Thursday, Oct 18, 2018
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Music-Theater-Dance

PEACH WEEKENDER | THEATER

Actors Collaborative stage 'An Act of God'

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    Jason Raynor, left, Aimee Reid, and Michael Santry star in the Actors Collaborative Toledo's production of 'An Act of God.'

    MARISSA REX

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    In the Ritz Players comedy 'Arsenic and Old Lace,' Jonathan Brewster (played by Michael Steyer) has returned home after traveling the world and is trying to convince his 'lovely' aunts, Abby and Martha (played by Peg Baker, left, and Beth Schweitzer), to allow him to stay in his childhood home.

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    Genoa Civic Theatre presents 'Nunsense II: The Second Coming' in six performances beginning Friday.

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An Act of God, a comedy by David Javerbaum, who was a head writer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and won 11 Emmy Awards for his work, will make its Toledo-area debut at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Actors Collaborative Toledo will present it in staged readings at Trinity Episcopal Church, 316 Adams St. 

The play began as a series of  tweets by Javerbaum, @TheTweetofGod. A book, The Last Testament: A Memoir by God, followed and then in 2015 a stage comedy that premiered on Broadway at Studio 54.  

The story follows God, who becomes human so he can correct mankind’s ideas about him and what he’s been doing all this time. He doesn’t mince words, and two of his angels, Michael and Gabriel, are there to assist. The show was described as “an hour and a half of comedy heaven” in a Charles Isherwood review in the New York Times.

The cast, featuring Aimee Reid as God, Michael Santry as Michael, and Jason Raynor as Gabriel, are all making their debuts with ACT.

“It's a little surreal, playing God, since I'm a woman and come from a pretty conservative background,” Reid said. “I get to say things no one is ‘allowed’ to say, which is a deliciously cathartic experience, wrapped in shockingly funny humor.”

An Act of God is directed by ACT board member Marissa Rex. Dave Nelms, also an ACT board member, will serve as technical director on the production.

The comedy contains adult language, mature themes, and irreverent humor. It is recommended for ages 16 and older.

Tickets, $10 general admission, can be purchased at act419.org or at the door.

‘Nuns’ in Genoa

Genoa Civic Theatre will present Nunsense II: The Second Coming, by Dan Goggin, in six performances beginning Friday.

“It has been a couple years since we have staged a musical but we thought this fine musical comedy was a good place to start. There will be singing, dancing, and a bit of roller skating,” said Donna Wollenslegel, the civic theater’s president.

In the original Nunsense, which became a big hit off-Broadway in 1985, 52 of the Little Sisters of Hoboken die after being accidentally poisoned by their cook, Sister Julia Child of God, and the sisters have to raise money for their burial. They put on a show with a cast that includes the Reverend Mother Sister Mary Regina, who once was a circus performer, Sister Robert Anne, a streetwise nun from Brooklyn, and Sister Mary Amnesia, whose memory was lost when a crucifix fell on her head.

In Nunsense II: The Second Coming, the nuns are back with another show to thank their supporters and to showcase their new performing skills. The fun begins as the nuns hear a talent scout is in the audience, and Franciscan nuns come to claim Sister Mary Amnesia, who has won the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes, as a member of their order.

“The show has a lot of fun music, with a story to tell; each song tells the story of the sister who sings it,” said Lynne Hartley, who plays the Reverend Mother Sister Mother Mary Regina.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Additional shows are at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12-13 and 2 p.m. Oct. 14.  Tickets, $12 general admission, $10 for seniors and students, can be purchased at the door; reservations can be made by calling 419-855-3103.

At the Ritz

The Ritz Players community theater group, who perform at the historic Ritz Theatre in Tiffin, will present Joseph Kesselring’s 1939 black comedy Arsenic and Old Lace, directed by Chris Joyce.

Mortimer Brewster has some good news for his two charming spinster aunts: He’s engaged. But when he gets to their home, he discovers some bad news — his two seemingly sweet and innocent aunts have been murdering lonely elderly men with homemade wine spiked with poison. 

The play was adapted in 1944 as a film starring Cary Grant and directed by Frank Capra.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Ritz Theatre, 30 S. Washington St., Tiffin. Additional performances are at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13 and 2 p.m. Oct. 14. Tickets, $12 general admission, $8 for students, are available from the box office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, by calling 419-448-8544, ext. 3, and online at ritztheatre.org/boxoffice

Rep classes

Improv classes for adults will be offered beginning Sunday and continuing on Sundays through Nov. 11 at the Toledo Repertoire Theatre’s rehearsal space at the Brown Building, across the parking lot from the main theater at 16 10th St. 

Beginner classes will meet from 1 to 3 p.m. Sundays, and Advanced classes, for those with experience in improv, will meet from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Sundays. Registration for all levels of adult improv is $125. For additional information contact education@toledorep.org or call 419-243-9277. A registration form is available at toledorep.org under the Rep Ed tab.

The instructor will be Paul Fruhwirth, a graduate of the Second City’s improv program, the sketch comedy program, the stand-up comedy program, as well as the writing for late-night TV program. His appearances include Zany’s Chicago and the Laugh Factory Chicago.

A combined Improv Showcase will be presented at 7 p.m. Nov. 19 at the Rep. 

Contact Sue Brickey at sbrickey@theblade.com.

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