By Gail McCarthy
---- — “The Lobstah Crackah Ballet,” a Cape Ann adaptation of a holiday classic, will return by popular demand, starting next Thursday at the American Legion in Gloucester. This year includes a scene with a turbine.
The multi-generational cast of locals will perform the original work, based on “The Nutcracker” and produced by Gloucester’s Henry Allen, who formerly ran “The Annie” theater out of the Blackburn building downtown. Now he runs more of an itinerant community theater group called the North Shore Folklore Theatre Company.
“The idea is to now bring theater out into the community, versus operating out of one space. Being a ‘gypsy’ company allows our shows to help bring traffic and revenue to historic spaces that need it,” said Allen, who just this past fall produced a political theater festival at Gloucester City Hall. Next spring, he will produce the Young Playwrights Series’ “Murder On Rocky Neck” at the new Cultural Center at Rocky Neck. Next summer, Allen plans to create an outdoor production of the popular “Greasy Pole, The Musical!” somewhere in the downtown area.
He gave the following synopsis of “Lobstah Crackah”: The mysterious Uncle Drawsumbuttah (played by Ray Jenness) arrives at the mayor’s holiday party bearing gifts for all, including a giant LobstahCrackah for his sassy niece named Clarafied (played by Olivia Danjou). When her little brother, Friedclam (Sean Brown), breaks her special gift, she has a bit of a meltdown, and her uncle promises to fix it. Allen said the homespun holiday extravaganza includes many other memorable scenes, including when whales waltz, and the LobstahPot Fairy (played by Alicia Gibney) who dances hiphop.
The Gull King (Timothy “Cowboy” Edwards) and his minions fight the LobstahCrackah Prince (played by Richard Crowell), and Mothah Chowdah (Dominic Parry) ladles up her little dancing oystah
crackahs, while ink-squirting squids battle it out (featuring Henry Jacques and Steven Brown), and turbines twirl and whirl with the help of Shannon Connolly. The choreography is by Sarah Fader.
Show times are Thursday, Dec. 27, through Saturday, Dec. 29, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 29, and Sunday, Dec. 30, at 2 p.m.
The venue is American Legion Hall at 8 Washington St. in Gloucester. Suggested donation is $20, and seniors, veterans and students are $15. Allen said no one will be turned away for lack of money. For more information, visit henryallen.org or call 978-704-1269.
Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3445, or email@example.com.