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February 04, 2010 - Image 61

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2010-02-04

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Arts & Entertainment

A Musical
Blast From
The Past

The Marvelous Wonderettes
brings hits of the '50s and '60s
to the Gem Theatre stage.

Marley DelDuchetto and Laura Hall.
The musical was written by Roger
Bean and directed by three-time Tony
Award-winner Hinton Battle and brings
roducer William Franzblau in
Broadway music director Michael Roberts
recent years has brought indi-
to Motown.
vidual shows to Detroit — Little
Roberts, who wrote the incidental music
House on the Prairie,
for the off-Broadway hit Jewtopia, will be
Respect: A Musical
at the helm for the many nostalgic num-
Journey of Women and
bers, including "Lollipop,""Stupid Cupid"
Say Goodnight, Gracie
and "Mr. Sandman" from the 1950s as well
— but now is staging
three productions simul- as "Wedding Bell Blues,""Heat Wave" and
"I Only Want to Be With You" from the
taneously inside the
Gem Theatre complex.
"I have had a great deal of success
the Detroit market as the people in
are very supportive of good
theater': says Franzblau, who has been
tet, opened Feb. 3 and
managing entertainment initiatives since
is the centerpiece at the Gem Theatre. On
stage at the Century Theatre are Defending his college years.
"With the current economy, something
the Caveman, which debued Feb. 3, and
like The Marvelous Wonderettes should be
The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron?, pre-
perfect for the community — a fun show
miering Feb. 10.
"When I saw The Marvelous Wonderettes with a lot of heart."
Franzblau, 56, began his serious theatri-
in New York, I thought it was a perfect
cal career producing the touring version of
show for Detroit': Franzblau says. "It has
universal themes and familiar music from the Broadway hit Beatlemania and moved
on to productions of the Moscow Circus
the 1950s and 1960s that Detroit audi-
and the musical adaptation of former
ences will recognize'
Detroiter and moviemaker Sam Raimi's
The musical unfolds in two acts — the
Evil Dead trilogy, entitled Evil Dead the
first taking place at a senior prom in 1958
and the second taking place at the 10-year Musical.
The producer of Jewtopia and the
reunion of that class.
father-in-law of a rabbi, Franzblau came
The Wonderettes cast members, show-
to the area to launch Wonderettes and is
ing how musical careers have changed the
lives of the quartet's singers by the time of working with Andrea Kannon, of Ferndale,
the reunion, will be portrayed by New York as she oversees wardrobe and props.
"We were able to get costumes and
actresses Gretchen Bieber, Holly Davis,

Suzanne Chessler
Special to the Jewish News


Also At The Gem

Two one-man comedic shows alternate
weeklong runs in the Century Theatre
at the Gem.
Defending the Caveman, which
opened Feb. 3, features Ben Tedder
exploring common themes in relation-

ships and the different ways men and
women love, laugh and fight.
The Chicago-based actor gives his
own take to Rob Becker's scenarios.

The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron?

features actor-writer Robert Dubac
trying to figure out what women want.

A New York City production of The Marvelous Wonderettes: Audiences will bask in

girl-group renditions of oldies like "The Shoop-Shoop Song" and "Leader of the Pack."

props from a production in Florida': says
the 25-year-old Kannon, who has been
working in theater since graduating from
Wayne State University in 2006.
"I'm in charge of making the dresses fit
the new cast members, and I'll be buying
shoes, jewelry and accessories. Most of the
props came in good condition, but we do
have to buy and build some new things."
Kannon, who has done most of her
work at the Gem, also has had assign-
ments at Planet Ant and Performance
Network in Ann Arbor. She toured with
Menopause The Musical.
"The costumes are beautiful, and they
reflect the characters' personalities," says
Kannon, who graduated from Ferndale
High School and had her bat mitzvah at
Congregation Beth Shalom in Oak Park.
"Each character has her own color in
both acts — blue, orange, pink or green. In
the first act, the styles are similar, but each
one has its own flare. In the second act, the
outfits match except for the colors."
Kannon decided she wanted to work
behind the scenes in professional theater
while participating in high-school pro-
ductions, including I Never Saw Another
Butterfly, based on children's poems writ-
ten during the Holocaust. She earned a
bachelor's degree in theater and design
Kannon explains that her plans for
most plays come together through script
study, rehearsal processes and production
meetings. Because the development of
Wonderettes began in New York, there were
lots of e-mails.

With Dubac taking on many roles,
the theater piece starts Feb.10 and
offers different approaches to roman-
tic success – honesty, communication,
passion, humor and sensitivity.
Both productions begin at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesdays-Thursdays, 8:30 p.m.

Andrea Kannon of Ferndale is in charge

of wardrobe and props.

"This show has been fun," says Kannon,
who hopes to get a master's degree and
teach at the university level. "During the
actual production, I'll be backstage to
make sure everything is ready and then
clean up afterwards.
"Although I bring in people when I need
special stitching and attention to building
up bigger props, mostly I'm by myself. I
really like working with the shows as they
are in production:'

The Marvelous Wonderettes is in
an open-ended run (tickets are
on sale for performances through
March 28) at the Gem Theatre, 333
Madison, in Detroit. Performances
are 8 p.m. Wednesdays, 2 and 8 p.m.
Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 3 and
8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 and 6 p.m.
Sundays. $28-$42.50. (313) 963-
9800; www.gemtheatre.com .

Fridays, 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. Saturdays
and 3 p.m. Sundays at the cabaret-
style Century Theatre in the Gem,
333 Madison, in Detroit. $34.50, with
discounts for individuals going to more
than one production. (313) 963-9800;
www.gemtheatre.com .

February 4 • 2010


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