Friday, October 29, 2010

The Theater Moon

Last Saturday night, with a double bonus of occupied children and no plans, we ended up at the UM ice hockey game--and it was fun.
However, if that same scenario happened this coming weekend, or any other into early December, I might have made a different choice, because we are now entering

High School Theater Month!

Yes, folks, between now and early December, you have your choice of many high school plays--some of which, based on past experience, will be truly excellent. Truly, it is an embarrassment of riches.
And the fun begins...this weekend!

Ann Arbor Huron High School: The Huron Players are presenting The Crucible by Arthur Miller, October 29 and 30 and November 5 and 6, at 7:30 pm. This play is a favorite play of mine, and it is about the Salem Witch Trials--a time of great shame for the accusers, as far as I am concerned. 
Look for A Midsummer Night's Dream (William Shakespeare) in the spring.

Ann Arbor Pioneer High School: Pioneer Theatre Guild is putting on the musical Hairspray, November 6th, 7th, 12th, 13th, and 14th. (Sunday shows are matinees.) Hairspray takes place in 1960s Baltimore, and includes a focus on integration. Keen observers of the high school theater scene might know that high schools around the country have been waiting, and waiting, for the rights to put on Hairspray. This is the first year the play is available to high schools, so guess what--more than one local school is putting it on. It will be the spring production at Skyline. Go to both and compare!
Look for Seussical (based on the works of Dr. Seuss) in the spring.

Ann Arbor Community High School: CHS Theatre will be presenting Little Shop of Horrors, December 3d, 4th, and 5th. In a departure for CHS, they are doing a musical. In what is not a departure, it's going to be "non-traditional," yet maintaining the original's "wry blend of humor and tenderness." It's a small theater, so you will need advance tickets. I don't know about a spring play.

Ann Arbor Skyline High School: Skyline Theatre Guild is presenting Shirley Lauro's A Piece of My Heart, November 19th and 20th at 7:30, November 21 at 2:30. This play is a very unusual play (I think) for a high school production--it's about women nurses in Vietnam, and I am totally excited about it. This is the show for you if you have relatives who were in Vietnam, Korea, or Iraq and Afghanistan. I do have a child at Skyline, so of course there is a little more promotion of the Skyline play, but I think I would promote it anyway because it is such a great subject. 
In the spring, you can watch the second coming of Hairspray.

Chelsea High School: Chelsea Theatre Guild is doing a high school classic, Bye Bye Birdie, November 11, 12, and 13th at 7 p.m. Typically, they don't do a spring play.

Dexter High School: Dexter Drama Club is putting on another high school classic, Our Town, (Thornton Wilder) November 18th, 19th, and 20th.  Look for Guys and Dolls in the winter (see below--you can compare it to Lincoln's production), and Alice in Wonderland in the spring. 

Lincoln High School: Lincoln Drama Club is putting on the high school classic Guys and Dolls November 18, 19th, 20th, and 21. Look for Nevermore: The Final Mystery of Edgar Allen Poe in the spring. 

Manchester High School: Manchester Drama Club is putting on The Curious Savage by John Patrick, November 10th (understudy performance), 13th and 14th. This is a comedy about a woman whose husband dies and leaves her $10,000,000. I might point out that $10,000,000 is a lot of money now, but it was way more money back when this play was written sixty years ago. I don't know about a spring play.

Milan High School: Milan High School Drama is doing a Holiday Musical that features arrangements from the TV show Glee, December 2, 3, 4, and 5. I don't know about a spring show.

Saline High School: Saline Drama Club has also chosen an interesting play this year: The Giver, based on a book by Lois Lowry. Actually, I have no idea if the play is interesting, but the book is--and it is very frequently assigned to 4th to 7th graders to read.

Are you wondering about Whitmore Lake, Willow Run, and Ypsilanti? Whitmore Lake does have a drama club, but I couldn't find any information about a fall performance. I've been told by Emma Jackson, Ypsilanti Public Schools communications staff person, that the Ypsilanti High School fall show fell victim to budget cuts several years ago, and there will be a spring show but it hasn't been announced yet. I couldn't find any evidence of a drama club in the Willow Run schools. So that makes me a little bit sad. 
I haven't even mentioned that most of these schools do interesting one-act plays in the winter for theater competitions. I know, it's hard to believe that you can compete in theater, but you can, and they do--there are rules for set-up and take-down, costumes and length of the play. Read about the competitions, and the Michigan Interscholastic Forensic Association, here.

So, now that I've solved your weekend entertainment problem...

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