughout the evening. Next a young Albert Einstein arrives played with charm, wit and definite character dexterity by Bary Lehr.

These two semi-spar with bartender Freddy (Michael Poehner) until Freddy realizes that Einstein/Lehr has entered the bar out of order. He proves this by grabbing a program from an audience member that lists Lehr as fourth in order of appearance not third.

Barmaid Germaine (Marie VanHorn), listed third, arrives as Lehr leaves and all is back in order. If all of this sounds silly, then just remember who the playwright is, picture Saturday Night Live, and you may come to grips with the comedy to come.

Einstein is 25, still working on his Theory of Relativity and an unknown commodity in the intellectual realm. He is intrigued by the arrival of Suzanne (Lindsay McCarty) who arrives looking for Picasso. It seems she has had something of an affair with the artist and is anxious to renew the relationship. She guards a roughly drawn portrait he scribbled on a slip of paper and presented to her.

Artistic agent and sometime dealer Sagot (Patrick Munley) explodes into the bar to tout his new “find”, a tiny Matisse painting that he insists hang on the wall in place of a much larger Rembrandt.

So, you’re wondering where is Picasso? Director Miller seems to have opted for an intermission in what is usually a 90 minute non-stop performance which finds the title character entering with gusto just as the lights go down on the first act.

Nicholas Weiss plays the 23-year-old painter as a brash but as yet unpolished and roguish persona. He has achieved some celebrity status locally, but it is after all Paris, and he does have some impressive competition. He and Einstein joust intriguingly over the future prominence of art versus science; their face off with paper and pencils is both humor and hubris.

Two pending geniuses are probably enough in one place, but then Charles Dabernow Schmendiman (Alex Weiss) enters with bombast and (unfortunately) garbled delivery about his place on the whiz kid spectrum.

McCarty also does a good job of playing two other young women, one innocently enamored surprisingly of Schmendiman and the other an intellectual redhead with leanings toward Einstein.

Ultimately, after much speculation about what might transpire as the century unfolds – (Germaine imagines that Hiroshima will be “modernized”) – a final character appears. The Visitor (Ryan Fuhst) is a country boy time traveler sporting blue suede shoes who provides some balance and interesting dimension to the speculation.

Overall, this show is typical Martin – a cross between slapstick and brainiac, comedy and creativity – but nevertheless a fascinating bit of guesswork as to what might have transpired if these two ever actually had come together to discuss their future endeavors over drinks and women.

Picasso at the Lapin Agile continues at Flint Community Players at 7:30 pm January 13, 14, 20 & 21, and at 2:30 pm January 15 & 22. For tickets contact the box office at 810-441-9302 or online at www.flintcommunityplayers.com




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FYT Announces Auditions for Grades 7 – 12

Students in grades 7 through 12 are invited to audition for an
FYT Off The Press Staged Reading
In light of the George Zimmerman verdict, The New Black Fest commissioned six very diverse playwrights to write 10-minute plays on the topic of Trayvon Martin, race and/or privilege.  Facing Our Truth’s purpose is to incite serious discussion in our collective communities around these urgent issues.
The collection, Facing Our Truth: Ten Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race and Privilege is comprised of the following plays:
The Ballad of George Zimmerman, text by Dan O’Brien, music by Quetzal Flores
Colored by Winter Miller
Dressing by Mona Mansour & Tala Manassah
Night Vision by Dominique Morisseau
No More Monsters Here by Marcus Gardley
Some Other Kid by A. Rey Pamatmat
Student Auditions:
Tuesday, January 10, 20174:30-5:30pm
Auditions will include reading from the script. Students do not need to prepare anything to audition.
Saturday, January 21, 20172:30-5:30pm
Sunday, January 22, 20179am-3pm
Staged Reading & Talk-Back:
Sunday, January 22, 20174-6:30pm
theFYT.org  •  810.237.1530
Off The Press is sponsored by Fandangles’
Facing Our Truth is sponsored by Dr. Daniel and Donna Anbe
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“Picasso at Lapin Agile” Coming to FCP

In this quirky and occasionally absurd comedy, written by comedian Steve Martin, Einstein and Picasso meet at a bar in Paris, 1904. They, and the other patrons of the bar, have a lively debate about genius, talent, and what awaits in the century to come. (PG-13)

January 12, 13, 14, 20, 21 at 7:30PM
January 15, 22 at 2:30PM

Adults $13.00
Youth & Students $10.00*
Seniors 60+ $11.00*
*Youth/Student/Senior pricing evenings only.
No discounts for matinees.
Group Rates Available; call for details.

Tickets are available online or by phone starting 1 month prior to first performance.
(810) 441-9302

Walk-up sales:
Beginning 10 days prior to show date
3PM – 6PM non-performance days

Flint Community Players

2462 S. Ballenger Hwy

Flint, MI 48507


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Ease on Down the Road With McCree’s “The Wiz”

the_wiz360x266Reviewed by Kathleen Kirby

Consider it a Christmas gift from the New McCree Theatre. Instead of its usual more seasonal offering, this year Producer Charles H. Winfrey has chosen to once again bring the award winning musical about Oz to life. This is the third time McCree has staged The Wiz, and this one may be the best of all.

Indeed, each time this troupe relocates, they eventually test the venue with this hefty undertaking involving many sets, music, singing, dancing, a host of characters, and even the possibility of a dog onstage. Now located in the former Powers High School facility, they have their best theatrical space ever, and they take full advantage of it.

Director Billie Scott Lindo is once again at the helm of this production and she has assembled a marvelously talented cast to “ease us on down the road”.

Reprising the role of Dorothy is Whitney Frierson, a couple years older and just as vocally powerful as we remember. As she enters chasing her “dog” Toto down the aisle, she is nearly overshadowed by the adorable little Raivinn Rison-Kennedy who plays the pup. Watch out for this one! She may be very tiny now, but she’s caught the performance “bug”!

Of course, Dorothy is quickly blown away from Kansas by the cyclone that arrives in the form of a ballet complete with dark banners and whirling dancers who gathered her up and spun her with realistic intensity. Great stuff! Kudos to choreographer Cameo Paschal-Fair.

Met by a group of Munchkins, Dorothy is lauded for killing the Wicked Witch of the East – those are her legs sticking out from under the porch. Dorothy is aghast to think she was the cause, but then the Good (if slightly ditzy) Witch arrives to save the day. Tiana Rison is a hoot as Addaperle with her wildly colorful costume and slightly addled disposition.

Dorothy sets out to find the Wiz and meets the talking Scarecrow. Illness brought understudy Sherita Swanigan to this role Friday where she was floppily perfect with her big eyes and sassy sashay-style moves.

These two soon encounter the Tin Man played with enthusiasm by young McCree veteran Myckal Powell in his shiny silver suit, green-sparkled hatchet and singing “Slide Some Oil to Me”.

Completing the trio is that big ol’ Lion played for the third time here by Daniel Lopez. Yep, he’s got this character down! His big voice soared on “Be a Lion”. He completes the crew that brings smiles every time they set out with “Ease on Down the Road”.

Of course they finally meet the Wiz who swoops in, cape flying and sporting a mask and a green beard. Terrance Patton Hill is tall and imposing as he makes promises he cannot keep. Still, he sends them off to face the most evil witch, Evilene, played with slithery guile by Alina Oliver.

Well, you all know how this one turns out. Lest we forget the lovely Glinda who sends Dorothy on her way back home, Ayana S. Mitts bookends the show playing both this role and that of Aunt Em. Her voice drew much delight in both roles.

Music Director Phillip Young and musicians – Ulysses Bailey, Tommy Shinn, Ron Terry, Robert Jackson, Kent Crawley, Jaylin Taylor and Ed Mason, provided live music in front of the stage-left side. Sometimes they were a tad loud but the personal microphones generally overcame that problem.

Truly worthy of mention in this production are the gorgeous costumes both designed and crafted by Cheryl Wright and Earlene Love. They provided the vibrant color and wonderfully magical tone that this fairy tale needs. Amazing job, ladies!

Were there problems? A few. The mics could become scratchy and then had to be backed off, or they were sometimes too loud thereby garbling the lyrics. The occasional cue was missed or slow but those on stage were able to handle it okay. The show ran a bit long Friday (close to three hours with intermission) so hopefully that was a fluke.

Overall, this is one of those talent-loaded shows that McCree is famous for. Music, song and dance are its forte and you will find yourself tapping your foot, chuckling, and flat out enjoying this one!

The Wiz continues at The New McCree Theatre through December 24 at Floyd J. McCree Theatre, 2040 W. Carpenter Road, Flint, MI 48505. For tickets, times and more information contact the box office at 810-787-2200 or visit online at www.thenewmccreetheatre.com

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FYT Brings Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory to Life

6qf_2n3tzr-rmqg-wc93uxdto98csoedjmxkze5wh3zhoukvbyu8poqdspln_m0wfhgrl9k3z4mh-xqjptpq9wwcdokhmgqisssh2z0po5jizee1cmc3m3gcvvoatzgvn-f_kr5ymyq0nis0-d-e1-ftReviewed by Kathleen Kirby

“Stories are good for you.” So goes the oft-quoted mantra of British children’s book author Roald Dahl. His wonderful tale, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, came to life on the Flint Youth Theatre stage Saturday, where a fairly full house enjoyed a musical retelling of this beloved story.

Directed by Andrew Morton, Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka sports a large cast of youngsters and adults who work together delightfully as they bring this modern morality play to life. There is a message, and curiously it allows us to cheer for the winner while still feeling some empathy for the losers.

Willy Wonka, played with mystery, color, comedy, and a teensy slice of malice by Dan Gerics, has decided to gift his magical candy factory. Hoping to find a proper and worthy successor, he has hidden five golden tickets among fifty million chocolate bars. The winners believe they have won a tour of the factory and a lifetime supply of chocolate.

Syd Brown plays Charlie Bucket, a poor youngster with four bedridden grandparents. These four (LaTroy Childress, Brittany Reed, Matt Coggins, Sarah Jarrett) all occupy one large bed while his parents (Jesse Glenn & Shannon Olsen) work to keep the family whole. It is Charlie’s Grampa Joe (Coggins) who assures Charlie that his future with the Wonka factory is bright even though he now cannot even afford to buy a possible winning bar.

First to win is Augustus Sloop (Evan Brewer), a chubby child from Germany, “I Eat More!” Madaline Harkema plays his doting mother, giving in to his every whim.

Veruca Salt (Kate Spademan), a spoiled and demanding girl from Brazil, is the next winner. Her instant switches from angry harridan to sweet young thing were both comical and quirky as she ordered her father (Jordan Climie) to buy up everything in sight.

Meanwhile, Charlie’s dad has lost his job. Trying to cheer him, Charlie sings “Think Positive” which ends in a charming soft shoe duet between Glenn and Brown.

Another ticket turns up in Georgia won by Violet Beauregard (Alexis Crochran), an inveterate gum chomper with an attitude and accompanied by her sycophantic mother (Aris Campbell). Television junkie Mike Teevee (Enrique Vargas) wins the fourth ticket but seems less than interested in touring a chocolate factory with no Wi-Fi! He is pushed to participate by his flamboyant mother (Brooke Caldwell).

Finally, as winter approaches a chilly, coatless Charlie meets the Candy Man (Gerics) on the street and helps him close up his kiosk. In return he is given a candy bar with – you guessed it – a golden ticket inside!

Act two finds the winners touring the amazing Wonka factory. Each room has it’s special characteristic and many come with warnings. Alas, the children begin to fall victim to their own self-centered lifestyles. Augustus is swept away in a river of chocolate while other such fractured fates await each of the rest.

We loved the Miss Blueberry blowup that claims Violet and the miniaturization of Mike TeeVee is also clever.

Live musicians Rafael McDaniel, Annadelle Kimber, William Mintline, Aaron Weeks, and Kris Kress accompany the songs sprinkled throughout. Best remembered will be Wonka’s “Pure Imagination” and the repeated marches of the Oompa Loompas as they troop in and out of each candy room with their musical explanations. Six brightly paint spattered youngsters (Julia Cassidy, Teisa Chima, Darius Collins, Myah Sanders, Alejandra Vargas, & Therese Wofford) sporting electrically lit soled shoes fill these roles marvelously.

Sets are also amazing with bright lights, bright colors, and ingeniously contrived candy “machinery” thanks to designer Tim McMath. Kudos must also go to choreographer Emma Davis and to costume designer Adam M. Dill.

The ending is the best of all as Charlie is ultimately rewarded for his honesty and his concern for others. So, this really IS a story that is good for us! It has a lot to say about the importance of tolerance, good deeds and kindness. Bring the kids – you’ll find yourself enjoying the story with them.

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka continues at Flint’s Bower Theatre through December 18. For more information about times and tickets contact the box office at 810-273-1530 or online at www.theFYT.org




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Flint Youth Theatre Performing Roald Dahl’s “Willy Wonka”

“Golden” Tickets On Sale Now!

6qf_2n3tzr-rmqg-wc93uxdto98csoedjmxkze5wh3zhoukvbyu8poqdspln_m0wfhgrl9k3z4mh-xqjptpq9wwcdokhmgqisssh2z0po5jizee1cmc3m3gcvvoatzgvn-f_kr5ymyq0nis0-d-e1-ftJoin Charlie Bucket and Grandpa Joe, Veruca Salt and Augusta Gloop, Oompa-Loompas, and the mysterious Wonka, on a madcap discovery of the importance of selflessness.

Based on the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Music and Lyrics by Leslie Brucusse and Anthony Newley
Adapted for stage by Leslie Bricusse and Timothy Allen McDonald
Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka is sponsored by THE WHITING FOUNDATION

Saturday, December 3     7pm
Sunday, December 4       2pm

Friday, December 9          7pm   ASL
Saturday, December 10   2pm & 7pm
Sunday, December 11      2pm

Friday, December 16        7pm
Saturday, December 17   2pm & 7pm
Sunday, December 11      2pm

$12 Children
$14 Teens, Seniors & Veterans
$16 Adults

Day of Performance:
$14 Children
$16 Teens, Seniors and Veterans
$18 Adults

Best suited for ages 6 and up.

810.237.1530  •  theFYT.org

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