Entertainment briefs, May 9

PHOTO SUBMITTED In the Ritz Players musical drama “Next to Normal,” Diana Goodman (played by Mimi Johnston, left) has decided to leave home for a while to "find herself" and she informs her husband, Dan (played by Dustin Rawlins, seated), of her decision.

Ritz Players to present ‘Next to Normal’ next two weekends

The Ritz Players are to present the musical drama “Next to Normal” this weekend and the next.

Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and May 18, and at 2 p.m. May 19 in The National Theatre, at the rear of 30 S. Washington St.

“Next to Normal” is about an a family who is anything but normal — Dad’s an architect; Mom rushes to pack lunches and pour cereal; their daughter and son are bright, wise-cracking teens, appearing to be a typical American family.

Yet their lives are anything but normal because the mother has been battling manic depression for 16 years. “Next to Normal” takes audiences into the minds and hearts of each character, presenting their family’s story with love, sympathy and heart. It was the winner of three 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Musical Score.

Under the direction of Jim Cook, cast members include Mimi Johnston (Diana Goodman), Dustin Rawlins (Dan Goodman), Wes Vollmar (Gabe Goodman), Kyleigh Lash (Natalie Goodman), Aren Norman (Henry), Terry Love (Dr. Fine/Dr. Madden).

Lila Conley is musical director.

Star Players to present popular musical based on ‘9 to 5’

UPPER SANDUSKY — The Star Players are to present “9 to 5: The Musical” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and May 17 and 18, and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $15 for non-members and $12 for members.

Director Vicki McClurkin steers this hilarious adventure with sidekicks Matt Armstrong, music director, and Amanda Zucker, choreographer. The production crew also includes Ashlie Payton, assistant director; Brea Turner, stage manager; and Dan Nolting, set designer.

Starring in the show are Star Theatre veterans Lori Lavery as Violet and Kristina Pritchard as Doralee, with Hannah Fuller making her debut on the Star’s stage as Judy. Their boss, Franklin Hart Jr., is portrayed by Andy Lavery, and Violet’s love interest, Joe, is played by Wayne Rowe. Candy Boyd is Roz Keith, office snitch. Eric Mosley plays Dwayne, Doralee’s husband, and Mike Webb rounds out the featured roles as Judy’s ex-husband, Dick.

Other title roles include Keitha Voorheis as clueless Missy Hart; Andrew Stauffer as Violet’s laidback son, Josh; Cali Ebert as drunken Margaret; Lindsey North as fired Maria; Abigail Smith as gossip Kathy; Mike Cochran as undeserving Bob; and Mark Murphy as board chairman Mr. Tinsworthy.

Pamela Hamlin, Cassie Hoy, Eric Lavery, Julie Miller, Trey Miller, Sophia Nichols, Reagan Rowe, Jodi Smalley, Henry Smith, and Maria Smith perform in song and dance numbers as the ensemble. Look for cameos by Pete North, Jim Ruhlen and Jamal the Skunk.

Reserve tickets by calling (419) 294-1411 or by stopping by the box office at 121 W. Wyandot Ave., 5-7 p.m. Monday, Wednesday or Thursday.

BSA to present cabaret May 17

BELLEVUE — Bellevue Society for the Arts is to present the “Mom & Pop Doo-Wop Too” cabaret at 7 p.m. May 17.

The event is to feature an array of doo-wop favorites from the ’50s and ’60s performed by new and familiar BSA personalities.

Each cabaret is accompanied by a meal. The menu is to feature pulled pork, cheesy potatoes, coleslaw and dessert.

Cabaret performances are by reservation only and are limited to 100 in attendance.

Tickets cost $20. Reservations must be made in advance by calling (419) 484-2787.

The “Mom & Pop Doo-Wop Too” cabaret is to be hosted by Jimy Foreman of Whites Landing. Elizabeth Tracy, Tiffin, is to provide piano accompaniment.

Performances may also feature surprise guests. Some material may not be suited for children.

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