Monday, November 3, 2014
HITCH A RIDE WITH "THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES"
If you owned a swamp where pools of thick black liquid were bubbling to the surface, you might head for the hills...the Beverly Hills that is! Especially if you're a member of the Clampett family and that viscous dark substance was pure oil. You might find yourself a millionaire many times over, a far cry from the simple backwoods life you were used to living, hunting for your food like squirrels and possums, a life complete with outhouses, no running water and no such thing as electricity.
Grab a coonskin cap and a rifle and head on over to the Connecticut Cabaret Theatre in Berlin and say "Howdy" to "The Beverly Hillbillies." The comedy that runs weekends until Saturday, November 22 is based on the television sitcoms' first two episodes, written by Connecticut native David Rogers.
The mighty successful show ran for nine seasons on CBS, from 1963 to 1971 and starred Buddy Ebsen, Irene Ryan, Donna Douglas and Max Baer, Jr. and was created for TV by Paul Henning. It was among the top ranked shows for eight of its nine seasons and now you can visit and sit a spell with these old time favorites.
Life changes in about 25 million ways when Jed Clampett (Dave Wall) puts his X on the line to sell his black gold rich swamp to the Midland Oil Company. Suddenly the family is on the move out west, settling in a mansion next door to their new banker Milburn Drysdale (Russell Fish) and his less-than-welcoming wife Margaret (Abby Brooks).
Before you can say "hee haw" three times, a host of interested parties pop up with their hands outstretched, like Mrs. Pennyweather (Catherine Rowe) and her son Percy (James J. Moran) and cohort Gloria (Grace Rizzuto) who want books for a new library and Colonel Foxhall (Chris Brooks) and Emaline Fetty (Carleigh Schultz) who have a swift swindle in mind.
The Clampett family, including daughter Elly Mae (Meagan Bomar) and cousin Jethro (Rick Bennett) and Granny Moses (Kristin Ceneviva), soon have their hands full telling friend from foe. Assisting them are a dedicated secretary from the bank (Barbara Horan), a detective (Will Dayton), a neighbor (Alicia Rizzuto) and an admirer (Tracey Brown).
All these adventures are carefully crafted to produce maximum laughter by director Kris McMurray. For tickets ($30), call the Connecticut Cabaret Theatre, 31-33 Webster Square Road, Berlin at 860-829-1248 or online at www.ctcabaret.com. Remember to bring snacks and goodies to share or plan to purchase cake and drinks on site. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with doors opening at 7:15 p.m.
Crank up the old jalopy and mosey on over to the Clampett homestead and enjoy the bluegrass banjo theme song "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" that started every show. Plan to sing and twang along for the nostalgic ride.