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April 30, 2004 - Image 42

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-04-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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4/30
2004

42

SUZANNE CHESSLER
Special to the Jewish News

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about - a fictional painter
who achieves acclaim after
his death and whose
work is fought over for personal
remembrance, aesthetic pleasure
or outright profit, was created
for the stage by playwright
Sidney H _ oward and became the
opening production — nearly
75 years ago — of the Ann
Arbor Civic Theatre.
An excerpt from that play
opens the performance portion
of the 75th Anniversary Gala of
the nonprofit company. The
troupe will go on to present
many excerpts from some of the
450 productions staged
throughout its history. A cham-
pagne reception will start the
anniversary celebration at 8 p.m.
Thursday, May 6, at Towsley
Auditorium on the campus of
Washtenaw Community
College. After the show, there
will be another party.
Among the plays recalled
through re-enacted scenes will be

keep up with my theater interests," says
Francisco, who grew up in Huntington
Woods and took dance classes at a
Royal Oak studio. "There's something
so energizing about being in a show."
The theater group, which took four
years to organize before producing its

The Man Who Came to Dinner,
The Miracle Worker, The Odd
Couple and Twelfth Night. Songs
also are taken from productions,
Bob Green in AACT's 1973 production o
including Man of La Mancha, A
`Annie Get Your Gun"
Little Night Music and Mame.
Rachel Francisco, who sings
with the Zamir Chorale, will appear in first play, remains one of the few corn-
a musical number from A Chorus Line. munity companies in the area that does
"It's been an amazing experience to be
its casting through open auditions. In
involved with an organization that's been an average season, more than 350 peo-
around so long," says Francisco, 32, who ple give their time on stage and behind
works as a publicist for the University of
the scenes.
Michigan School of Music. "I've had a
Robert Green, on the theater's advi-
tremendous amount of fun working on
sory committee, has been a member
shows and helping with fund-raising,
since 1958. His first role let him take
publicity and play selection."
sentiments from his own life as he
Francisco joined the community the- played a World War II doctor in Hasty
ater company in 1998, after audition-
Heart. Now a retired professor of
ing and winning a role in Big River.
internal medicine, he looks back on
She went on to be cast in Chicago, The acting assignments that sent him into
Sound of Music and Tommy and direct-
different spheres of experience.
ed Fiddler on the Roof
"The Ann Arbor Civic Theatre
"The Zamir Chorale is a great way to always has had a high level of compe-
keep in touch with my Jewish heritage,
tition," says Green, 78, also active
and the acting troupe is a great way to
with the Beth Israel Congregation in

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