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Wednesday, May 4,2011

Curtain Call

Shout ’Halleujah’ at Starlight

by Christopher Horb

The Starlight Dinner Theatre knows a good thing when
they’ve got it. That’s why the troupe is closing out its sixth season
with “The Hallelujah Girls”, another comedy from writers of such
previous Starlight hits as “Dearly Beloved”, “Christmas Belles” and
“Southern Hospitality.”


“The Hallelujah Girls” bows Friday.


The show comes from playwrights Jessie Jones, Nicholas
Hope and Jamie Wooten and, although not a sequel to their previous
works, showcases their trademark Southern sensibility.


For co-director Mark Cosgrove, the decision to stage another of the trio’s works was a no-brainer.


“They write specifically for community theater, about the
types of interpersonal relationships we all have,” said Cosgrove, who
shares directorial duties with Linda Granger. Granger pulls double duty,
appearing onstage as well.


“The subject matter is particularly appealing because it
has to do with regular folks," Cosgrove added. "People will enjoy it and
identify with it.” 


The titular “Hallelujah Girls” are a group of feisty
fiftysomething friends who spend their Friday afternoons gathered in an
abandoned church-turned-day-spa in the sleepy Georgia town of Eden
Falls.


After the loss of a dear friend, the ladies find
themselves reevaluating their lives and coming to the realization that
the time to achieve their dreams is running out.


Cosgrove, who previously directed “Southern Hospitality” —
also with Granger — said everyone involved with the show has been
having a blast putting it together.


“It’s just such a fun show and it’s amazing when everyone is a volunteer how much of their hearts and souls they put into it.”


The cast includes Jan Ross, Carol Ferris, Charlie Martin, Susan DeRosa, Janet Anderson, Rick Dethlefsen and LeAnn Dethlefsen.


The Take Note Quartet and Parts Unlimited Quarter will rotate weekends providing live entertainment during dinner.



‘The Hallelujah Girls’
Starlight Dinner Theatre
Waverly East Intermediate School, 3131 W. Michigan Ave., Lansing.
7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, through May 14.
Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m.
Reservations are required for both dinner and show with prices as follows:
$30 adults; $25 fseniors and students under 22; $20 children under 12
Show-only pricing: $15 adults; $10 for children under 12
(517) 243-6040



Boogie Dance Jam’


Toes will be tapping and fingers snapping when the Ruhala Peforming Arts Center presents “Boogie Dance Jam” Saturday.


The dance is set to “Boogie Stomp,” a
2006 album by world-renowned boogie artists Bob Baldori and Bob Seeley,
with choreography by Ruhala artistic director Mark Ruhala.


“This music is the backbone of American
music and Baldori and Seeley are two of the best players in the world,”
said Ruhala in press notes.


“We are lucky to have them in our community and we want to honor their contribution by jamming to their sounds.


Boogie-woogie is a style of piano-based
blues mostly associated with dancing and Baldori, an Okemos resident who
has worked with the likes of Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters, is
considered a legend in the genre. 


Ruhala has turned the songs from “Boogie Stomp” into character-driven theater pieces that will be performed by the Ruhala Performing Arts Center Dance Ensemble.



’Boogie Dance Jam’
Ruhala Performing Arts Center
1846 Haslett Road, East Lansing
7 p.m., Saturday, May 7
$12 adults; $8 children
(517) 337-0464

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