Theater

‘Gondoliers’ provides a comic & tuneful respite from dirty politics

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Maybe “The Gondoliers” is just what we need about now. With a political campaign rolling like a torrent of sludge to a messy conclusion, a frothy piece of social satire from another time is a welcomed diversion. The venerable team of Gilbert and Sullivan reminds us that being a doofus is just part of the human condition. Doesn’t matter if you’re royalty or gondolier, you are at heart a fool. But in the world of Gilbert and Sullivan even fools can spin off a tangle of intricate rhyme that precisely delineates the absurd world they inhabit. “The Gondoliers or the King of Barataria” was the team’s last hit back in the last decade of the 19th century. And Bowling Green State University Opera Theatre whips up a production that is true to the absurdist spirit of the original. The show is on stage tonight (Nov. 4) at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. on Kobacker Hall on campus. Advance tickets are $15 and $5 for students and children. All tickets the day of the performance are $20. Tickets can be purchased from the BGSU Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171 or at www.bgsu.edu/arts. The tale is a subversive fancy, so convoluted and contrived that when the character Luiz (Aaron Hill) repeats the story to Princess Casilda (Alissa Plenzler) she’s just as incredulous as the audience, though not nearly as amused. Casilda is the daughter of down-and-out royalty who married her off as a baby to a prince. When the prince’s family became Methodists “of the most bigoted and persecuting type,” the baby prince is whisked away by…


BG High troupe conjures magical world of Narnia

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News On a gray autumn morning fourth and fifth graders from Bowling Green schools got to visit a magical land of Narnia. They came on school buses, accompanied by teachers. The heroes of the play “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe” that they’d come to see arrive in Narnia through a wardrobe in an English country home. For the BG students this was a release from the humdrum; for the quartet of British school kids, this was a life and death adventure, involving evil and redemption. The Bowling Green High School Drama Club opens the stage adaptation of the C.S. Lewis philosophical fantasy “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” tonight (Nov. 3) at 7 p.m. continuing with shows Friday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Bowling Green Performing Arts Center. These children – Peter (Michael Martin,), Edmund (Bob Walters), Susan (Megan Carmen), and Lucy (Lily Krueger) – are transported into a land in the grip of eternal winter. The wicked White Queen (Claire Wells-Jensen) has cast a spell over Narnia. Unbeknownst to the children, their coming has been foretold as a sign of the return to the rule of Aslan (Martin Simon) the just, kindly, giant lion. Narnia is populated by magical forest creatures, who are largely on the side of Aslan and the evil magical creatures, the specters, ghouls and ogres who rally to the witch. The high school troupe brings this world to life. Mr. and Mrs. Beaver (Alexis Reinbolt and Moe Kellow) lumber about as you’d expect of creatures more at home in water….


Horizon Youth Theatre presents ‘The Fabulous Fables of Aesop’

Submitted by Horizon Youth Theatre Horizon Youth Theatre is pleased to announce its 2016 winter production, The Fabulous Fables of Aesop, adapted and directed by Keith Guion. Performances are at Otsego High School, 18505 Tontogany Creek Road, on Friday November 11 and Saturday November 12 at 7:00 pm; and Sunday November 13 at 2:00 pm.  Tickets are $5.00 and will be available at HorizonYouthTheatre.org or at the door. There will also be a preview at Wood County District Public Library on Saturday, November 5 at 10:30 am, which is free and open to the public. An excerpt will also be performed for John Zibbel’s Foundations of Inclusive Early Childhood class at BGSU on Tuesday evening to help demonstrate the benefits of theatre for elementary-age children. Actors aged 6 to 12 from six area schools are featured, as well as online / home schooled: BG Middle School, Conneaut Elementary, Otsego Elementary, Montessori School of Bowling Green, Maumee Valley Country Day School, and Ohio Virtual Academy.  The play involves a company of twelve young players who arrive to share the fables of Aesop. Since Aesop wrote as many as 600 fables, this is an enormous undertaking. Several players try to accomplish this challenging task by sharing different fables at the same time, speaking over one another to be heard. When this method isn’t effective, the remaining players explain, through one of Aesop’s fables, exactly why it didn’t work. Then all the players collaborate to share several additional fables, some of them familiar, others not as well known. By using very simple costumes and set pieces, and the players themselves in multiple roles as…


BGSU arts events through Nov. 16

Through Nov. 21 – “The Deathworks of May Elizabeth Kramer,” a mixed media installation by The Poyais Group, continues through Nov. 21 in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery in the Fine Arts Center. The exhibit is a purported recreation by the Poyais Group of outsider artist Kranmer’s (1867-1977) private lifework, a tent version of the town where she lived, with each tent representing someone who had died. Discovered by a team of anthropologists after her death but then lost in a fire, the installation was remade by the Poyais Group (Jesse Ball, Thordis Bjornsdottir, Olivia Robinson and Jesse Stiles) based on notes by one of the original anthropologists. Gallery Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Through Nov. 22 – “Criminal Justice?” an exhibit by activist artists Carol Jacobson and Andrea Bowers, investigates the attitudes and biases embedded in the U.S. criminal justice system. Jacobson is an award-winning social documentary artist whose works in video and photography address issues of women’s criminalization and censorship. See story: http://bgindependentmedia.org/artist-documents-the-cycle-of-abuse-suffered-by-female-inmates/. Bowers’ video “#sweetjane” and drawings explore the 2012 Steubenville, Ohio rape case and the citizens whose activism resulted in two rape convictions. The drawings reproduce the text messages sent among the teenage witnesses to the assault on an underage young woman. “Criminal Justice?” is on view in the Willard Wankelman Gallery at the Fine Arts Center. Gallery Hours are 11 a.m. – 4p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Nov. 2 – The Faculty Artist Series features the BGSU woodwind faculty in an 8 p.m.performance in Bryan Recital Hall at…


Contemporary comedy at Clazel puts Players in a different light

   By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News   Christopher Durang’s comedy “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” has made a quick turnaround from the Broadway stage to the stage of the Clazel in downtown Bowling Green. The Black Swamp Players will present the 2013 Tony winner for best play Nov. 3, 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. Tickets available at Grounds for Thought and online at www.blackswampplayers.org.  Seating will be at tables for eight. The play’s quick trip from being a Sigourney Weaver star turn to featuring a cast of Players newcomers and regulars started when Deb Weiser read about the new comedy in the New Yorker. It struck her as a fun show to stage, so she pitched it to the Players’ board. The play seemed a good fit as well for the Clazel. Some of the language is more appropriate for the night club setting than the Methodist church basement where the Players usually work. Besides, the First United Methodist stage is occupied this month with the church’s own production of “Godspell!” Last year when the Players faced the same dilemma, they took an evening of one acts on the road, staging them in three different spots around town, including the Clazel. This year the show will stay put in the downtown venue. The ticket includes a buffet of hors d’oeuvres, dessert and coffee. And the Clazel’s bar will be open. Doors open at 7 p.m. This week the cast was busy off-site rehearsing for opening night. “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” is in a way a modern sendup of a Chekov play….


BGSU arts events calendar through Nov. 9

At the galleries – “The Deathworks of May Elizabeth Kramer,” a mixed media installation by The Poyais Group, continues through Nov. 21 in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery in the Fine Arts Center. The exhibit, a collaboration with the New Music Festival, claims to be a recreation by the Poyais Group of outsider artist Kranmer’s (1867-1977) private lifework, a tent version of the town where she lived, with each tent representing someone who had died. Discovered by a team of anthropologists after her death but then lost in a fire, the installation was remade by the Poyais Group (Jesse Ball, Thordis Bjornsdottir, Olivia Robinson and Jesse Stiles) based on notes by one of the original anthropologists. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Oct. 27–Creative writing M.F.A. students will read from their work at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Oct. 27–The International Film Series continues with the 2012 German film “Oh Boy (A Coffee in Berlin),” directed by Jan Ole Gerster. A young man in the dreamy process of losing everything he has wanders through Berlin to the accompaniment of comedic mood music. His contemporary angst plays out on the black-and-white background of a city with a dark past. It’s never been so difficult to get a cup of coffee in a huge city. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater in Hanna Hall. Free Oct. 27 – A performance of “Evelyn in Purgatory,” an award-winning dark comedy by Topher Payne, will begin at 8 p.m. in the Eva Marie Saint Theater located in the Wolfe Center…


BGSU cast delivers heavenly performance of “Evelyn in Purgatory”

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Nothing is as it seems in the “rubber room.” That’s a room, one of many actually in the New York Public School’s reassignment centers. If you are a teacher who runs afoul of authority, you are sent here while your case works its way through the twisted bowels of the city and union bureaucracy. That can take months. And during that time teachers sit, for work days on end, supervised by a proctor who reports if they are late or absent, left to their own devices, though still subject to the whims of the bureaucracy. That’s the purgatory that Evelyn Reid (Laura Hohman)  arrives in when a student, known to be a liar, reports that she saw the teacher making out with a track star. Evelyn joins the other disaffected denizens of the room. How this bright, young and ambitious teacher changes the dynamic of the room unfolds in “Evelyn in Purgatory.” The Topher Payne play, directed by Cynthia Stroud, opened Thursday  in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre in Bowling Green State University’s Wolfe Center for the Arts. The show continues with performances: Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday, at 2 p.m.; Oct. 27 and 28 at 8 p.m.; and Oct. 29 at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $15, available at:  http://www.bgsu.edu/arts-and-sciences/theatre-and-film.html. The script mixes sharp humor and close character observations with drama that darkens along the way. There’s an undertow of unease, not unlike a “Twilight Zone” episode. All this is presented on minimal stage and realized with vivid acting that brings characters, who could lapse into stereotype, to life. Stroud makes…


BGHS Drama Club staging “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”

From BOWLING GREEN HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA CLUB  The Bowling Green High School Drama Club will present the classic C.S. Lewis story “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe” on Nov. 3 and 4 at 7 p.m. and Saturday Nov. 5 at 2 p.m. in the Bowling Green Performing Arts Center. The Drama Club’s interpretation of the four children who enter the land of Narnia through a wardrobe and find themselves caught up in a war between the White Witch and the Aslan, the King of Beasts, features snow and fog, actors on stilts, a giant puppet operated by three actors, music, and masks. In addition to the Drama Club’s cast and crew members, 40 students enrolled in the high school’s Theatre Design course are designing, constructing and painting the play’s major set pieces. Under the leadership of director Dr. Jo Beth Gonzalez and technical director Ryan Albrecht, these students are crafting the oversized wardrobe, the great Stone Table, the Witch’s sleigh, the giant puppet Aslan, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver’s home, and the tree-scape background. Tickets, available at the door, for this family-oriented production are $6 for students and senior citizens, and $8 for adults. Production stage managers are Meagan Worthy and Josiah Brosius. The cast includes: Elaine Hudson, Martin Simon, Claire Wells-Jensen, Michael Martin, Megan Carmen, Bob Walters, Lily Krueger, Rachel Amburgey and Alexis Reinbolt. Also, Moe Kellow, Devon Jackson, Nova Cullison, Thomas Long, Ethan Brown, Olivia Strang, Charlotte Perez, Sydney Adler, Abraham Brockway, Alyssa Clemens, Sophi Hachtel, Jessica Miller, Narnia Rieske, Alexis Roehl and Anne Weaver.


First United Methodist in BG to present “Godspell”

From FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH First United Methodist Church of Bowling Green will present the 2012 Revised Version of GodSpell, (Conceived + originally directed by John-Michael Tebelak Music + New Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz) on Thursday November 17, Friday November 18, and Saturday November 19, 2016. Janine and Will Baughman directing. This will be in conjunction with the annual Dinner Theatre and Mini-Bazaar. The Bazaar will open at 5:30, with doors opening at 6 p.m. for dinner, and curtain at 7 p.m. The cast for the show about the ministry of Jesus features Michael Barlos as Jesus and Will Baughman as Judas. Other cast members are Andrew Austin, Garrett Leininger, Ward Ensign, Danny Carder, Tyler Strayer, Mara Connor, Cassie Greenlee, Courtney Gilliland, Emily Popp, and Sheryl White. This promises to be an amazing ensemble singing the eclectic blend of amazing songs that make up this score. The dinner this year is a chili bar and soup and the price of the dinner is included with the show price. Dessert will be served at intermission. Cost of tickets is $15 and tickets are on sale now. Ticket order forms can be found on the church website www.fumcbg.org or on our Facebook page facebook.com/FUMCdinnertheater. All pre-ordered tickets will be picked up at the door the night of the shows. Order early for best seats. For questions about tickets, please call the church office between 8:30 and 4:30 p.m. at 419-353-0682 or Lee McLaird between 7 and 10 p.m. weekdays 419-354-6618. For other questions, call Robin Cagle at 419-308-8925.


Horizon Youth Theatre delivers another winning show with “The Great Cross Country Race”

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News In “The Great Cross Country Race,” Horizon Youth Theatre again let animals talk and deliver very human lessons. Last spring, “Honk!” was a lesson in humility. This fall’s production for older troupe members is a lesson in perseverance and impulse control. And it’s clear the cast and crew, 28 in all from 13 different schools, have learned their lessons well about how to work together to entertain an audience. Alan Broadhurst’s elaboration on the Aesop’s Fable “The Tortoise and the Hare,” directed by Cassie Greenlee, is on stage at the Otsego High School auditorium Saturday, Oct. 8, at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5. Now there’s really not much to the original tale, a skeleton of a story with a moral tacked on to the end: slow and steady wins the race. The only characters are the plodding tortoise and the over-confident hare. In “The Great Cross Country Race,” the tortoise, Ms. Sloe (Sophi Hachtel) gets a back story as an imported pet from a nearby household who wanders into the woodlands. This strange creature baffles the woodland animals who can’t tell even if it’s alive, or just a rock. They’re too busy arranging for their animal sports games. None of which are competitive because they are so tailored – like grass eating – to the qualities of particular animals. In the course of this we meet a variety of animals: the bunny, Ms. Warren (Amanda Cloeter); the hedgehog, Mr. Spiney (Grace Holbrook); the rat, Mr. Paddle (Isaac Douglass); the squirrel, Mr. Brush (Maddox Brosius); and the crow,…


BGSU Lively Arts Calendar, Sept. 28 – Oct. 12

From BGSU Office of Marketing & Communications  At the Galleries –“Face It: Reimagining Contemporary Portraits” continues in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery in the Fine Arts Center. “Face It” explores an expanded definition of photographic portraiture. Curated by BGSU art faculty Lynn Whitney and Andrew Hershberger and BGSU Galleries Director Jacqueline Nathan, the exhibit features photos by 27 renowned artists. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. Free. Sept. 29 – Award-winning author and book critic John Freeman will read from his works as a part of the Visiting Writer Series. The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Sept. 29 – TheInternational Film Series continues with “Abrazos (Embraces),” directed by Luis Argueta. A group of children travel from Minnesota to Guatemala to meet their grandparents for the first time. The film documents their pilgrimage, exploring family, heritage and immigration. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater located in Hanna Hall. Free Sept. 29 – BGSU composition students will present their works at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Sept. 30 – TheBGSU Wind Symphony will be in concert at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. On the program are “Skating on the Sheyenne,” by Ross Lee Finney; “Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum,” by Olivier Messiaen, and “First Symphony for Band” by William Bolcom. Advance tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for students. All tickets the day of the concert are $10. Tickets can be purchased…


Horizon Youth Theatre presents ‘The Great Cross Country Race’

Submitted by HORIZON YOUTH THEATRE Horizon Youth Theatre is pleased to announce its 2016 fall production, The Great Cross Country Race, written by Alan Broadhurst and directed by Cassie Greenlee. Performances are at Otsego High School, 18505 Tontogany Creek Road, on Saturday October 8 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm; and Sunday October 9 at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $5.00 and are available at HorizonYouthTheatre.org or at the door. There will also be a preview at Wood County District Public Library on Saturday, October 1 at 10:30 am, which is free and open to the public. This show features human-like animals who make more sense than the people do. Assembled for Sports Day, the animals cannot find anyone to compete with Ms. Fleet the hare in the cross-country race until Ms. Sloe the tortoise agrees to challenge her. In the course of the race, the scatter-brained hare is easily diverted, particularly by encounters with humans, while the tortoise plods slowly and steadily to the finish line. Only the animals speak intelligible language; the humans’ gobble-de-gook is as incomprehensible to the audience as it is to the animals. The human language, referred to as gobble-de-gook, or “gibberish” by the cast and production team, was created by Keith Guion. Only one character, Basket the Dog (played by Thomas Long), can understand both the animals and the humans, and occasionally provides translation. The cast and production team are as follows: The Animals: Dark the Rook – Calista Wilkins Sett the Badger – JJ Poiry Warren the Rabbit – Amalia Cloeter Spiney the Hedgehog – Grace Holbrook Paddle the Rat – Isaac Douglass Brush the…


3B’s “Young Frankenstein” laughs off Halloween spooks

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News   Get a jump on Halloween with shrieks of laughter rather than shrieks of fear. The folks at 3B Productions will present the musical stage version of Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein” this weekend with shows Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and a Sunday matinee at 2:30 at the Maumee Indoor Theater, 601 Conant St., Maumee. Joe Barton, the show’s director and a founder of the troupe, said the inspiration to stage this Mel Brooks classic came from last fall’s Halloween-themed show, “The Addams Family.” Seeing Randy “Beef” Baughman as Lurch, he and others thought he’d make a great Frankenstein’s monster. Perfect casting, aside from the challenge of finding a tux that fits him. In “Young Frankenstein,” Mel Brooks imagined Frederick Frankenstein following in his grandfather Victor’s footsteps and creating a monster of his own. Brooks, as was his wont, turned the horror of the original and its multiple retellings, on its head and into a relentless comedy. “There’s not sad moment in the show,” Barton said. “Even the love songs are comedic.” Baughman’s son, Will, was cast as Frederick. They’ve shared the stage before, most recently in a very different seasonal musical. In spring Will Baughman played Jesus in “Jesus Christ Superstar” while Randy Baughman played the high-strutting high priest Caiaphas . “Young Frankenstein,” Barton said, gives the younger Baughman a chance to play a lighter, comic role. “It’s fun to watch them work together,” the director said of the father-son duo. With Janine Baughman, Randy’s wife and Will’s mother, as musical director the show as much a family affair for the…


Actor Frank Runyeon to present “Acts of Mercy” at St. Aloysius, Oct. 9-11

Submitted by St. ALOYSIUS PARISH St. Aloysius Parish, 150 S. Enterprise St., Bowling Green will present “Acts of Mercy” with veteran TV actor Frank Runyeon, Oct. 9 through 11 at 7 p.m. each night. “Acts of Mercy”presents, in dramatic performance over three nights, classic stories of our faith, highlighting the theme of God’s mercy, featuring selections from The Gospel of John, The Gospel of Luke, and The Letter of James. The performances are: “JOHN: Signs of Mercy,” Sunday, Oct 9, proclaims how God has shown mercy to mankind in the life of Jesus. Adults and school-aged children sit on the edge of their seats as the action unfolds in the darkness and candlelight… “LUKE: Stories of Mercy,” Monday, Oct. 10, enacts famous stories from Luke’s Travel Narrative (Chapters 9-19), interwoven with stories from Frank’s own life– to help us hear these parables as stories about our lives here and now. “JAMES: Works of Mercy,” Tuesday, Oct. 11, is set outside Caesarea in an early house-church filled with characters, after the stoning of Stephen. James calls the people in his church to become a People of Mercy who “do the Work of God,” and know the joy of living in God’s love. The mission concludes with a Conversation with the Actor. Frank reflects on our experience of God’s Word as drama these three nights, and discusses why oral performance is an appropriate way to hear God’s Word: as spoken by a Person who is present, addressing us personally, in love. Runyeon has received national acclaim for his work as a translator and performer of Biblical texts over the past 20 years. He has…


BGSU Lively Arts through Oct. 5

Through Sept. 28 — The 33rd annual juried exhibition of Ohio designer craftsmen continues in the Willard Wankelman Gallery in BGSU’s Fine Arts Center. The exhibit showcases works in clay, glass, fiber, wood, metal and mixed media by many nationally recognized Ohio artists. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. Free Through Oct. 6 — “Face It: Reimagining Contemporary Portraits” continues in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery in the BGSU Fine Arts Center. “Face It” explores an expanded definition of photographic portraiture. Curated by BGSU art faculty Lynn Whitney and Andrew Hershberger and BGSU Galleries Director Jacqueline Nathan, the exhibit features photos by 27 renowned artists. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. Free Sept. 21 – The BGSU Faculty Artist Series features pianist Cole Burger in recital at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Sept. 22 – Creative writing students in BGSU’s Master of Fine Arts program read from their work beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Sept. 22 – BGSU The International Film Series features the 2010 Guatemalan film “AbUSed: The Postville Raid,” directed by Luis Argueta. The film conveys personal stories from a small Iowa town that witnessed the May 2008 mass arrest of 400 immigrants at a meatpacking plant. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater in Hanna Hall. Free Sept. 22 – The BGSU Guest Artist Series puts a spotlight on jazz…