Greater Lansing theatergoers are treated to a smorgasbord of theater openings this weekend. Four local theater groups will draw the curtains for their latest productions Friday, kicking off one of the most crowded theater weekends in recent memory. Patrons have their pick of a wide variety of performances, from a laughout-loud look inside a family’s cocktail hour to a solemn reminder that racism continues to roam just outside our doors.
‘THE COCKTAIL HOUR’ AT RIVERWALK THEATRE
This comedy about family conflict that revolves around parents Bradley and Ann’s revered ritual of the pre-dinner cocktail. Their son John, a publishing executive and semi-professional playwright, returns home seeking their permission to produce his newest play. They are not too pleased to discover that they themselves — along with their favorite personal pastime — are the subjects of his latest work. Revelations and recriminations ensue as this booze-loving family bickers over the unsettling prospect of their private lives being aired out on a public stage."The Cocktail Hour"
Riverwalk Theatre Oct. 2-4, 9-11 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 3, 2 p.m. Sunday $12/$10 students and seniors.
Riverwalk Theatre 228 Museum Drive, Lansing (517) 482-5700, riverwalktheatre.com.
‘ROUNDING THIRD’ AT WILLIAMSTON THEATRE
Williamston Theatre celebrates its 10th anniversary with an encore performance of the first production from its first season. “Rounding Third” follows little league baseball coaches Don and Michael on their tumultuous journey from first practice to final game. A weathered baseball coach and war veteran, Don operates under a win-at-all-cost coaching philosophy. Michael, a new corporate executive in town, just wants his team to enjoy the sport without worrying about the pressure of competition. This performance reunites the original cast — Tobin Hissong and John Lepard — and director Tony Caselli from Williamston Theatre’s 2005 production of “Rounding Third.”
Williamston Theatre Oct. 2-Nov.1 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m.
Sunday Tickets start at $23/$10 students/$2 discount seniors and military Williamston Theatre 122 S Putnam St., Williamston (517) 655-7469, williamstontheatre.org.
‘BALTIMORE’ AT MSU Department of Theatre
MSU’s Department of Theatre kicks off its 2015-2016 season with a world premiere production of “Baltimore.” Written by Kirsten Greenidge, the play tells the story of a freshman dorm that is rocked by a racist cartoon. “Baltimore” is the second work produced by the Big Ten Playwriting Initiative, which commissions scripts with strong female roles from American female playwrights. The play reflects a similar incident that occurred four years ago on MSU’s campus at Akers Hall, where a racist message written on a student’s door sparked campuswide discussions about racism. Sunday’s performance will feature a pre-show discussion with the director at 1:15 p.m., and the Oct. show will feature a discussion following the performance.
MSU Department of Theatre 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2 and Saturday, Oct. 3; 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct.
4; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6-Thursday, Oct.
8; 8 p.m. Friday, Oct.
9; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10; 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11 $15/$13 faculty and seniors/$10 students.
Studio 60 Theatre 542 Auditorium Road, East Lansing.
(517) 353-1982, whartoncenter.com.
‘NEVER SWIM ALONE’ AT LCC THEATRE PROGRAM
This razor-sharp satire tells the story of Frank and Bill, two men caught at odds in a competition of vicious undermining and oneupmanship. At first the two businessmen appear very similar, sporting similar suits and identical briefcases. But as the battle escalates, their differences begin to emerge. A mysterious woman, adorned with only a one-piece swimsuit, referees this surreal and egotistical power struggle, which slowly unfolds to reveal a tragic childhood memory involving all three characters. “(Playwright Daniel) Maclvor is an absolute master of language, and this script shows his powers at their greatest,” said director Deb Keller.
"Never Swim Alone"
LCC Theatre Program Oct. 2-3, 9-10 All shows 8 p.m.
$10/$5 students LCC Blackbox Theatre, 168 Gannon Building 411 N. Grand Ave., Lansing (517) 483-1488, lcc.edu
— McKENZIE HAGERSTROM