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Thursday, March 24,2011

Curtain Call

Cultural shocks, modern distractions

by Christopher Horb
Having most recently tackled musicals — directing Peppermint Creek’s “Ordinary Days” and appearing onstage as a dancer in Riverwalk’s “Hairspray” — Chad Badgero was looking for a change of pace.

He found it in Lansing Community College’s production of “Pentecost.” Badgero directs the culture-clash drama, opening Friday.


“I think it will really challenge people in their ideologies and viewpoints,” Badgero said.


Written by Tony-Award winner David Edgar, “Pentecost” looks at the frenzy following the discovery of a fresco in an abandoned Eastern- European Church. It’s a discovery that could possibly revolutionize the Western world, and it lures members from religious, political and art history circles, as well as various international refuges, to weigh in on the matter.


The play’s themes of nationalism and the humanity with which it addresses different cultures resonates with Badgero.


“I hope it gets people thinking and talking about the way we treat people from other places, whether it be Afghanistan or Illinois,” he said. “I think the audience will leave with a larger sense of compassion.”




’Distracted’ at Peppermint Creek


It used to be that television was the sole force vying for our attention from moment to moment. Now with so many gadgets competing to snag our already fractured attention spans, how does anyone tell who is really listening anymore?


Questions like this are addressed with a mix of humor and pathos in the Peppermint Creek Theatre Co.’s production “Distracted,” premiering Thursday.


“This play really comments on the distracted nature of today’s society,” said director Lynn Lammers.


“We have all this information coming at us from so many directions. What are we really absorbing?” Lisa Loomer’s play details the struggles over 9-year-old Jesse, who may suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder. His mother’s journey to solidify a diagnosis sees her navigating a world filled with doctors, each with a different medical opinions.


“It’s about a mother trying to keep her family together,” Lammers said. “When it comes to modern medicine, we don’t have all the answers. Things are rarely black and white.”




’Pterodactyls,’ ’Little Shop of Horrors’ and ’Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean’


A young girl discovers a nest of pterodactyl eggs and her town is subsequently turned upside as the curious masses come calling in Riverwalk Theatre’s “Night of the Pterodactyls,” presented in conjunction with the All-Of-Us Express Children’s Theatre.


The Lansing Eastern High School Drama Club returns Friday after a threeyear hiatus, with the campy, man-eatingplant musical “Little Shop of Horrors” The 20-year reunion of a smalltown James Dean fan club in 1970s Texas provides the catalyst for the sensitive drama of “Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.” running this weekend at the Ruhala Peforming Arts Center.




’Distracted’


Peppermint
Creek Theatre Co. Creole Gallery 1218 Turner St., Lansing March 24-27
& March 31-April 2 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m.
Sunday. $15, $10 students and seniors (517) 927-3016



’Night of the Pterodactyls’


Riverwalk Theatre 228 Museum Drive, Lansing March 25-27 and April 1-3 7 p.m. Fridays; 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays $7 adults; $5 under 16 (517) 482-5700




’Little Shop of Horrors’


Lansing Eastern High School 220 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Lansing 7 p.m. Friday, March 25, and Saturday, March 26; 2 p.m. Sunday, March 27 $7 adults; $5 students, seniors and children (517) 755-1050




’Come Back To The Five And Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean’


Ruhala Performing Arts Center 1846 Haslett Road, East Lansing 8 p.m. Saturday, March 26, and 4 p.m. Sunday, March 27 $12 adults; $8 children 12 and under (517) 337-0464




’Pentecost’


Lansing Community College Performing Arts Dart Auditorium 500 N. Capitol Ave., Lansing March 25- April 2 8 p.m Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sunday. $10 adults; $5 students, seniors, LCC faculty, staff and alumni. (517) 372-0945


 

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