NORTH FORK – The Squirrel Cage Theatre Co. presents its own mountain version of Rip Van Winkle over two weekends, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 1 & 2, and 8 & 9 at the North Fork Town Hall.
Director Terry Butler brings 50 years of theater experience to this show, and has adapted the play to give it a local flavor. She has enlisted the help of a passel of students to play the parts of barefoot kids and even pirates.
Local songstress Jean Butterfield opens the show with some of her original music about the North Fork area, plus some tunes from the Gold Rush era. The “Old Geezers,” always a crowd favorite, will make several appearances throughout the show.
The kids will also be performing Hannah Montana’s “Hoedown Throwdown” song and dance number.
“Rip Van Winkle” has become part of American folklore. The original was written by Washington Irving and published in 1819, and set in the Catskill Mountains of New York State before and after the American Revolutionary War.
Rip is a henpecked man who wants nothing more than to tell stories to the children and wander the mountains with his dog.
One day while wandering, he helps a stranger with a keg, samples the contents of said keg, and falls asleep for 20 years.
When he awakens, he is old enough to live the life he wants and never have to deal with the hardships of the war.
Almost every country has a similar tale. The German folk tale is “Peter Klaus,” An ancient Jewish tale is about Honi M’agel. The Chinese version is of Ranka. All stories of a man needing to escape persecution of one kind or another.
This particular tale takes place around Peckinpah meadow. It starts in 1850 when gold has been discovered in Little Fine Gold Creek. There is a nice village complete with a school and an Inn, and then there are the pirates… it’s a tale yet to be told!
As always, there will be a homemade dinner served before the show. Dinner starts at 6 p.m., with the curtain rising at 7 p.m.
The North Fork Boosters will be running the bar, and tickets will be on sale for two special raffles.
There will be a 50/50 raffle each night of the show, with tickets available for two more drawings where Squirrel Cage will give away two cords of wood at the Songs of the Season on Dec. 7. Winners need not be present to win, but you won’t want to miss out on a chance to win a cord of wood, or the popular Christmas Show.
Cost for the dinner show is $12 for adults, $6 for children 12 & under, and family (immediate) $30.
The menu includes homemade chili, corn bread and green salad, with desserts available for just $1 each.
The proceeds from this year’s Fall Follies show will go to support the arts and music and the North Fork School. All the kids in the show are currently or have been NFS students and were involved with Mrs. Flory’s fine arts program. This show is dedicated to everyone who works so hard to keep the arts and music alive and thriving at the North Fork School.
The cast for “Rip Van Winkle”:
Rip: David Novell
Wife: Krissi DeSilva
Young Rip & Robinson: Chuck Otero
Schneider: Laura DeSilva
Mrs. Van Veasel: Crystal Pike
Katrina: Elizabeth Middleton
Helen & Janbalan: Felicity Johnson
Mary & Pirate: Nayeli Johnson
Karen: Elyssa Hegerle
John & Boegspriet: Mason Hough
Inn Keeper: Al Flory
Captain Hudson: Michael Doornbos
Battenhatch: Sandye Black
Pietr: Sarah Sims
Scuppers: Abigail Eidson
Vanderoakum: Kate Hough
Child: Scarlet Stuber
Pirate: Ryan Hough
Understudy & Pirate: Veronica Spaulding
Old Geezers: Dale Clugston, David Novell, Al Flory and Michael Doornbos.
Dancers include Sarah Sims, Veronica Spaulding, Laura DeSilva, Felicity Johnson, Nayeli Johnson, Elyssa Hegerle, Mason Hough, Kate Hough, Ryan Hough, Scarlet Stuber.