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'The Curious Savage' to open Thursday on Geyer stage

| Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Linda Harkcom | For the Daily Courier
Cast members from Actors and Artists of Fayette County's 'The Curious Savage' rehearse a scene. The show opens Thursday at the Geyer Performing Arts Center in Scottdale. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10; $25 with dinner and a show at Miss Martha’s Tea Room. Front, from left, are Martha Oliver, Ernie Watson; back, William S. White, Tracy Kelley, Adam Kenney, Kat Post, Marilyn Forbes, Richard Davis and Patty Gulino.

Actors and Artists of Fayette County will present an entertaining comedy this week that may leave the audience looking at themselves — or life —a little differently.

“The Curious Savage” opens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Geyer Performing Arts Center, 111 Pittsburgh St., Scottdale.

Performances also will be held 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets for the show are $10. There is a dinner and a show option with Miss Martha's Tea Room in Scottdale for $25.

“I was looking for a comedy that was more than just laughs. I was looking for a show with heart, and this show has all kinds of life lessons built into it,” Director Ron Bronson said. “Hopefully, the audience will not only have a few laughs, but also something to take away with them to think about.”

The comedy takes place in a mental institution where the main character, Ethel Savage, played by Martha Oliver of Scottdale, has been sent by her stepson. While Savage spends her time there, she meets and becomes fast friends with the other patients who have a selection of mental disturbances. By the end of the play, the viewer wonders who the crazy ones really are.

This is the second time Oliver has done this show. The first time, she portrayed Mrs. Paddy but longed to play the role of Savage. “Her philosophy of life is wonderful. She is unfailingly cheerful and she is very wise,” Oliver said.

Oliver believes the audience will really enjoy the show.

“It's got a heartwarming theme that justice triumphs and kindness is an appropriate response to anything in life,” she said.

Patty Gulino of Uniontown will take on the role of Lilly Belle, one of Savage's stepchildren who is after the money left to her by their father. This is the first time Gulino has performed this play and the first time in her 15 years of acting that she is playing a villain.

“I love it because it's so opposite me, and it gives me a real chance to act,” Gulino said.

Gulino said she is enjoying working with the rest of the cast which includes Tracy Kelley (Florence), Kat Post (Fairy Mae), William S. White (Hannibal), Dottie Davis (Mrs. Paddy), Adam Kenney (Jeff), Marilyn Forbes (Miss Willie), John Wisilosky (Doctor Emmett), Richard Davis (Titus) and Ernie Watson (Samuel).

“The bottom line is, it's fun, and being on stage with all these veteran actors is wonderful,” Gulino said.

Linda Harkcom is a freelance writer.

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