The 2010-2011 Season continues at Eastpointe's Broadway Onstage Live Theatre when "new producers" Shirley and Joe Urkshus present THE BROADWAY ONSTAGE MURDERS opening on Friday, February 18. Running Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Select Sundays at 2pm, this audience-participation murder mystery will be pleasing audiences through its closing night on Saturday, March 19.
Select Sunday Matinees are only performed at Broadway Onstage when a prearranged group of 30 or more is scheduled to attend. Broadway Onstage Live Theatre is located at 21517 Kelly Rd. at Toepfer (8 ˝ Mile Rd.) in Eastpointe. The theatre is the home of the patented TeeVeeStage™ Presentation system, which employs cameras above the audience and monitors above the stage to provide audience members with different viewing perspectives of the live stage performance. Broadway Onstage Live Theatre is also the home of Dennis Wickline Productions, Inc., which began producing Non-Equity professional live theatre on the Eastside of Detroit in February of 1980.
THE BROADWAY ONSTAGE MURDERS ushers a "renewed era of excellence" at Broadway Onstage in Eastpointe when "new producers" Shirley and Joe Urkshus momentarily take over the theatre to present this unique production. THE BROADWAY ONSTAGE MURDERS introduces us to a zany set of characters. Mrs. Buldheiss, a wealthy matron, is the owner of a large castle-like mansion. She has invited her daughter, Angelica, and her new son in law, Tony, to stay with her for a time so that she may get to know him and try to appreciate their relationship. Mrs. Buldheiss does not trust the sometime musician to keep her daughter in the manner to which she has become accustomed. She also believes that Tony is merely a money-hungry charlatan who will bilk Angelica out of the fortune that the deceased Mr. Buldheiss had accumulated. Into the mix is thrown a sexy, young maid named Constance, who has only worked for Mrs. Buldheiss for about a year and a half, and mystery and entangling alliances become the order of the evening.
Appearing as Mrs. Buldheiss is Elizabeth Rager. Ms. Rager was recently seen this past fall in SHERLOCK HOLMES IS COMING TO DINNER at Broadway Onstage as Mrs. Hudson. Beth Duey takes on the role of Angelica. Ms. Duey was seen at Broadway Onstage as Elizabeth, the wife, in last season's production of MURDERER. Broadway Onstage newcomer Ed Schneider will be seen as Tony, the musician son in law, and Sarah Lynne Oravetz will appear as Constance, the maid. Ms. Oravetz was just seen in the world premiere mystery THE PROBLEM OF CELL 13 at the theatre as Anne Hatch. Broadway Onstage favorite Jann Hight, who was recently seen at Broadway Onstage in THE NUTCRACKER'S NUTS as Alberta will appear throughout the evening in a variety of roles. The production was originally directed by Dennis Wickline, founder of Broadway Onstage.
Tickets for Opening Night, Friday, February 18 are $14. Tickets for all other performances are $16. Again, Broadway Onstage is located at 21517 Kelly Rd. at Toepfer (8 1/2 Mile Rd.) in Eastpointe, Michigan. Ticket Reservations are strongly recommended by calling (586) 771-6333.
ELIZABETH RAGER (Olivia Wilson) - Elizabeth just gave a memorable performance as Dorothy in our season opening THE SOCIAL SECURITY MURDERS, and as Mrs. Hudson in SHERLOCK HOLMES IS COMING TO DINNER. She was our Stage Manager for MURDERER to begin 2010 and our just completed THE PROBLEM OF CELL 13. She appeared as Alberta in THE NUTCRACKER'S NUTS and as Susan in our summer show LOVERS AND OTHER STRANGERS last season. She was seen in our closer two seasons ago DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE as Pauline. She was seen as Leah in our summer 2008 production of LADIES OF HARMONY. She was also seen in the 2007-2008 season closer, ESCANABA IN DA MOONLIGHT, as "Wolf Moon Dance." Elizabeth also portrayed Mrs. McGee in CORPSE! in January 2008 here at Broadway Onstage. She was also Stage Manager for ESCANABA IN DA MOONLIGHT and our fall 2007 production of A THOUSAND CLOWNS. She made her acting debut with her performance as Stella in our September/October 2007 production of SOMETHING TO HIDE. She is no stranger to the stage, peforming parody songs as part of a singing group as well as performing skits in theatre-in-the-round. She is also an able pianist, playing in a variety of venues including accompaniment for soloists and musicals. She believes her occupation as a trainer helped prepare her for the stage: "In training others, you design and present everything for learning with a little entertainment spread throughout; with theatre, you design and present everything for entertainment with a little learning spread throughout." We welcome you back, Elizabeth.
BETH DUEY (Jill Joseph) - Beth is a very talented lady. She was seen as Mrs. Bosch in last season's production THE WEREWOLF OF THE FULL MOON. She also appeared as Elizabeth, the wife, in MURDERER to begin 2010.
Beth graduated with a B.A. in Drama from
the University of Michigan (Go Blue!). She is very active with
professional theatre and film. Her favorite past roles include Annie
Wilkes in MISERY with Barefoot Productions, Mae in REEFER MADNESS at
the Ringwald Theatre, and Emilia in Paula Vogel's DESDEMONA with
ReActive Productions. She also traveled to Moscow, Russia, to perform
at the Chekhov International Theatre Festival. She was seen recently
in MURDER ABOARD for Aboard and Abroad Productions on the Murder
Mystery Train in Charlotte, Michigan. Look for her in
the online sitcom, ?The LoveNest?. Additionally, Beth has worked
behind the scenes as prop designer for ORPHEUS DESCENDING at the
Blackbird Theatre. She is also an accomplished playwright and
painter. Somehow, she even manages to find the time to run a
successful business as an Avon Representative. She's been a pleasure
to work with again and we hope she will perform with us many times in the future. Thanks, Beth!
ED SCHNEIDER (Jack Reed) - While this is Ed's first appearance for our company, he is no stranger to theatre. He has been very active with theatrical companies throughout the area on a community and professional level. He was also active in theatre in school. He has been seen in a number of varied and exciting roles which all display his versatility and talent. Ed also writes and produces murder mysteries which he also appears in. He was seen as the Italian Father in THE ITALIAN WEDDING and as John Paul Ringo in THE ITALIAN WAKE. He also appeared recently as Fred in a SKOOBY DOO Murder Mystery Spoof. We hope his performance tonight is the first of many for our company. He will be appearing in A MUSICAL SALUTE TO VAUDEVILLE AND BURLESQUE later this spring as Larry Smile, the Top Banana/M.C. Welcome, Ed!
SARAH ORAVETZ (Lana Lester) - Sarah first appeared on our stage as the flighty Ophelia in THE LAST GREAT BRITISH SEX FARCE! earlier this season. She just completed portraying Anne Hatch in our world premiere mystery THE PROBLEM OF CELL 13. She received her BA in Music Theatre from Central Michigan University. She has portrayed a number of varied and exciting roles, including Babe Secoli in WORKING, Claire Holmes in THE SECRET GARDEN and Sylvia in MAYTAGS, among others. She participated in NYU's CAP 21 Professional Summer Music Theatre Intensive in 2008 and was also involved with with Actor's Connection Workshops in New York City. She was just seen as Belle in Wyandotte's production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Welcome back, Sarah!
SHIRLEY BIGGS-URKSHUS (as herself) - Shirley portrayed Elvira in THE NUTCRACKER'S NUTS all ten times. She directed our spring production THE CRAZY TIME, and appeared as Emma in this season's opener THE SOCIAL SECURITY MURDERS. She was also seen as Mrs. Chauvenet and Mrs. Chumley in HARVEY and Grace in THE LADIES OF HARMONY two seasons ago. She was seen in the summer of 2007 as Sarah in our production RED HOT MAMAS. She portrayed Dora Winslow in our fall 2006 production OVER MY DEAD BODY. She directed 2008's ART OF MURDER and our season closing production THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST several seasons ago. She also appeared onstage as Lane/Merriman in that production. Shirley portrayed Polly in CLIFFHANGER here several seasons ago to great acclaim. Shirley appeared in our production of I HATE HAMLET, in 2001, as Felicia. In addition, she appeared as Sis in 2000's production of THE QUEEN OF BINGO to everyone's delight. Shirley first appeared for us in an original murder-mystery. She also directed our fall production THE LAST GREAT BRITISH SEX FARCE EVER! Welcome back, Shirley!
JOE URKSHUS (as himself) - Joe was seen as Frank in our summer 2009 show LOVERS AND OTHER STRANGERS. He was seen as Herman in our spring 2009 comedy MIXED EMOTIONS. He was seen as Dr. Chumley in HARVEY and Victor Fleming in MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS in the fall of 2008. He appeared as Edvard, the groom, in our summer 2006 production IMPOSSIBLE MARRIAGE and as Inspector John Smith in OVER MY DEAD BODY that same season. He appeared as D.W. DeWitt in our spring 2005 comedy EPIC PROPORTIONS. He also acted as Stage Manager for our season closer in 2005, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST and stage managed THE LADIES OF HARMONY in the summer of 2008, and our January 2009 production ART OF MURDER. Joe appeared as Henry, a thoughtful philosophy professor, in our production of CLIFFHANGER several seasons ago. He has also appeared as Hector in 9 of our productions of THE NUTCRACKER'S NUTS. He also portrayed Jonathan Small in SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE CURSE OF THE SIGN OF FOUR several seasons ago. Joe appeared as Gary in our production of I HATE HAMLET in the fall of 2001 to great acclaim. He first appeared for us in 2000, as Father Mac and the Bingo Caller, in THE QUEEN OF BINGO. Joe has been seen in a number of local venues on a community and professional level. He was seen in NOISES OFF for Avon Players several seasons ago, and he was recently seen in the comedy MURDER AT THE HOWARD JOHNSON'S for RJO Productions. It's a pleasure to have him back with us again!
JANN HIGHT (a visitor) - Jann appeared as Bridget in our spring 2009 production of DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE. She also appeared as Claudia in our summer 2007 production RED HOT MAMAS. Jann portrayed Anne, the mother, in THE COCKTAIL HOUR here at Broadway Onstage several seasons ago. She recreated her role as Clairee in STEEL MAGNOLIAS in 2002, which she first performed for Wickline Productions at the Golden Lion in 1991. She has been in many productions here at Broadway Onstage. She is also from the original cast of THE NUTCRACKERS NUTS, having appeared as Alberta 9 times. Jann was also seen in 2001's I HATE HAMLET, and 2000's YOU KNOW I CAN'T HEAR YOU WHEN THE WATER'S RUNNING, in which she portrayed three very different and complicated ladies. We're honored to have her back again. Thanks, Jann.
JOHN ARDEN MCCLURE (Stage Manager) - John was just seen as Professor S.F.X. Van Dusen in THE PROBLEM OF CELL 13 (which he also wrote), Sherlock Holmes in SHERLOCK HOLMES IS COMING TO DINNER, Sam in THE LAST GREAT BRITISH SEX FARCE EVER!, Warren in THE SOCIAL SECURITY MURDERS and Jeff in THE SCOTTISH PLAY here. He also portrayed Dirk in THE CRAZY TIME last spring. John was seen as Richie in LOVERS AND OTHER STRANGERS and Mitch in MURDER AT THE HOWARD JOHNSON'S earlier last season. He followed that by portraying Dr. Emrich in THE WEREWOLF OF THE FULL MOON. He took on the title roles in our closer in 2008 DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE to great acclaim. John was seen as Remnar in our 2007-2008 closer ESCANABA IN DA MOONLIGHT and was seen in our fall 2008 production of HARVEY as Mr. Wilson. He portrayed CHUCK, one of the moving men, in MIXED EMOTIONS here two seasons ago. John was also seen as Inspector Davies in SOMETHING TO HIDE, and also in A THOUSAND CLOWNS in the fall of 2007. John's first appearance on our stage was in 2005 as Charley in THE BOOK OF MURDER. Since then he has been in numerous productions here, including Charles Wellington York in 2007's SHERLOCK'S VEILED SECRET and Dr. Zubritsky in FOOLS. He has also appeared as Benny in EPIC PROPORTIONS, Reverend Chasuble in THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, Donnie in THE FOURSOME, Charlie Dugan in APRIL, MAE AND JUNE, and Mellersh Wilton in ENCHANTED APRIL. John is a theatrical veteran, having portrayed Ranger Tom in ESCANABA IN DA MOONLIGHT, Bozidar in DEAR SANTA, and Trent in THE LAST RESORT for Starbrite Dinner Theatre. He is also a member of Grosse Pointe Theatre, having portrayed Anthony Marston in TEN LITTLE INDIANS and Kenny Norman in PROPOSALS. We welcome him back to our stage.
DENNIS WICKLINE (Director) - Dennis just portrayed Hector in THE NUTCRACKER'S NUTS here. He portrayed Miles in our spring comedy THE CRAZY TIME as well as appearing as Ty in THE SCOTTISH PLAY to close last season. He portrayed David O Selznick in MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS and Elwood P. Dowd in HARVEY in the fall of 2008. He was seen as Major Powell in CORPSE and Frank in WEEKEND COMEDY here in 2008. Dennis was also seen as Bradley in THE COCKTAIL HOUR in the fall of 2004, among other productions. He is the producer of all shows at Broadway Onstage. He began producing theatre in February of 1980 at Stouffer's Eastland. This season is his thirtieth of producing non-Equity professional theatre in the Detroit Metropolitan area. He is the author of a number of plays and musicals, including THE NUTCRACKER'S NUTS. He also appeared as Fagin in Grosse Pointe Theatre's 2001 production of OLIVER! and was seen as Joe Keller in their production of ALL MY SONS in March of 2005. Dennis was also seen here in the thriller THE WOMAN IN BLACK in the fall of 2002, portraying 5 separate characters. He also directed GPT's 2005 SHOWBOAT and 2008's JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT.