Scare Yourself With Boos and Brews
Beware community, you might be next! It’s uncanny to see how Davidson Community Players delivers scarry tales in the spirit of its name. The community of thespians has nabbed citizens at random for the fifth October in a row to stage its annual Boos and Brews show, preempting Halloween. Skip last year, it didn’t count—2020 was churned into a cauldron of witch’s stew.
This year the show makers have gone hog wild, grabbing a couple dozen citizens at random to stage new tricks upon their stage. Turns out the DCP Lab venue on Main Street wasn’t spooky enough. DCP decided to move their annual pranks over to the reliable Armour Street outdoor stage, which became unpredictable. The weekend calls for rain. So, goblins, witches, ghosts and black screechy cats—dead or alive—have moved inside the Armour Street Theatre’s haunted boards to shriek some creaky tales for the night.
Community stature isn’t safe. Hell-bent on creating mischief, DCP captures anyone whose shadow whishes by. Davidson College Presbyterian Church pastor, Peter Henry, and his family were trapped. The preacher, his wife, Shawn and teenage son, Whittier were snatched by director Stuart Jonap to perform Kerri Duntley’s Desperate Medium Housewife along with Christine Hull.
DCP ghosts are relentless. DCPC’s man from the pulpit goes on to preach the story about “the family that haunts together, stays together” in Pam Coble Newcomer’s play, Parapsychology with Shannon Gray, Kelly Haught, and Ella Newell, directed by Della Knowles.
What a family! The kid isn’t left behind. Whittier Henry is directed by Christie Wolf to also play the kid Santa wants to “scare straight” in Hayden Waugh’s Boogie Claus along with Bryce Lewis and Matt Stevens.
Ghosts can be funny too. Bud Abbott and Lou Costello must be holding their sides with laughter watching, from above, I presume, Joanna Gerdy’s haunted version of their classic, “who’s on first” in Which Witch is Which? Director Emily Klingman cast her own golfing father, Tom, in the sketch that also quotes Macbeth, along with Shannon Gray, Karen Lico, and Ella Newell.
“I love you to death,” Molly Maginnis is assured by Justin Thomas in Caleb Hinkley’s wolverine tale, True Crime which also stars the director, Marshall Cesena, and Christie Wolf.
Sound effects top the list of Halloween requisites, especially the guttural and loving purrs of obnoxious Scaredy Cats written by Pam Carol Bradfield. While the audience may be enchanted with Koula Black who directs herself, with Karen Lico and Justin Thomas, they’ll probably be mesmerized by Manisha Paekh’s memorable tones.
As far as I’m concerned, the Boos and Brews stage could never be the same without the ghost of Jim Esposito, who directs himself along with Carol Bradfield and Sofia Gaetano in Don’t Lose Your Head by playwright Dana Hall.
There you have it. Davidson’s Community Players take unknown actors straight out of the community to deliver ten-minute sketches by playwrights from the community. Scary enough? Never fear. Davidson’s seasoned thespian-directors hold all the ropes. Straighten up or hang right.
By the way, the sound effects are terrific! There are brews in the corner, stage right, and don’t forget to wear a mask! It’s the unshakable rule.
If you can still get a seat, Fifth Annual Boos and Brews plays every night this weekend before closing after the final performance Halloween Sunday afternoon.
Connie Fisher, neé Consuelo Carmona, is a Davidson resident who grew up in Mexico City where she became a journalist and acquired a taste for the theatre. Her preference for work behind the scenes, led to an interest in writing reviews—Yale Rep among her favorite troupes. Connie is the author of Doing it the Right Way, the biography of an Italian hatmaker. Her prose appears with 87 other international writers in The Widows’ Handbook. An active member of Charlotte Writers’ Club North, currently she is writing chapters of memoir and continues to review theatre in the Lake Norman area.