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Dave Novell, Al Flory and Mark Holland - photo Sue Novell

Lively Music And Shenanigans At The North Fork Fall Follies

Vernon Tallmon – photo Sue Novell

NORTH FORK – The Squirrel Cage Theatre Co.’s annual Fall Follies returns to the North Fork Town Hall the last two weekends of October.

In addition to live music, the Fall Follies will feature the melodrama “Alaska” (Or The Secret of Yonder Mountain) written by Robert Fulton Kennedy.

The setting is Alaska Al’s Saloon in the Yukon River Valley in the winter of 1891. It stars a seasoned cast including Al Flory as barkeeper “Alaska Al,” Gail Sims as villainess “Goldust Gertie,” Vernon Tallmon as the villain “Rhinestone Fred,” Karen McAleece as the “Widow Proudhear,” Jeff Gurule as the hero “Cyril Twigbucket,” and Jeff’s daughter Elva Gurule takes on the role of “Persephone Proudheart” – the heroine.

Jeff and Elva Gurule – photo Sue Novell

Rounding out the cast is long-time Squirrel Cage actor David Novell, and newcomers Jessica Coleman, Katie Thurlow and Mark Holland as the miners and saloon girls. Nancy Fikkert is the pianist for the production and Sue Novell is directing.

Gail Sims will serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies, and lively music and shenanigans will keep the audience laughing and singing along. Katie Thurlow will perform, along with local favorite Sugar Pine. And no Follies would be complete without the “Old Geezers!”

The show will be presented over two weekends, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 19 and 20, and 26 and 27, at the North Fork Town Hall. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m., and the curtain goes up at 7 p.m.

The cost for dinner and the show is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and children 12 and under are $10. Immediate family price is $40.

Roz Thrapp will be serving up a dinner of homemade stew, salad and roll on the first weekend; there will be chili, salad and cornbread the second weekend. A vegetarian option will be available each night. Desserts also will be available for purchase and the North Fork Boosters will provide a no-host bar.

For those attending the final night of the show on Saturday, Oct. 27, there will be a Halloween Dance with music by “Sundays at 3.” If you’d like to attend the dance only, doors will open at 9:30 p.m. and there will be an entrance fee of $5.

Karen McAleece and Al Flory – photo Sue Novell

“For those of you who don’t know who we are, Squirrel Cage Theatre Co. has been around since 1974 and started as part of the North Fork Boosters to help raise money to maintain the Town Hall, which had been ‘sold’ to the town for one dollar,” says long-time SCT member, performer and director Sue Novell. “We have continued to contribute to that cause, plus have taken on supporting the performing arts at North Fork School.”

SCT also gives scholarships to local high school students who go on to major in drama or music.

Another way they raise money is with an annual “Dinner Party Giveaway.” Tickets are sold throughout the year and a drawing is held at the “Songs of the Season” concert on the first Saturday of December.

Katie Thurlow and Jessica Coleman – photo Sue Novell

The tickets are $2 each or 6 for $10 and will be on sale at the Fall Follies as well as other local events.

If your ticket is drawn, you win a dinner party for up to 8 people which includes a three-course meal prepared by Sue Novell and Roz Thrapp, with entertainment by Sugar Pine.

For further information on any Squirrel Cage Theatre events, call Sue and David Novell at 559-877-2129.

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