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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Seven productions scheduled in 2020 at Tisch Mills theater

Critic At Large

The Forst Inn Arts Collective

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The Forst Inn Arts Collective announced seven productions for 2020 in its cabaret theater.

According to a press release and its website:

The company has added an option for attending performances in the historic Forst Inn. Each production will have one or two preview performances with tickets discounted to $20. These performances do not include a meal, but are fully staged and audience-ready.

The season:

+ “Tuesdays with Morrie,” by Mitch Albom, March 13-14, 20-21. Preview March 6-7.

The autobiographical story of an accomplished journalist driven solely by his career, and Morrie Schwartz, his former college professor. Sixteen years after graduation, Mitch happens to catch Morrie’s appearance on a television news program and learns that his old professor is battling Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Mitch is reunited with Morrie, and what starts as a simple visit turns into a weekly pilgrimage and a last class in the meaning of life.

+ “Three Days of Rain,” by Richard Greenberg, April 24-25. Preview April 17-18.

In the guise of a love story, the audience is offered all the information needed to devise an alternative reading of the poignant and unexpectedly romantic family story. Presented by Isadoora Theatre Company of Door County. The play was produced by Isadoora Theatre Company in Sturgeon Bay in 2019. My review:

+ “Swing!” conceived by Paul Kelly with music by various artists, June 5-6, 12-13, 19-20. Preview May 29-30.

A style of music and dance blended, swing exploded out of pre-World War II Harlem’s hotbed of youth culture and swept the world. The song-and-dance show “Swing!” celebrates this remarkable diversity to the beat of the most exhilarating songs of the period by such talent as Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Benny Goodman.

+ “The Dixie Swim Club,” by Jones Hope Wooten (Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten), July 24-25, Aug. 1-2. Previews July 17-18.

Five Southern women whose friendships began many years ago on their college swim team set aside a long weekend every August to recharge those relationships. Free from husbands, kids and jobs, they meet at the same beach cottage on North Carolina’s Outer Banks to catch up, laugh and meddle in each other’s lives. The story spanning 33 years focuses on four of those comical and touching weekends.

+ “Miracle on South Division Street,” by Tom Duszick, Sept. 4-5, 11-12. Preview Aug. 28-29.

In Buffalo, N.Y., Clara Nowak and her three grown kids have always known they were special. It started with the miraculous Christmas Eve in 1942 when the Blessed Mother appeared to Grandpa in his barbershop. Daughter Ruth unveils her plan to write and star in a one-woman Christmas show about the family miracle so the whole world will know. However, as her plans for theatrical immortality unfold, the entire family’s faith is shaken to the core when a deathbed confession causes the family legend to unravel. Humor blends with tugs of the heart.

+ “A Streetcar Named Desire,” by Tennessee Williams, Oct. 16-17, 23-24. Preview Oct. 9-10.

The famous play reveals the depths the character of Blanche DuBois. The life of Blanche has been undermined by her romantic illusions that lead her to reject – so far as possible – the realities of life with which she is faced and which she consistently ignores. The pressure brought to bear upon her by her sister, with whom she goes to live in New Orleans, intensified by the earthy and extremely “normal” young husband of the latter, leads to a revelation of her tragic self-delusion and, in the end, to madness.

+ “Mistletoe Musings” Dec. 4-5, 11-13. Preview Nov. 28. The popular musical cabaret returns with new songs and stories in a blend of a cappella harmonies, carols and quirky and poignant stories.

+ Also, with dates and material to be announced, The Forst Inn Underground, an adventurous arm of the company, will present “the new, the edgy and the outrageous theater for the stout of heart.”

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