Bandshell Shows Outshine West Park Woes

"Goodnight, Desdemona (Good Morning, Juliet)" runs Sat. and Sun.

In February of 2011, Craig Hupy, head of systems planning for the city of Ann Arbor, delivered some grim news to the city’s park advisory commission. Newly installed underground swirl concentrators in the park – four each near the north and south entrances of the park off Seventh Street – were in some state of failure or were suspected to be on the verge of failing.


Russ Schwartz in the role of Iago in the Penny Seats Theatre Company's current comedic production in West Park of "Goodnight, Desdemona (Good Morning, Juliet)." Not a line from the play: "Tis I who'll mop the water up, before it flows to Allen Creek." (Photos by the writer.)

The swirl concentrators, which help remove suspended solids from water entering the city’s stormwater system, were a part of major renovations to the park’s landscaping and draining systems. Federal stimulus funds helped pay for much of the work.

A recent city staff memo indicates that the city expects to recover any additional costs due to the failures – either from the manufacturer or the design firm. Replacement of the swirl concentrator units is not expected to be complete until early in the 2012 construction season, with the park restored to full public use at that time.

Meanwhile, the park enjoyed a grand re-opening earlier this summer, and is accessible for all functional purposes, including performances in the bandshell.

Two theater groups are sharing the stage this summer: Blackbird Theatre and the Penny Seats Theatre Company.

This weekend wraps up the Penny Seats production of “Goodnight, Desdemona (Good Morning, Juliet).” Performances still remain on Saturday and Sunday (Aug. 13-14). The Chronicle shares a few images from the comedy after the jump.


Left to right: Desdemona (Melynee Weber), Constance (Lauren London), and Juliet (Sarah Leahy).

memo attached to sword

Sword mail. Desdemona (Melynee Weber) delivers a message to Constance (Lauren London).

Hector the turtle

Romeo (Matt Cameron) and Juliet (Sarah Leahy) lavish affection on their pet turtle, Hector.

Hector he turtle

Romeo and Juliet are horrified that their struggle over Hector the turtle has torn him asunder. (That is a prop. No West Park fauna was harmed during production of the play.)

One Comment

  1. August 13, 2011 at 11:45 am | permalink

    Love the band shell for Civic Band performances…these plays should be awesome :)