Wednesday, July 09, 2014

A melodramatic evening ...

Thanks so much to the Chariton Valley Players, who entertained us so well, and to the 120 or so guests who joined us Tuesday evening to be entertained and celebrate summer during an old-fashioned ice cream social on the Lucas County Historical Society Museum campus. 

That's all save one of the "Old Cookie Shop" cast above, (from left) Steven McCollough as the dastardly Mortimer Backlash, Michelle Langlinais as sweet Nellie O'Grady, Larry Hirschy as Dr. Gilbert, Linda O'Connell as Rosie O'Grady (Nellie's "I'm am NOT sick" mother) and Tony Irving as H. (Handsome) Harry Goodwell. Ev Brightman will appear a little later.

We know we're doing something right when the crowd at a museum event includes guests of all ages --- and that certainly was the case Tuesday evening.

The youngsters above were trying one of the double desks in Puckerbrush School on for size; the crew below had been to Hy-Vee to have their faces painted before joining us for ice cream.

LCHS board member Frank Mitchell's presentation in the Pioneer Log Cabin informed both young --- and older.

In the Pioneer Barn, veteran serving crew (from left) Fred Steinbach, Sherry Steinbach and Bob Ulrich dished up the ice cream until there wasn't any more ice cream to serve --- but no one went away without being served.

At 7 p.m., attention shifted to the patio as the players came on stage --- to considerable booing, hissing and cheering (all encouraged).

The melodrama here centers on the evil Mortimer Backlash, who hopes to win the hand of sweet Nellie O'Grady (Michelle Langlinais)  --- by foreclosing the mortgage on the family cookie shop.

Nellie and the cookie shop are the sole supports of her not-really-ailing mother, Rosie (Linda O'Connell), whose other struggle is to avoid stealing the show.

Due to an unforeseen dental circumstance, Ev Brightman ended up portraying two rather than one characters, both cookie shop customers misled by the evil Backlash.

Handsome Harry Goodwell (Tony Irving) did his best to save the day, but in the end it was Dr. Gilbert  (Larry Hirschy; see cast photo above), both physician and retired pirate king, who saved everyone's cookies (other than those of the unfortunate Backlash) by appearing to report that Mortimer and Nellie had been switched at birth, thereby making her the Backlash heiress and saddling Rosie with a dastardly son.

In the end, everyone --- except perhaps Mortimer Backlash --- went away happy.

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