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Posted: Aug. 17, 2012 at 6:05 a.m.
WEST BLOOMFIELD - The Jewish Ensemble Theatre proudly announces its enthralling selections for its 2012-13 season.
JET's 24th season kicks off with Ron Hutchinson's riveting off-Broadway hit, "Moonlight and Magnolias," directed by Christopher Bremer. You'll laugh out loud as famous producer David O. Selznick, screenwriter Ben Hecht, and director Victor Fleming lock themselves in an office for five days while they attempt to fix the screenplay of "Gone with the Wind." The three find themselves waging their own civil war as they struggle to bring to life the southern antebellum world of Scarlett O'Hara. "Moonlight and Magnolias" runs Sept. 19 through Oct. 7.
JET continues its season with another comedy: Neil Simon's "Laughter on the 23rd Floor." This hilarious play centers around a 1950s writing team for the fictional "Max Prince Show" while they confront sexism, racism and Communist witch hunts among other issues of the era. Directed by Lynnae Lehfeldt, "Laughter on the 23rd Floor" plays Oct. 24 through Nov. 11.
Ending 2012 on a happy note, JET presents the musical "I Do! I Do!" directed by Mary Bremer. Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, the creators of the memorable musical "The Fantasticks," portray marriage with all the highs and lows, fights and joys that it entails. You'll join Agnes and Michael Snow on their rollercoaster of a marriage, from the honeymoon phase through 50 years of ups and downs. "I Do! I Do!" runs Dec. 5 through Dec. 31, and is JET's special New Year's Eve attraction, ushering in 2013.
As a part of JET's "Women in Science" initiative, "Photograph 51" depicts the true story of scientist Rosalind Franklin's discovery of the DNA double helix structure. Her efforts were disregarded as her three male counterparts were lauded as the discoverers and subsequently won the Nobel Prize. The question remains: Whose efforts were truly responsible? Perhaps Rosalind Franklin's famous photograph that gives the play its title holds the answer. "Photograph 51," directed by David Magidson, will run Jan. 23 to Feb. 10, 2013.
JET has performed "The Diary of Anne Frank" for young audiences for the past 17 years. The production is attended by school children and youth groups throughout metropolitan Detroit and provides valuable lessons in history and prejudice. JET are seeking donations to help subsidize tickets for students who cannot afford the cost of a ticket. "The Diary of Anne Frank" runs March 1-14, with a public performance March 3.
The laugh-out-loud comedy "End Days" is an appropriate production as predictions of the end of the world abound. Deborah Zoe Laufer's apocalyptic play gives us plenty to think about as it deals with a dad still feeling the effect of 9/11, a mom who converts from Judaism and literally hangs out with Jesus Christ in her kitchen, teenage angst, and Elvis obsessions. A host of zany characters make appearances, including Stephen Hawking, as the family realizes that Rapture or not, they need each other more than they care to admit. "End Days," a co-production with Williamston Theatre and Michigan State University, is directed by Tony Casselli and runs March 6 - 24.
"My Name is Asher Lev" by Aaron Posner is JET's final show of the season, intimately exploring the struggle of balancing truth and desire. Asher Lev confronts the pain of choosing between dedicating his life to the Torah or to his divinely inspired artistic gift. You'll watch three actors portray his journey through different stages in his life and be profoundly moved as we follow and bear witness to his artistic Bar Mitzvah. "My Name is Asher Lev," a co-production with Performance Network Theatre, is directed by David Magidson and runs May 1-19.
JET performs in the Aaron DeRoy Theatre, located at 6600 West Maple Road in West Bloomfield (corner of Maple and Drake).
Tickets range from $38 to $45 with discounts for seniors and students.
There is ample free parking and handicap accessibility.
For additional information, please call 248-788-2900 or log on to www.jettheatre.org.