Summer show planned by local musical group

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Roy Sexton, of Trott & Trott, will be center stage in the upcoming production of “Little Me” in Ann Arbor.

Now in its third year of operation, Ann Arbor’s Penny Seats Theatre Company is set to produce its trademark summer show at the West Park Band Shell, 215 Chapin Street in Ann Arbor, for three weekends from July 11 through July 27.

 This year the group will present the “Little Me,” a Broadway musical written by Neil Simon, Cy Coleman, and Carolyn Leigh, and originally choreographed by Bob Fosse. This title is known for Sid Caesar performing multiple roles in the original 1960s-era production, a feat later repeated by actor Martin Short in the 1990s. In Ann Arbor, Penny Seats company member Roy Sexton, Saline, will undertake this creative challenge.

  “It is a unique thrill and challenge to try to fill the inimitable shoes of Sid Caesar. It is also special because my mom adored the TV program ‘Your Show of Shows’ with Caesar, Carl Reiner, Imogene Coca and that whole gang when she was a kid and also saw Donald O’Connor in one of the original touring productions of Little Me. Caesar is the preeminent master of warm, fun, funny, extreme characterizations. Sacha Baron Cohen, Mike Myers, Tracey Ullmann and many other comedians owe a debt of gratitude to him,” Sexton observed. “I hope I can bottle at least an ounce of his manic energy in this production. I am thrilled to be doing another show with the Penny Seats and sharing the stage with Lauren London, my longstanding ‘theatre wife’, or in the case of this show ‘wives’!”

 Sexton most recently had the featured role of Professor Callahan in this spring’s production of “Legally Blonde,” the Musical at Farmington Players. He played Georg Nowack in last summer’s production of “She Loves Me” with Ann Arbor’s The Penny Seats. He is a co-founder of the theatre company. He is also an active cabaret performer, and he holds a master’s in theatre from Ohio State. In 2007, Sexton, a
graduate of Wabash College, received his MBA from the University of Michigan. He is vice president of marketing and planning for Trott & Trott, a real estate law firm in Metro Detroit.

 “Little Me” tells the story of Belle, a woman who “made it” from the other side of the tracks to a place of wealth, honor and social position. As she looks back over her life while preparing her memoir, her adventures are highlighted with style, verve and emotion. Penny Seats company member and co-founder Lauren London portrays the younger Belle, with local actress Sarah Faix as older Belle.

 Featured actors include Penny Seats company members Kelly Cameron of Livonia, Matt Cameron of Livonia, Zach London of Ann Arbor, and additional cast members Debbie Dolney of Westland, Angela Elowsky of Brighton, Nigel Turtle of Ann Arbor, and Selene Whalen of Ypsilanti.

 The production is directed by Shannon McNutt, a professional actress and teacher known for her work around Southeast Michigan. Musical direction is provided by Rebecca Biber, who will also lead a live band onstage. Penny Seats company member and co-founder Victoria Gilbert oversees the choreography. The production team also includes Eric Winder (stage management), JP Hitesman (producer) and Penny Seats company members Sean Murphy overseeing technical direction and Bridget Bly with costume design.

 The Penny Seats encourage patrons to make an evening out of coming to the show, which will be performed July 11-13, 18-20 and 25-27. Grounds will open at West Park at 5:30 each night with performances at 7 o’clock. Dinner packages will be available.

 Tickets will be available at www.pennyseats.org. Please call 734-276-2832 for more information.

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