Feb. 23 2011 12:00 AM

Beckett to Baum: Everybody needs something

Mary Wardell, Michael Hays, Alex Nagy and Jonas Greenberg star in Lansing Community College's production of

In Samuel Beckett’s “Endgame,” everyone has his or her challenges.

Hamm is blind and incapable of standing up, while his servant, Clov, is unable to sit down. Nagg and Nell, Hamm’s constantly quarreling parents, have it even worse: They have no legs and must live in trashcans.

“Nothing is funnier than unhappiness — I grant you that,” Nell notes in one of the play’s most memorable lines. “Yes, yes, it’s the most comical thing in the world.”

Beckett’s absurdist comedy opened in 1957 and has been analyzed and debated ever since. Lansing Community College’s production features Mary Wardell as Nell, Jonas Greenberg as Nagg, Michael Hays as Hamm and Alec Nagy as Clov. It’s directed by Andy Callis.

The Wizard of Oz

Wanted: one heart, one brain, one backbone, one ticket home.

We all know the wish list of the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.” Even those who’ve never read the original L. Frank Baum book have almost certainly seen MGM’s 1939 musical adaptation, starring Judy Garland. The now-classic songs from that film, including “Over the Rainbow” and “Ding! Dong! The Witch is Dead” will be heard once more in Michigan State University’s “Wizard,” which features a script based on the movie and adapted for the Royal Shakespeare Company by John Kane.

MSU senior Brittane Rowe slips into the Ruby Slippers to lead a cast that includes Wes Haskell, Graham Lundeen and Barret Vollmer.

The show is directed by guest artist Jen Bender, whose New York credits include the Broadway productions of “The Lion King,” “The Wedding Singer” and “Avenue Q”; she is also the artistic director of the Broadway in South Africa organization, which brings artists to South Africa for performances and educational opportunities.

Pixies, Kings and Magical Things

Youll get four for the price of one at All-ofus Express Children’s Theatre: "Pixies, Kings and Magical Things" combines a quartet of tales by Hans Christian Andersen into a single show.

While "The Emperors New Clothes" and "The Ugly Duckling" are familiar, "The Pixie and the Grocer" (about a poetry-loving pixie) and "The Swineherd" (in which a wise young boy teaches a prissy princess a lesson) might be slightly more obscure. The plays were directed by Paul Bourne, Megan Buonodono, Sandi Sigworth and Chris VanZwoll.

Lansing Community College Performing Arts. 8 p.m. Fridays and
Saturdays. Feb. 18-26. LCC Black Box Theatre, 168 Gannon Building. $10
adults; $5 students, LCC faculty, staff and alumni. (517) 483-1488.

The Wizard of Oz
Michigan State University. 8 p.m. Fridays; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays; 7:30 p.m.
Wednesdays and Thursdays. Feb. 18-27. Fairchild Theatre, MSU. $20 adults; $15 students and children. (800) WHARTON. www.whartoncenter.com

Pixies, Kings and Magical Things
All-of-us Express Childrens Theatre. 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18; 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19. Hannah Community Center, 819 Abbot Rd., East Lansing. $7 adults; $5 children under 17. (517) 333-2580, ext. 0. www.allofusexpress.org