The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

Art Fair is looming and getting out of town sounds like a plan. The Purple Rose Theatre Company is currently featuring "Sea of Fools" through September 1. Matt Letscher directs the world premiere of his play, set in the McCarthy era, about a group of actors mourning the death of their leader. When an undercover FBI agent infiltrates the funeral in the guise of a gossip columnist's assistant, the actors freely admit to being Communists, but when Elia Kazan also joins the group, it's anyone's guess what will happen. The cast includes Sandra Birch, John Lepard, Janet Maylie, John Seibert, and Guy Sanville. Purple Rose, 137 Park St., Chelsea. 433-7673

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

"13th Annual Rolling Sculpture Car Show": Main Street Area Association. Local car owners are invited to bring their antique, classic, concept, or unusual autos to this annual show of over 400 cars in the Main Street area. This year's attractions include a Ford prototype, live restoration demos, the "Beautiful Brute" Chrysler C-300, and green cars. Main St. between Huron & William. Free. 668-7112, ext. 26. 2-10 p.m.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

7th Annual Elvisfest: Ypsilanti Depot Town Association. July 13 & 14. Thousands annually celebrate the memory of the Man from Memphis at this festival highlighted by a performance by Motown superstar Martha Reeves. Also, performances by 12 professional Elvis tribute artists from around the nation and Canada. They are backed by an Elvis tribute band, the Change of Habit Tribute Band. Also, Ray Charles, Roy Orbison, and Buddy Holly imitators. Friday is "Blue Hawaiian Nite": dress in Hawaiian attire.
Frog Island, Riverside Park, and Depot Town, Ypsilanti.
5 p.m.-midnight (July 13. & noon-midnight (July 14). 483-4444, 544-3800 for ticket information.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

"Death of a Salesman": U-M Turner Geriatrics Center.
Every Wednesday (except July 4) until July 18 seniors are invited to take a part in a group reading of this classic Arthur Miller play. Participants get a copy of the script to take home. Turner Senior Resource Center, 2401 Plymouth Rd. $4. Preregistration required. 998-9353.
10 a.m.-noon.

The Play Ground

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States. Today Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a time marked with celebrations, picnics and family gatherings.
The Ann Arbor Branch of the NAACP is hosting its 13th Annual Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom. The family-oriented program includes performances by church choirs and other entertainment, a cakewalk, children's activities, and other fun. Food available. All invited. Wheeler Park, N. Fourth Ave. at Depot St. Free. 769-5976 Noon-5 p.m.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

Summer is as good a time for a tearjerker as any and Redbud Productions has a doozy for you. Steel Magnolias is a comedy-drama about the bond among a group of southern women in northwest Louisiana. Although the main storyline involves Shelby, her mother, and Shelby's medical battles, the underlying group-friendship among all six women is prominent throughout the play. And at Truvy's beauty salon all the ladies who are anybody come to have their hair done. Helped by her eager but clumsy new assistant, the outspoken, wise-cracking Truvy dispenses shampoos and free advice. May 31 - June 3 Riverside Arts Center, 76 North Huron Street, Ypsilanti, MI 734-663-7167

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

The Performance Network concludes its 25th regular season with Amadeus by Peter Shaffer. Reviews have been good. This version is a culmination of rewrites by the author over many years and finalized in 1998. It is neither the Amadeus of 1981 nor the film of 1984. Starring and directed by Malcolm Tulip, this is of course the story of Salieri who is consumed with jealousy of the genius Mozart in the royal court of Joseph II in Vienna. Through June 10. 663-0681.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

Oscar Wilde famously said, "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." The stars are out now at the Michigan Classical Repertory Theater for Lady Windermere's Fan, Oscar Wilde's sharp-edged 1891 comedy about a Victorian archmoralist. Like many of his comedies, it is a biting satire on the morals of Victorian society, particularly marriage. When a woman with a shady past makes a play for Lady Windermere's husband, how is she supposed to respond? Oscar Wilde explores the hypocrisy of public morality compared with genuine, private kindness.
Through May 20th, 2007. Riverside Arts Center, 76 N. Huron, Ypsilanti. 214-6600.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

The Play Ground has seen outstanding films at the Lenore Marwil Detroit Jewish Film Festival for five years and we are thrilled that the new season is beginning on Sunday, May 6 and continuing through Thursday at the Michigan Theater, showing a whopping 19 films The event is one of five (the others are in Commerce Township, Flint, Birmingham and Windsor) that constitute the Lenore Marwil Jewish Film Festival. One goal of Ann Arbor's Jewish Community Center is to transmit Jewish education and Jewish identity and Jewish learning through film. Another goal should be to deliver great entertainment. Mission accomplished.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

Cynthia Rylant has written more than 60 children's books since her first book was published in 1982. Her work has been honored with numerous awards, including a Newbery Medal. She writes both picture books and novels for older readers but her most popular characters of all are Henry and Mudge. Lucky us-they are coming in "in person" to the Michigan Theater. In this production Henry has just moved and can't find a playmate. Luckily, he's got Mudge - a big, slobbery, 180-pound, canine buddy, with whom he can explore the neighborhood in this musical adventure.

Michigan Theater, NOT JUST FOR KIDS SERIES, Sunday, May 20. Tickets available online at Ticketmaster.com and at all Ticketmaster outlets.

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