‘The Curious Savage’ opens Thursday at MLHS

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  • Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Mrs. Savage (Olivia Marsh, right) offers her teddy bear to Mrs. Paddy (Layklynn Bowes) for comfort in the Moses Lake High School production of ‘The Curious Savage.’ The play opens Thursday.

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    Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Dr. Emmett (Connor Anderson-Combs) makes the acquaintance of Lillybelle (Emily Kalmbach). The Moses Lake High School production of ‘The Curious Savage’ opens Thursday.

  • Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Mrs. Savage (Olivia Marsh, right) offers her teddy bear to Mrs. Paddy (Layklynn Bowes) for comfort in the Moses Lake High School production of ‘The Curious Savage.’ The play opens Thursday.

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    Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Dr. Emmett (Connor Anderson-Combs) makes the acquaintance of Lillybelle (Emily Kalmbach). The Moses Lake High School production of ‘The Curious Savage’ opens Thursday.

MOSES LAKE — A play that considers who’s really crazy and what’s really crazy takes the stage at the Moses Lake High School theater Thursday through Saturday. The curtain goes up on “The Curious Savage” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. There’s also a matinee performance at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The Cloisters is a really nice place, and the people who live there are a little strange — but that’s all. A little unusual, maybe, but that’s it.

Certainly Mrs. Ethel Savage (Olivia Marsh in the MLHS production) is a little odd — although her covetous stepchildren (Kody Green, Brenden Rodriguez and Emily Kalmbach) want to think she’s crazy (and want others to think that too).

Well, there is that teddy bear that Mrs. Savage carries around. But then, Florence (Ana McCabe) thinks the doll she carries around is her son. And Hannibal (Zach Zeller) thinks he really can play the violin. Jeff (Kamden Kuykendall) has a scar only he can see, and Mrs. Paddy (Layklynn Bowes) was told to shut up once, years ago, and hasn’t spoken since (except to list people, places and things she hates).

But those unpleasant stepchildren — who intended to ignore her — come back. Of course, that’s mainly because there’s some money missing.

The play was selected by veteran director Eric Van Woert, who’s working with the MLHS drama club for the first time. “It’s a sweet show.” Van Woert directed “The Curious Savage” for the Masquers Theater company, and “everybody who was in it just loved it.”

What makes it a good play is “the heart of it,” Van Woert said. “It’s not what you think.” It’s a comedy and it’s played that way, but it’s also talking about something important, he said. “It’s funny, but it’s serious at the same time.” The play’s subject is universal, and its characters are universal, he said.

Van Woert said he was contacted by the MLHS drama club advisors, who asked him if he would be willing to direct a play. “It was something different — I was intrigued,” Van Woert said, and signed up. The high school cast has been “a great group to work with.”

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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