Fall approaches, which means theaters in the area are announcing their new seasons. From heartrending dramas to hilarious comedies to classic Shakespeare, Detroit's theaters should have something in store for everybody. Here's a look at some picks for the season.
Ferndale's Ringwald Theatre premiered the first installment of Angels in America by Tony Kushner back in February. The theater opened its eighth season Sept. 5 by showing both Part One: Millennium Approaches and Part Two: Perestroika in repertory. The Pulitzer Prize-winning play tells the intersecting stories at the onset of the AIDS crisis. Part One is directed by Joe Bailey and runs until Saturday, Sept. 27, while Part Two is directed by Jamie Warrow and runs until Monday, Sept. 29. The Ringwald Theatre is located at 22742 Woodward Ave, Ferndale; 248-545-5545; see theringwald.com for more information. (See Drew Philp's review in this week's issue.)
The theater follows with the decidedly less heavy Are You There God? It's Me, Carrie by Lisa Melinn and Dyan Bailey. The play is a mash-up of Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret with Stephen King's Carrie, and takes the form of a musical that features '70s pop songs.
Planet Ant in Hamtramck kicked off its autumn season on Sept. 5 with the world premiere of The Big Story of Lazarus Small by local playwright Linda Ramsey-Detherage. This comedy tells the story of one Lazarus Small, who dreams of becoming a star after getting featured in a local commercial, but he gets more than he bargained for on his quest to stardom. Directed by Dave Davies, the play runs until Sept. 27.
An original one-act play, We Have Your Son, follows. Directed by Michael Hovitch, the play runs from Oct. 10 to Oct. 25. Planet Ant is located at 2357 Caniff Ave, Hamtramck; 313-365-4948; see planetant.com for more details.
The Hilberry Theatre kicks off its 52nd season with Boeing, Boeing by Marc Camoletti on Sept. 19. The popular French comedy tells the story of stewardess-chasing bachelor Bernard, whose relationships accelerate along with jet plane technology to the point where he finds himself engaged to three women at once. Lenny Banovez of New York City's Titan Theatre Company serves as guest director. The play runs until Oct. 4. The season continues with William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet from Oct. 24 to Dec. 13. The Hilberry Theatre is located at 743 Cass Ave, Detroit; 313-577-2972; see theatre.wayne.edu.
Ann Arbor's Performance Network Theatre's fall season features Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhry and directed by John Manfredi starting on Sept. 25. The play tells the story of a friendship between a Southern matriarch and her chauffeur as the civil rights movement unfolds in the South. It runs until Oct. 26. The theater is located at 120 E Huron St, Ann Arbor; 734-663-0681; pntheatre.org.
Starting Sept. 19, the Abreact Theatre has Buried Child by Sam Shepard. This Pulitzer Prize-winning play examines the disintegration of an American nuclear family amid the 1970s. The Abreact Theatre is located at 1301 W. Lafayette #113, Detroit; 313-454-1542; theabreact.com. — mt