Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Detroit Reed Collective

Thursday, March 13 was another fun evening of Chamber Music at The Playhouse. Mark Berger, Mark Kieme, Paul Onachuk and Pete Kahn, through their musical program The American Saxophone, gave us a delightful history of the saxophone in this country from the turn-of-the-century (with pieces by Klickmann, Henlere and Grieg) to the present (highlighted by a composition by Mark Kieme that was described by Pete Kahn as making him think of three mosquitoes and a rhinoceros). The harmonies created by the four saxophones in the various musical pieces were marvelous.
As we have come to expect, the fun that the musicians had playing carried over to the audience, with everyone enjoying the evening immensely.
Thanks again to The Detroit Reed Collective.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Joan Belgrave and Friends

Jazz, blues, neo soul and gospel singer Joan Belgrave will be gracing the Players stage on Thursday, June 19 with some of her best friends.
This will be an unforgetable evening, so make plans to attend with some of your own best friends.
For details, check out

or visit Joan's own web site at

And The Winner Is...

Mitch Albom's play 'And The Winner Is...' entertained Fine Arts members and guests on May 30 and 31 at The Players Playhouse. This was only the third time this play by the local celebrity author was ever produced.
As the title suggests, it is awards season in Hollywood when movie star Tyler Johnes (Rick Mason) wakes up in a strange bar where time has no meaning and nothing is as it seems.

All Johnes wants is to get to the Oscars so he can accept the Best Supporting Actor award he thinks he so richly deserves, but the odd bartender named Seamus (Marty Bufalini) keeps throwing a wrench in the works.

Unexpected appearances by his old acting partner Teddy (Randy Skotarczyk),

his agent Kyle (Charly Davis),
his well-endowed escort Serenity (Laura Ver Beek)

and his soon-to-be ex-wife Sheri (Kim Czanojc) further complicate Johnes’ attempts to keep his date with destiny.

Flavored with Albom’s signature introspection, And The Winner Is... has all the charm of It’s A Wonderful Life for life in the fast lane.

Directed by Susan Davis (with assistance by Marianne Shrader) and co-produced by Norma Eschenburg andf Shirl Williams, the play delighted all who attended.

Even the back-stage crew (Sally Van Deventer, Jonathan Davis, Jesse Villegas, Bob Lee, Laurie Striebel and Gina Telford) had fun.

The Art of the Horn Section

Come see and hear The Motor City Horns and The Brothers Groove on Thursday, May 15.

John Rutherford, Mark Byerly, Keith Kaminski, Chris Codish and Skeeto Valdez promise an entertaining evening of Blues and funk. They will play some jazz standards and some original music.

45 Seconds From Broadway

Fine Arts audiences were treated to another wonderful weekend with their production of Neil Simon's 45 Seconds From Broadway.
A cafe in midtown-Manhattan's tourist-class Edison Hotel, a long-time watering hole for struggling actors, aspiring writers, standup comics, and suburban matinee ladies, was the backdrop for this hilarious Neil Simon comedy. Holding center stage was Bill McCarthy, playing the Jackie Mason-like comedian Mickey Fox.
He was surrounded by an eclectic cast of characters including the dining spot's lovable proprietor Bernie (Geno Pirrami) and his doting wife Zelda (Karen Quarnstrom),

the upscale society dame Rayleen (DJ Haska), in search of an intricately double-brewed cup of tea served in fine china on white linen, and her nearly nute husband Charles (Steve Shrader),

the British impressario Andrew Duncan (Tom Casey),
a hopeful Broadway ingenue Megan Woods (Myra Lamphier) following in her mother's footsteps,
and a South African playwright Solomon Mantutu (James Abud),

Mickey's brother Harry (John Diebel), operator of a Philadelphia bookstore, and a past-her-prime Broadway actress Bessie (Deldon Treece),

and two know-it-all suburban ladies Arlene (Bernadette Platt) and Cindy (Laurie Striebel).

Simon's typical one-liners flew fast and furiously throughout comic the first act; then the play took a more serious turn worthy of an Arthur Miller drama in Act II when Mickey's older brother pleads with him to help hid son become the comedian he desperately wants to be. Charles finally vents his frustrations.