The Farmington Players open their new season Friday September 23, with The Vast Difference, a comedy by Michigan’s famous actor Jeff Daniels. A flight attendant on the verge of a vasectomy opens up to the woman who's his urologist, reflecting on his life and the lessons he's learned about being a real man.
George Noonan (Kyle Bushre) of Bloomfield Hills battles a mid-life crisis, just as 1993 comes calling. The father of five girls works as an airline steward, struggling to make sense of a world in which men serve as flight attendants and women work as doctors. When his wife Rita (Kristi Schwartz of Canton) begs George to get a vasectomy, he fights to work up the courage, sharing his lifelong fears and frustrations with the unsympathetic Dr. Hala Howard (Kandi Krummins of Waterford) a woman who happens to be his urologist.
Jeff Daniels Connection
Jeff Daniels debuted the comedy in 1993 at The Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea and resurrected it there in 2013.David Reinke, who directs The Farmington Players version, actually worked on that first production at “The Purple Rose.”
“For me to direct this show is like coming home again,” says Reinke. “I was one of the original apprentices at the Purple Rose Theatre Company and had the pleasure of working on the original production in 1993. I have always enjoyed Jeff's writing.”
The Vast Difference gets its name from “Vas Deferens” a part of the male anatomy that plays a key role in reproduction. The title also represents the changing dynamics between men and women. Much of the show happens in George’s head. He dreams of encounters with his late father and macho friends, as bizarre hallucinations and touching childhood memories take him on a hilarious existential journey through life.
Four funny actors play multiple roles, highlighting areas of social change in George’s past. Additionally, Farmington Players regular, the hilarious Gary Weinstein of Farmington Hills, shines as George’s opinionated father Earl, a ghost-like barber-philosopher and denizen of a time in which men were men, women were women and they seldom crossed the line. George copes with comic visions of his deceased father, a “man’s man” who isn’t too keen on his son working as a “stewardess.”
“For me it is special because of the relationship between George and his father Earl,” says Reinke. One example of that father-son bond takes place when George relives a magical memory with his dad at a Detroit Tigers game, and “Hall of Famer” Al Kaline comes to life.
Throughout the play George’s visits to the Urologist turn into psychotherapy sessions.
As he relays his fears, we see more colorful characters haunting his hallucinations, including a male nurse toting a chainsaw and his wife pushing a buggy full of babies.
The bottom line: George learns his role in life; what it means to be a real man. Only when George is strapped in the chair for his vasectomy, does he realize his masculinity is measured mostly by his good deeds and not by his body part that’s about to get a big snip.
Reserved seats for The Vast Difference, sponsored by Mall, Malisow and Cooney P.C., are available now at www.farmingtonplayers.org or by calling the box office at 248-553-2955.
SHOW DATES & TIMES
Friday, September 23 -8pm
Saturday, September 24 -8pm
Sunday, September 25 -2pm
Friday, October 30 -8pm
Saturday, October 1 -8pm
Sunday, October 2 -2pm
Friday, October 7 -8pm
Saturday, October 8 -8pm
Sunday, October 9 -2pm
Thursday, October 13 -8pm (Thrifty Thursday – All Tickets $14)
Friday, October 14 -8pm
Saturday, October 15 -8pm
Reserved Seats are available at both www.farmingtonplayers.org and the box office at 248-553-2955. You can also send an email to email@example.com
• Adults: $16
• Students: $14
• New Senior Pricing: $14 - ($2 off any performance and Seniors Must be 62+).
• Group Discount: $ ($2 off adult price on any show with a group of ten or more people.)
Thrifty Thursday October 13th - $14 For Everyone
The Farmington Players Barn is located at 32332 W. 12 Mile Road, Farmington Hills Michigan 48334. It’s the big white barn on the north side of 12 mile between Orchard Lake and Farmington Rd.