ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WXYZ) - A Catered Affair is the new musical at Stagecrafters in Royal Oak that captivated audiences when it opened last week. The show focuses on the hopes and dreams of a humble South Bronx husband and wife, circa 1953, as they anticipate the wedding of their only daughter. Stagecrafters says "anyone who has planned a wedding will appreciate the wish of the young couple to have a simple, no fuss ceremony."
A Catered Affair, book by Harvey Fierstein and music & Lyrics by John Bucchino, runs through March 10th on the 2nd stage at the Baldwin Theatre in downtown Royal Oak.
Some special events associated with the show include: a half-price Student Night on Thursday, February 28 th for students with a valid ID. Also, a complimentary "reception" after Saturday performances with samplings of wedding cakes and desserts.
The show's director, Jay Kaplan of Oak Park, says A Catered Affair isn't the typical musical. "There are no big dance numbers or opportunities to stop the show. It's realistic and unadorned by razzle-dazzle," says Kaplan. "This is a small, intimate musical that will play well in the snug confines of the 2nd Stage while giving us an amazing opportunity to present real and human characters. "
Kaplan says he what he likes the most about the musical is how it examines family and human relationships. He says, "it provides an intimate close-up look at a family whose means and lives seem relatively simple and yet they are experiencing feelings and emotions that are anything but. "
Aggie and Tom Hurley (Sue Mancuso of Bloomfield Hills and Gary Jones of Birmingham,) play a struggling couple reeling from the death of their son in the Korean War. But when a death benefit check arrives, they find themselves at a crossroads.
Their daughter, Janey Hurley (Jackie Gubow of Huntington Woods), and her intended, Ralph Halloran (Vince Kelley of Ferndale), plan to wed in a quick civil ceremony. But Aggie makes a case to spend the money on giving her daughter the lavish celebration she never had. Meanwhile Tom hopes to expand his share of a cab company instead. Everyone else weighs in, from the groom's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Halloran (Marc Meyers of Ferndale and Jeanne Bourget of Bloomfield Hills), to the marginalized "confirmed bachelor" Uncle Winston (John Nowaczyk of Ferndale), to the women in the neighborhood, Myra (Ashley Weber of Birmingham) and Delores (Tania Velinsky of Royal Oak). Ultimately, amid the cacophony, the family must face their regrets, hopes and dreams.
According to Kaplan, "This is a beautiful touching story about a family and whether or not to throw a big wedding for the daughter -- but it's also about much more. It's about human relationships and the need to love -- something that all of us can understand. Audiences will be able to relate to these characters and their situations while being moved by a compelling musical score. "
"I'm very fortunate to have an incredibly talented cast and crew to bring this show to life," says Kaplan. "My goal as a director is to provide the actors with the opportunity to really delve into these characters who seem uncomplicated on the outside yet have complications and issues in their lives. It's important that I remain true to the creators' intentions to present a story about everyday people who feel big emotions.
A Catered Affair opened on Broadway April 17, 2008 at the Walter Kerr Theatre and ran for 116 performances closing July 27, 2008. The cast featured Harvey Fierstein as Uncle Winston, Faith Prince as Aggie and Tom Wopat as Tom. It received three 2008 Tony nominations. The material first appeared as a 1955 television play, The Catered Affair, by playwright Paddy Chayefsky featuring Thelma Ritter. A 1956 movie adaptation by Gore Vidal featured Bette Davis as Agnes, Ernest Borgnine as Tom and Debbie Reynolds as Jane.
Advance tickets are $16. Patrons attending the opening night performance, February 22nd, are invited to a 7 pm pre-glow of light hors d'oeuvres and beverages. Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.stagecrafters.org (online handling fees apply) or by phone at 248-541-6430 using Visa or MasterCard. All seats are reserved. If shows have not sold out, tickets can be purchased at the box office one hour prior to the performance for an additional $2.00 per ticket.