Theater

Dream comes true in Horizon Youth Theatre’s “Cinderella”

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Sky Frishman is an old hand at playing Cinderella. The 2017 graduate of the Toledo School for the Arts first played Cinderella when was 9 in the Horizon Youth Theatre’s “Cinderella, the World’s Favorite Fairy Tale.” “In My Own Little Corner” from the score of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” has even been her go-to song for showcases and auditions. Now Frishman gets to put that favorite tune in context as the lead in Horizon Youth Theatre’s production of “Cinderella.” The musical runs June 22, 23, and 24 at 7 p.m. at Otsego High School. “Cinderella has always been one of my dream roles,” she said. Director Cassie Greenlee said the familiarity of the story is part of the attraction. Everyone knows the tale. That allows room for interpretation. The tale has lessons to teach. The story is about choice, she said, about how people choose to act toward others, talk to others, “and what happens when the choice is taken away from them.” The show’s featured bullies are the stepmother and two stepsisters. As the stepmother, Narnia Rieske is comically haughty. But the script explains that she’s anxious to marry off one of her daughters to the prince because they are running through the money left by Cinderella’s father. Not that the stepsisters (Terra Sloane and Melissa Mintz) are concerned. They are too self-involved, two brats who are always bickering with each other when not joining forces to bully Cinderella. The pair do a great job on one of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s funniest songs “Stepsisters’ Lament,” a deliciously comic number. Thomas Long’s prince also gets fleshed…

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Players’ “Dixie Swim Club” offers comic, touching look at friendship over the years

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Even if you didn’t go to Pemberton College, you’ll probably know with the women from its championship swim squad. They are a familiar line up of southern female types – overachiever, perfectionist alpha woman, sex-obsessed diva, screwball redneck, and cheerful naif. These archetypes mean the writer, Jones Hope Wooten, doesn’t have to spend time establishing characters. You know, sometimes before the character enters, where they fit in this theatrical ecosystem. The fun is seeing what twists the script and the particular cast can put on them, so we see them a little fresh. The Black Swamp Players’ production of “The Dixie Swim Club” opens Friday, April 28, at 8 p.m. in the First United Methodist Church, 1526 E. Wooster St., Bowling Green. The play continues Saturday (April 28), Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6, all at 8 p.m. with Sunday matinees April 30 and May 7 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 and $10 for students and seniors at Grounds for Thought or at: https://www.blackswampplayers.org/. Directed by Aggie Alt, in her first effort for the Players, “The Dixie Swim Club” is set on a vacation house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Members of the swim club have reunited here for more than 20 years when we first encounter them. Now 44 they are facing the various discontents and joys of middle age, and realizing those are sometimes hard to distinguish. One of the characters even shows up pregnant. That birth gives the play its circle-of-life feel. When the play ends 33 years after this first scene, one of the five team members is…


BG High’s musical “Shrek” delivers a message about acceptance on way to a fairy tale ending

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News A musical based on an animated film shouldn’t feel this timely. But you can’t escape the echoes of the news when a host of refugees flood onto the stage of the Bowling Green Performing Arts Center. Yes, the refugees are a motley assortment of your favorite fairy tale characters. Still one feels the very real pang of people displaced. These refugees end up in a swamp, the home of the misanthropic ogre, Shrek, who wants no part of them. “Shrek: The Musical” like its predecessors “Shrek” the movie and the original picture book by William Steig turns fairy tales on their heads. The show, directed by JoBeth Gonzalez, still delivers a happily-ever-after ending. Along the way there’s plenty of comic patter, tuneful melodies, dances, and a few heart-tugging moments. “Shrek, the Musical,” Bowling Green High’s all-school musical, opens tonight (April 20) at 7 p.m. continuing Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. in the PAC. The animated film really sets the bar for the cast and crew. Technical director Ryan Albrecht and his team capture the atmosphere and settings, and manage to make these shifts without interrupting the action. The dragon is a particularly nice piece of stage puppetry. Justin McKenzie does a good job as the gruff Shrek. He shows that a lot of that grouchy exterior is an affectation. He lets the ogre gradually open up emotionally. That process begins with his relationship with Donkey played with a sure sense of comic timing by Josh Coleman, who is able to capture the antic spontaneity of Eddie Murphy from…


BGSU’s “Twelfth Night” has Shakespeare doing Jazz Age shimmy

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News As the matches are made in “The Twelfth Night” the characters gather on stage for a Charleston inspired dance number to that 1920s hit “Masculine Women! Feminine Men!” I could well imagine that peppy song with its refrain “which is the rooster which is the hen” inspiring the BGSU Department of Theatre and Film’s production of the Shakespeare comedy. The confusion of gender lies at the heart of the comedy. Director Jonathan Chambers has set the play in the days of the flappers, 1929 in particular. He injects period touches such as mentions of accordions, Jack Dempsey and the shimmy, as well as having people playing golf, into the script. The sound design is packed with period hits that reflect on the action. In his notes he explains that just as in 1929 the world was poised on the brink of a new era, when Shakespeare wrote the play England was pondering what would come after the reign of Queen Elizabeth. In both cases there was much frivolity with an undertow of apprehension. This “Twelfth Night,” though, does not linger on the darker shades. It just wants to have fun and keep the audience laughing, and succeeds in grand fashion. The play opens Thursday (April 20) at 8 p.m. in the Donnell Theatre in the Wolfe Center for the Arts on the Bowling Green State University campus. It continues with shows Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. with matinees Saturday and Sunday. Advance tickets are $15 and $5 for students and children. Available at the Wolfe Center box office or by calling 419-372-8171, or…


Crim Elementary stages musical to make learning fun

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The backstage was buzzing with nervous actors. The frog and toad were preparing for their big scenes. The snail was brushing up on her slow motion moves. The squirrels were getting ready to make a mess. And the understudies were standing by. In front of the stage, on the gymnasium floor, the eager audience sat with their legs criss-cross applesauce style. When the curtains opened, an excited “ooooooooohhhhh” filled the gym. That’s just the reaction second grade teacher Stacey Higgins was hoping for with the debut of the first musical Thursday at Crim Elementary School. A dress rehearsal was performed in the morning for fellow students, with the big show to occur in the afternoon for parents and other fans. The musical, “A Year with Frog and Toad Jr.” featured all the second grade students – an ambitious endeavor with such young students. “It ties in with our curriculum on the seasons,” Higgins was quick to say. But she added that the performance was also something more. “They need these types of experiences,” she said. “Too much time is spent testing and preparing for tests. We need to get back to making school meaningful and enjoyable for kids.” The musical got the kids singing, dancing, acting, reading narration and designing the colorful set. That is all learning, Higgins stressed. “We want them to have experiences other than just taking tests.” As the audience filed into the gym, and the second graders fidgeted back stage, Higgins admitted to being a little nervous herself. “It’s a good nervous,” she said. “This if the first…


BGSU arts events through April 28

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS April 13 – The International Film Series continues with the Swedish film “Force Majeure,” directed by Ruben Östlund. An award winner at the Cannes Film Festival, the Toronto Film Festival, and other internationally recognized venues, the film deftly explores the emotional dimensions of the legal term “force majeure,” an unexpected event (such as a hurricane) that releases both parties from the obligations of a contract. In this story, the ski vacation of a seemingly ideal family takes a sudden turn when an avalanche approaches them as they are having a pleasant lunch at the lodge. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater located in Hanna Hall. Free April 13 – Prout Readings conclude with B.F.A. student readings at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free April 13 – Bowling Green Opera Theater presents a variety of opera scenes. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free April 14 – The University Choral Society and Early Music Ensemble present Bach’s “St. John Passion.” The moving and sacred oratorio of Johann Sebastian Bach is a dramatic representation of the Passion as told in the Gospel of John for the Good Friday Vespers of 1724. Revel in the extravagant, expressive music of the season. The performance will begin at 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, East Wooster St., Bowling Green. Free April 14 – The Toledo Museum of Art and BGSU’s College of Musical Arts present EAR | EYE Listening and Looking: Contemporary Music and Art. The performance and discussion…


BGSU arts events through April 18

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS April 7 – The Collegiate Chorale and University Women’s Chorus will perform at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Advance tickets are $3 for students and children and $7 for adults. All tickets are $10 the day of the performance. Tickets can be purchased at the box office in the Wolfe Center, by phone at 419-372-8171, or online at http://www.bgsu.edu/the-arts/. April 7 – The elsewhere theater season concludes with “Dying City,” written by Christopher Shin and directed by Tanner Lias. The performance begins at 8 p.m. in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre located in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Additional performances will be at 8 p.m. on April 8 and 9. Free April 8 – The Dr. Marjorie Conrad Art Song Competition will take place in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Preliminaries will begin at noon, with finals following at 8 p.m. Free April 8 – An opening reception for the MFA I Thesis Exhibition will begin at 7 p.m. in the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman Galleries in the Fine Arts Center. Free Through April 18 – The MFA I Thesis Exhibition will be on display in the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman Galleries in the Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free April 9 – The Sunday Matinee Series continues with the 1925 film “The Lost World,” directed by Harry G. Hoyt. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was not only the creator of Sherlock…