Two alumnae of the Dearborn High School's theatre program will hit the professional stage this week when Brill debuts at the Performance Network Theatre in Ann Arbor on Thursday, Jan. 10.
Sarah Ann Leahy will star as a singer/songwriter Margie Lesser, a young folk-rock singer who bursts into the life of a washed-up big band musician struggling in the world-famous Brill Building in Manhattan during 1959.
Erin Sabo (McCann) will serve as the managing director of the show.
The show has introduced the two ladies who graduated 10 years apart from Dearborn High School and both participated in the award-winning theatre program under the direction of Greg Viscomi.
“I was surprised and excited when I found out that Sarah was also a member of the theatre program at DHS," Sabo said. "The program meant a lot to me in high school and I am happy that the tradition of a strong arts education is alive and well at DHS."
She spoke highly of the school's theatre program.
"Being involved with such a great arts program in high school was vital to my success as a theatre producer," Sabo added. "And, if the other graduates are as talented as Sarah I am sure that I will be meeting a lot more of them soon."
Brill, directed by Performance Network Theatre’s Artistic Director, David Wolber stars Leahy and Equity Actor Phil Powers, and was written by the emerging Ann Arbor playwright, David Wells, with music by Frank Allison.
“The fact that no one has ever brought this character to life is both challenging and exciting," said Leahy. "There are no other performances of this role to look to for inspiration; you just have your script and your instincts. I feel prepared, however, because I am lucky enough to work with the playwright, an amazing scene partner and a seasoned director."
Brill takes place in the world-famous Brill Building, located on Broadway and 49th Street in New York City. The Brill Building was the epicenter of some of the most popular and influential music in the Western World, fostering the works artists such as Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Carole King, and Neil Diamond.
Tickets can be ordered by calling Performance Network’s Box Office at 734-663-0681, online at performancenetwork.org, or at the Performance Network Theatre (120 East Huron St., Ann Arbor, 48104) on Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m., or one hour before a performance. Tickets are $22-$41, with discounts available for seniors, members, students and groups. There is a Pay-What-You-Can performance on Jan. 10 (with a suggested donation of $15).