Friday, December 2, 2011

'Performarama' tunes audiences into old time radio and local talent

If you have the funds there is no limit to the amount of entertainment available during the holidays. However, for the average family on a tight budget, the long list of things to do becomes a short list of priorities.

Orson Welles.
Topping the list of priorities are soirees that support local talent such as "Performarama" at The Magic Bag theater in Ferndale, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6. 

What makes this event especially nice is a portion of the proceeds will go to support the marketing and promotion of a local movie and the Michigan Chapter of Alzheimer's Association.

The 2-hour show being presented by Michigan film and stage director Brian Lawrence and producer Aida Munoz features professional actors performing an old-time radio show like those your grandparents talk about when reminiscing about Christmases when they were a child. In those days, families gathered around the radio to hear shows such as "Little Orphan Annie," "The Lone Ranger" and “The Green Hornet,” just to name a few. If their town was lucky enough to be chosen as a spot on the tour, they would purchase tickets to see their favorite radio show performed live at a nearby theater or auditorium.

"Performarama" gives audiences that chance.

A troupe from the Actor's Workshop in Royal Oak will perform a funny skit from the radio days of yesteryear, "The Uranus Players Theater presents Nick Danger - Third Eye." 

Performarama actors, left to right are: Lauren Allen, Robin Mudge,
Ann Marie Lamphier and Jennifer Masty (Harrison Township).

"It'll be hilarious," Lawrence said. Besides being a great spoof on radio, other than the animation specials on TV, how often do you get to see film actors performing for radio? Like the classic stars of yesteryear, they'll be doing all of the voices and sound effects?

The evening, which will be emceed by comedic radio personality Blaine Fowler from WDVD-FM (96.3)'s morning show, "Blaine and Allyson," also features performances by actor and singer Jeff Caponigro, and recording artist Stewart Francke, who has opened for superstars such as Bob Seger and Sheryl Crow and whose own mother-in-law fought the darkness of Alzheimer's Disease. 

"Stewart is a great talent and someone who has been incredibly generous with his time in the past to benefit important charity causes. We very much appreciate his willingness to come perform a few songs at this important event," said Lawrence, adding that L'Stubbs -- a vocal quintet featuring Thelma Stubbs-Mitchell, sister of legendary Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops, and four of his nieces, Pamela Fuller, Shelia Stubbs-Taylor, and Ronda and Robin Pierce -- are also guests. 

"It should be a really exciting evening at The Magic Bag," Lawrence said.

Tickets for the eclectic concert and radio show performance are $25 in advance; $30 at the door or online here. Food courtesy of Kerby's is included. Although it's a clean comedy show, the cash bar limits entrance to only those 21 and over. The Magic Bag is at 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Event hotline: 248-544-3030; Email: info@themagicbag.com.

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