flag image

American classic staged


September 13, 2012
Kicking off its 65th season, Grosse Pointe Theatre presents "Okla-homa!" at a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday, Sept. 16, at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial's Fries Auditor-ium, 32 Lakeshore, Grosse Pointe Farms.

Performances continue at 8 p.m. Sept. 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29 and 2 p.m. Sundays, Sept. 23 and 30. Tickets are $24. Group rates are available. For tickets and information, call (313) 881-4004 or visit gpt.org.

Set against the backdrop of ranching Oklahoma in the early 1900s, this Rodgers and Hammerstein collaboration is a classic Broadway musical. Popular songs from the show have become American standards, including "Oh What a Beautiful Mornin'," "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top" and "People Will Say We're in Love."

Grosse Pointe Theatre first produced "Oklahoma!" in 1965.

Opening reception

Playgoers can attend the 1 p.m., Sept. 16 reception in the Fries Auditorium lobby.

Directors and cast

Don Bischoff of Macomb Township directs and is chief choreographer of the production. Stan Harr of Grosse Pointe Shores is musical director. The cast includes: Steve Xander Carson of Grosse Pointe Woods as Curly; Erin Ginger of Grosse Pointe Woods as Laurey; Laura Bartell of Grosse Pointe Shores as Aunt Eller; Brian Groth of St. Clair Shores as Jud Fry; Jeremy Harr of Grosse Pointe Shores as Will Parker; Kate Connolly of Grosse Pointe Woods as Ado Annie; Kevin Fitzhenry of Warren as Ali Hakim; Eddie Tujaka of Grosse Pointe Farms as Pa Carnes; Beth Teagan of Grosse Pointe Woods as Gertie Cummings; Peter DiSante of St. Clair Shores as Cord Elam; Daniel Morency of Grosse Pointe Park as Ike; Jacob Surzyn of Grosse Pointe Woods as Dream Curly; Catie Campbell-Cormier of Columbus as Dream Laurey and ballet choreographer.

Will's Girls: Nina White of Grosse Pointe Park and Claire Yonkus of Grosse Pointe Farms;

Cowmen and farmers: Perry and Bianca Calisi of Grosse Pointe Park; Robby Mullinger and Anna Christinidis of the City of Grosse Pointe; Robert Cobau and Daniel Blohm of Grosse Pointe Farms; Leslie Jacobs and Antonio Cipriano of Grosse Pointe Shores; James Spencer, Michael Edick, Christina Amato, Janie Burkey, and Kristina Kamm of Grosse Pointe Woods; Eleonore Ellero-Groth and Genna Michael of St. Clair Shores, Jaclyn Graybill of Chesterfield; and Amber Vinson of Detroit;

Oklahoma children: Natalie and Jessica Boehmer, Bridget and Andrew Backer and Natalie White of Grosse Pointe Farms; Lilly Groth of St. Clair Shores; Sophie Leszczynski of Grosse Pointe Woods; Jarod and Paige Clark of Royal Oak; Kyle Bischoff of Macomb Township; Andrew Fleming of the City of Grosse Pointe; Gino Calisi and Natalie White of Grosse Pointe Park.


Grosse Pointe Woods residents Lyndsey Briggs-co-producer, Larry Garcia-publicity, Lisa and Eric Leszczynski — lighting, and Bill Tuthill-sound; St. Clair Shores residents Arlene Marie Schoenherr — stage manager, Rick Hawley — technical director, and Mary Beth Semczak — makeup; Grosse Pointe resident Laurie Bilkie-Snyder — co-choreographer; Ferndale resident Jeannine Simpson-co-producer; Harrison Township resident Mary Kay Sogge - costumes, Sterling Heights resident Mat Raya-set design; Macomb Township resident Tracy Bischoff - scenic painter, Royal Oak resident David Hertzberg-sound; of Grosse Pointe Farms resident Alexandra Miller — set dressing/ props; Chester-field residents: Rick Pfaff-set dressing/props and Jackie Pfaff — makeup; and Roseville resident Patrick Lienemann — assistant stage manager.


Auditions for "Rehear-sal for Murder" from 1 to 3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 15, and 7 to 9 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 16, Grosse Pointe Theatre rehearsal studio, 315 Fisher, City of Grosse Pointe.

The show is performed Nov. 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16 and 17, at the War Memorial.

For more information and script loan, call the the theater (313) 881-4004.

The play is a mystery in which tension builds with every scene. Each cast member contributes to that tension. Experienced actors must work to pull the audience into the twists and turns of the plot. It is an opportunity for others to get their feet wet or to get back on stage. Casting depends on the relation of those auditioning for the parts.

The show is being directed by Arlene Marie Schoenherr.


* Alex Dennison — playwright — attractive, intelligent, forceful, charming, witty and sophisticated; determined to reveal the killer of his fianceé, the leading lady in his play;

* Monica Wells — Leading Lady — Beautiful, sophisticated star, nervous about making the change from film to stage;

* Lloyd Andrews — director - brisk, capable, but nervous about the opening;

* Bella Lamb — producer — sophisticated, expensively dressed, a "stew" of nerves about the opening;

* Karen Daniels — actress understudy for Monica; innocent, excited, but transforms from sweet ingénue to sexy leading lady;

* David Mathews — actor — handsome, attractive to women, smug;

* Leo Gibbs — Actor — character comedian;

* Sally Bean — Dennison's secretary — bright, naive innocent among sophisticated theatre people;

* Ernie — Stage doorman — protective of his backstage domain;

* Loretta — Stage manager-efficient, keeps things moving;

* Mr. Santoro — Owner of moving company — Has a job to do and he does it;

* Male Police Officer — Officer in charge of on-the-scene investigation;

* Female Police Officer — Gentler officer on the scene;

* Man in Auditorium — Is he really Lt. McElroy? and

* Second Man in Auditorium — Or is he the real Lt . McElroy?

This is a non-profit community theatre and actors are unpaid, but head shots, costumes, makeup and refreshments are provided. Actors must be Grosse Pointe Theatre members to perform.

The annual membership fee is $40. Membership in Grosse Pointe Theatre is open to all persons over age 18 with an interest in theatre.

To read the rest of the story, log in or subscribe to the Grosse Pointe News >>

Family Center Ask the Experts 1
Jaguar Landrover 2
Fresh Farms-3
Capricious Left
Ed Rinke Right