Theater

Romantic comedy “Diana of Dobson’s” wears its age well

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Don’t be fooled by “Diana of Dobson’s.” The production of the 1908 play opens with some period song and dance. Dressed in turn of the previous century finery Anna Parchem and Geoff Stephenson invite us to go to the music hall. They deliver their invitation with a campy enthusiasm touched by cynicism. Something quite deeper and more satisfying awaits behind the curtain. “Diana of Dobson’s” by Cicely Hamilton will be presented by the Bowling Green State University Department of Theatre and Film opening tonight (Nov. 16) at 8 p.m. and running through Sunday in the Donnell Theatre in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. See details at end of story. Once the curtain rises, the glitter disappears. We find ourselves in the stark dorm of the shop girls who work at Dobson’s. As they disrobe for the night the young women played by Laura Holman, Lorna Jane Patterson, Hennessy Bevins, and Megan Kome talk about their lives and their troublesome co-worker Diana Massingberd (Camila Pinero). She’s a rebel who bristles at the petty rules and cruel economies of the company. She gets “five bob a week for my life,” and even then the company fines the employees for minor infractions. Diana has many of those. Diana wasn’t always in these straits. Her father was a country doctor, and she helped him until his death. He left her penniless. To her, even worse than being a fool “is being a pauper.” Her attitude not only…

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Horizon Youth youngsters tune into absurd comedy with “Magic Harmonica”

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The stage manager in Horizon Youth Theatre’s production of “The Magic Harmonica and Other Fanciful Tales” has problems keeping her cast in line. They always want to veer away from the script. Officious, and controlling, the stage manager played Kaitlyn Valantine is not above yanking one narrator for another when they displease her. What she can’t control is the way the playwright Janet Layberry also has a mind of her own. These four one-act plays within a play all employ the tropes of fairy tales, but do so in absurd and comic ways. “The Magic Harmonica” is on stage at the Otsego High auditorium Thursday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5. Visit www.horizonyouththeatre.org/product/harmonica. The play uses the troupe’s younger cohort of actors, ages 6 through 12, but there seem few concessions to age. The humor is at times intentionally juvenile, often involving grade school word play. Nobody delivers those jokes better than an actual grade schooler. Sometimes the humor seems pitched to the parents, as when Michelle (Calista Wilkins) in “The Woobly Fiasco” tells the enchanted prince carrying an outsized sword: “People haven’t used swords for ages, now they have … lawyers.” And then there’s the jester played by Liam Rogel who trades in absurdist non-sequiturs. Each story has lessons here but they spare us the morals and never let messages get in the way of a good time. The first of the four plays, “You Call…


BGSU Arts Events through Oct. 24

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING  & COMMUNICATIONS Oct. 11 – The Faculty Artist Series presents BGSU tuba/euphonium instructor David Saltzman. An active soloist and chamber musician, Saltzman was the winner of the 1996 Colonial Euphonium Tuba Quartet’s Tuba Solo Competition in Albany, New York. Since then, he has performed solo recitals at many regional and international festivals, and he has most recently been part of a consortium of tuba players commissioning a new concerto for tuba by Samuel Adler, currently slated to premiere in October 2018. Salzman’s performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Oct. 12 – The Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble will perform as part of a small ensemble with guest artist Matthew Murchison. Murchison is known as a varied performer, composer, arranger, educator, conductor and producer. He was a member of the River City Brass in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from 2002-15, and was the principal solo euphonium for the last nine of those years. Since then, Murchison has performed solo and chamber music concerts across the U.S. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Oct. 13 – The BGSU Concert Band will perform as part of Homecoming festivities. The band will perform traditional repertoire and new compositions by the world’s leading composers, conducted by Dr. Bruce Moss. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of Moore Musical Arts Center. Tickets in advance are $3 for students and $7 for adults and available at bgsu.edu/arts or by calling 419-372-8171. Oct. 15 – The Sunday Matinee…


Tickets Available for HYT’s “Magic Harmonica”

Submitted by HORIZON YOUTH THEATRE Horizon Youth Theatre is pleased to present their third annual fall production for younger actors aged 6 – 12, The Magic Harmonica and Other Fanciful Tales. Directed by Keith Guion and featuring thirty children from many area schools, Magic Harmonica will be performed at Otsego High School (18505 Tontogany Creek Road) on Thursday, October 12 and Saturday, October 14 at 7:00 pm; and Sunday, October 15 at 2:00 pm. Tickets can be purchased online now at www.horizonyouththeatre.org/product/harmonica for just $5.00. The Magic Harmonica and Other Fanciful Tales by Janet Layberry is a collection of four enchanting plays sparkling with charm, wit, imagination, and a quirky sense of humor. In You Call That a Bedmonster?, Princess Julia discovers that Humphrey, the monster under her bed, is missing, and sends her guard out to find him. The Magic Harmonica brings a bit of excitement and adventure into an otherwise dull kingdom. But Hoo Is It For? takes us through an enchanted forest where nothing is what it appears to be, and the party which is rumored to be happening is hard to find. The Woobly Fiasco is a play within a play about a Stage Manager having trouble with her actors, who are supposed to be narrating a play about Wooblies, mysterious creatures who have become the caretakers of the animals with whom they share a crowded forest.   The cast members all play at least two roles within the four mini-plays and are as follows: Simon Baney, Lauren Carmen,…


Black Swamp Players’ “Baskerville” is more about laughs than logic

  By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Ken Ludwig’s “Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery” gives the whodunit a whole new twist. Figuring out the mystery take a back seat to figuring out what actor will appear where and as what character speaking in what accent. The cast’s coming and goings, all facilitated by a revolving stage whips up the kind of manic comedy that makes Ludwig’s plays so beloved of community theater troupes, including the Black Swamp Players. “Baskerville” opens the Players’ 50th season this weekend. Shows are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and Sept. 29 and 30 at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 1526 E. Wooster St., Bowling Green. Tickets are $12 and $10 at http://www.blackswampplayers.org or at the door. That the Players should open their 50th season with this comic take on a classic Sherlock Holmes tale is entirely fitting since Ludwig comedies and a variety of mysteries have been a staple of their seasons. They come together in “Baskerville.” The play, directed by Kistin Forman, takes the classic tale and surrounds Holmes (Eric Simpson) and his friend Dr. Watson (Lane Hakel) with a cast of  40 zany characters all played by three actors—Christina Hoekstra, Jordan Jarvis, Ben Forman, who also gets credit for the clever set design. Here the sleuth’s cogitation over the clues is  upstaged by their antics. They bounce from one character to another, sometimes in the same scene. Forman, at…


Horizon Youth Theatre’s ‘Kindergarten’ packed with lessons & laughter

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Horizon Youth Theatre’s “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” opens with a story about a kindergarten production of Cinderella. That’s interesting given just last spring many of these same young actors were performing “Cinderella.” That Rodgers and Hammerstein “Cinderella,” however, did not have a pig. Productions of the classic fairy tale usually don’t have pigs. But in this Robert Fulghum story, a pig is just what the thoughtful young Norman (Bella Truman) wants to play. When told there’s no pig in Cinderella, the youngster replies: “There is now!” And the fairy godmother in this tale, the kindergarten teacher, makes sure Norman’s dream comes true. From this kindergarten scene through a lecture by a Greek philosopher (Daniel Cagle) who’s not afraid to answer a question about the meaning of life, Fulghum’s play offers life lessons and uplift leavened by lots of laughter. Horizon Youth Theatre is staging the play opening tonight (Thursday, Sept. 14) at 7 p.m., continuing Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets, $5, will be sold at the door. Seating is limited. The show is being presented with the audience in the round on the stage. That puts the audience in the middle of the action as the young actors hustle making entrances and exits and wrestling oversized alphabet blocks onstage. There’s no place for the young thespians to hide with eyes all around and large mirrors on the back wall reflecting the action. Director…


Tickets for HYT’s “Kindergarten” now available

Submitted by HORIZON YOUTH THEATRE Horizon Youth Theatre is pleased to announce its 2017 fall production, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, written by Robert Fulghum and directed by Cassie Greenlee. Performances are at Otsego High School, 18505 Tontogany Creek Road, on Thursday, September 14 at 7:00 pm; Saturday, September 16 at 7:00 pm; and Sunday, September 17 at 2:00 pm. All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten brings life to several of Robert Fulghum’s wonderfully told stories from his collected writings. Composed of around twenty short, inter-connected scenes, the play explores important life lessons learned at every age, through stories that are funny, engaging, impactful, and thought-provoking. From a kindergarten class’s highly unusual production of Cinderella, to an over-the-top wedding gone horribly wrong, to a young girl going up against her father in the ultimate familial showdown, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten will keep you laughing and keep you thinking. HYT’s production is staged in the round, a style of performance that places the audience on all sides of the actors, creating an intimate atmosphere that invites the audience to more actively experience the power of these stories and lessons.  Due to the unique in the round seating which is directly on the stage, tickets are limited for each show and it is highly recommended that they purchased in advance at this link: www.horizonyouththeatre.org.  From Thursday (9/14) on, if tickets are not sold out they can be purchased at the door….