Behind the Pig-n-Pancake restaurant on W. Bond Street in Astoria, Oregon, sits a non-descript gray building housing the humble Astor Street Opry Company. Here, a small band of energetic and talented actors risk bombardment from popcorn projectiles and heckles from the crowd, all in the name of good fun.
Take a seat among the audience, get cozy with your neighbors, and focus on the stage. Blur the edges of your sight and immerse yourself for a visual and auditory melodramatic treat; The Real Lewis and Clark Story…or How Astoria was Discovered by Finns!”, written and directed by Judith P. Niland.
Although arguably not as grand as Shakespeare’s plays at the Old Globe Theatre in 16th and 17th century England, the experience is not dissimilar. But instead of hurling peanuts, wind up your arm and throw popcorn. The audience is a wee bit tamer, but you still get to shirk responsibilities of ‘adulting’ for a night and embrace your inner child.
Don’t get your knickers in a twist.
Throwing popcorn is encouraged!
(Well, in the front row, it is. Those farther back probably run the risk of beaming an audience member in the back of the head.)
However, ‘Ranger River’, played by Cadet Elsa Nethercor, would agree (after much arm-twisting), that, while the story presented was far-fetched and completely inaccurate, the melodramatic presentation, The Real Lewis and Clark Story or, ‘How Astoria was Discovered by Finns!’ will make anyone laugh out loud until their stomach muscles ache.
This is the point of great melodrama; exaggerated nuttiness. The good are gooder and the bad, badder.
‘Humphrey Q. Krooke’, played by Markus Brown, is exactly what you’d expect in a villain; mustache twirling, hand-wringing, no-good-doer out to reap the riches of the west.
Little does he know that the difficulties along the way will weigh heavy on his soul…and his bear-trapped foot. Even his counterpart, ‘Sneak (not Snake!)’, played by Nate Bucholz, can’t seem to bring him out of his funk.
That’s the least of his worries.
But a story just wouldn’t be complete without our hero, ‘Captain Meriwether Lewis’, played by Jason Hippert.
I’m still giggling and I’m sure the real Captain is rolling over in his grave. Hippert plays a bloated, militaristic, effeminate, straight-laced man to a “T”, right down to his penciled-in cleft chin. Lovely buckles, my friend.
So, does the intrepid Corps of Discovery make it to Astoria? Do Lewis and Clark rise above evil and save the day? Do Ole and Sven remain ‘sweet but dumb’? I’ll leave that for you to discover on your own.
It’s not what you think.
So, come hear the “Songbird’ sing (Stacey Brown),
but never underestimate the power of these ^^^ ‘sturdy Finnish vomen’!
Hurry up! The final performances are this weekend, April 28th and 29th, 7pm!
Click here for their calendar!
“Junior Shanghaied 2016”
“32nd season of Shanghaied in Astoria”
“3rd Annual ‘Be an ASOC Angel’ Fundraiser”
“21st Annual Starving Artist Faire”
“10th Annual Scrooged in Astoria”
Join the fun!