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just West of Shelby
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Italian, Greek & American Cuisine
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Farmington Hills • Corner of Grand River & Haggerty Road
Rochester Hills • 1 1 /2 miles south of the Palace of Auburn Hills „„.„
been for screenplays, TV scripts
and stage projects. We seem to
write better together because he's a
little more creative and emotional,
and I'm a little more structured
Manton launched his entertain-
ment career after earning a busi-
ness economics degree and work-
ing in sales for large corporations.
The turning point came while he
was attending a week of market-
ing training meetings in
During the evenings, while
Manton had some free time, he
hung out at a comedy club. When
one of the performers didn't show
up, the would-be humorist lied
about his experience, took to the
stage and was hired for the rest of
Spike Manton: "Leaving Iowa" is "a comedy
first, with a little bit of heart and a really
"I talked about things I was
going through without having any
gimmick — unless you count my
Elizabeth Ann Townsend as the moth-
mother-in-law," jokes Manton, who is
er, Teri L. Clark as the sister and Jim
married to former Detroiter Tami
Porterfield as ensemble characters.
Lifton, the daughter of Sidney and
Manton, who has no Jewish content
Carol Lifton of Beverly Hills. "I'm a
or characters in the play, has presented
low-key, sarcastic guy, and my busi-
shows to Jewish organizations and
ness background later became an asset
brings Judaism into his personal life
when I started doing corporate shows
by sending his children to a private
for companies and conventions."
Jewish day school and belonging to a
As Manton got jobs at various clubs, synagogue. His wife — a social work-
he also won spots on television. He
er — worked for the United Jewish
has appeared on seven cable shows,
Appeal in Chicago.
including A&E's Evening at the Improv
"Leaving Iowa is not a deep play,"
and MTV's 1/2 Hour Comedy Hour.
says Manton, who professes no writ-
Manton's radio spots brought him
ing routine as he works with his part-
experience on local talk and sports
ner. Its a comedy first, with a little
_programs, and he recently landed a
bit of heart and a really nice story.
job with WLUP-FM in Chicago. He
"The characters are big Midwestern
has a 5-9 a.m. slot with two other
people with big hearts and big behav-
hosts playing recordings and taking
ior traits. They're people Michigan
opinion calls from listeners.
audiences are going to recognize." ri
"Sometimes, jokes just seem to pop
into my head, and sometimes, they
come as I think through the day's
Leaving Iowa runs Jan. 22-March
events," Manton says. "Often, it's like
13 at the Purple Rose Theatre, 137
writing something for a character,
Park Street, Chelsea. Performances
starting without knowing where it's
are 8 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays,
going to end up."
3 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m.
Leaving Iowa ended up at the Purple
Sundays with 3 p.m. matinees on
Rose after it was noticed on the
selected Wednesdays. $17.50-$25
Internet and watched in its develop-
previews through Jan. 29; $22.50-
ment stages in Chicago. The Michigan
$32.50 regular performances.
production, directed by Anthony
Caselli, features John Lepard as the
son, Grant Krause as the father,
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