Olentangy Valley News

'Savage' thought-provoking between laughs

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Joshua A. Bickel/ThisWeekNEWS
Sophie Tran plays Mrs. Savage during rehearsal for The Curious Savage last Thursday, Nov. 1, at Olentangy High School. The show opens Friday, Nov. 9.
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By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Members of the Olentangy High School theater department say their latest production will make you laugh -- and make you think.

Three performances of The Curious Savage are set for 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 9-11.

The play tells the story of Ethel P. Savage, a woman who is left with a $10 million fortune after her husband's death.

She decides to use the money to help average people achieve their dreams -- but the decision backfires when her three stepchildren deem her crazy and have her committed to a psychiatric ward.

"They really just want to keep her under control so they can go out and use the money -- but they don't realize that Mrs. Savage has some tricks up her sleeve," said Sophie Tran, who plays the title character.

Those tricks thwart the efforts of her children to get ahold of her money at every turn.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Savage meets a wild cast of characters in the home where she is being detained.

Her fellow residents include Florence, played by Sam Davis, who carries around a rag doll she believes to be her long lost child; Fairy May, played by Bri McCabe, who is a compulsive teller of outrageous lies; and Mrs. Paddy, played by Raechel Root, who is consumed with rage and never misses an opportunity to shout an insulting opinion.

They seem completely nuts -- but are they really any crazier than Mrs. Savage's greedy kids?

"It really begs the question: What does it mean to say someone is sane?" said stage manager Sandhya Arya.

It turns out the residents actually are thoughtful, loveable and warm-hearted, despite their quirks.

"At one point in the play my character says, 'I find it harder every day to say where reason ends and madness begins,' " said Tyler Clarkson, who plays the doctor in charge of the institution.

Cast members said the show has no shortage of laughs. Mrs. Savage herself never runs out of witty quips.

"It's completely hilarious to see her making fun of the stepchildren because they are just the scum of the Earth," said cast member Liz Halter, "and most of the time it just goes over their heads."

The play's funniest moments come from watching the quirky characters clash, cast members said, and the play has physical comedy and gags that young children will appreciate.

Theater Director David Hinds said the show is a "fun little roller coaster."

"It goes right from a funny moment to a touching moment, and back to funny again," he said.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors. They can be purchased at the door or by calling the box office at 740-657-4191.

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