Finger food 

If there’s one thing that comes with age, it’s the realization that those kids in high school — the ones who always seemed a bit off, heavy on the academia, light on the fluff — those kids are the ones who grab the brass ring in adulthood, those are the kids who end up running the show.

And when it comes to young theater enthusiasts, Joel Walkowski, 18, and Daniel Lawlor, 17, bolster the point.

Their first play, I Guess I Can’t Play Piano Anymore, was picked up by the Dearborn Heights Civic Theatre for a four-night run in their summer season. The boys couldn’t be happier.

“I am unbelievably excited,” Walkowski says. Surprisingly, this isn’t the young writer’s first taste of overachiever hoopla. Last year, he and Lawlor premiered their student film, The Goals of Life, at the now-defunct Ford-Tel Theater to an audience of more than 800 people.

The Goals of Life was about a young guy who dies,” Walkowski says. “God sends him back to earth and forces him to accomplish all of his life goals.” Without irony, the college freshman adds, “We’ve grown up a lot since then.”

Their latest opus, Piano, tells the story of a 45-year-old man who gets marooned on a desert island. To avoid starvation, the man eats his fingers. “We were kind of joking when we came up with the idea, but it worked,” Walkowski says.

In the play, each finger represents an important memory: Flashbacks of such events as the man’s wedding day and his crippling battle with childhood thumb-sucking weave a hilarious and clever portrait of a life.

And unlike many low- or no-budget productions of the same ilk, I Guess I Can’t Play Piano Anymore has 22 cast members, a theatrical plane crash — and a chorus of singing and dancing fingers.


At 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, July 8-9 and 15-16, in the Berwyn Center of the Dearborn Civic Theatre, 26155 Richardson, Dearborn. Call Joel Walkowski at 313-737-2973 for further info.

Eve Doster is the listings editor for Metro Times. Send comments to

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