The Sherbino Theater is famous for hosting a spirited get-together each autumn, dubbed Halloween at the Sher-BOO-no.
The party disappeared — you might say it was ghosted — in 2020, but the bash is back next Saturday, Oct. 30, from 8-11 p.m. Another annual event held this time of year at the Sherb will not be making a return, at least not yet.
“In the past, we’ve hosted the ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show,’” said Tricia Oakland, the programs director of Ridgway’s historic theater. “But ‘Rocky Horror’ should not happen during a pandemic.
“We thought a staged reading — a little more mellow and dramatic — would be a better fit.”
Enter “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” the classic tale of Ichabod Crane, notoriously pursued (and ultimately felled) by a headless horseman in a haunted glen called Sleepy Hollow. The reading will be performed — and, yes, “performed” is correct — by eight members of the Sherbino Theater Company Thursday and Friday night.
“The actors will have scripts, but they’ll be costumed, and moving about the stage,” Oakland explained. “This will be enacted. We presented a staged reading last year of ‘The Queen of Bingo.’”
Staged readings suit this time: “They rely a lot on dialogue, and less on physicality,” Oakland noted. “The actors know their lines, and their roles,” and so are able to impart more nuance and depth to the performance than the word “reading” might suggest, particularly given that “We have some really phenomenal STC members in this production.”
‘FRANKENSTEIN AT THE WRIGHT
“Sleepy Hollow” is but one of two scary dramas next week in Ouray County: On Friday and Saturday, the Wright Opera House’s troupe of performers will offer a radio production of “Frankenstein.” (A key difference between a staged reading and a radio play lies in the sounds: a radio show attempts to recreate the sound effects that you would hear if you tuned in to this performance, rather than watching it live, on stage.)
Like a staged reading, there will be more drama and less hustle-bustle about the stage in Frankenstein. It is possible to attend both productions — and compare and contrast for yourself — given that “Frankenstein” is Friday and Saturday at the Wright (for more information, visit thewrightoperahouse.org).
Following the suspense of “Sleepy Hollow,” the Sherb says farewell — but not quite — to the haunting season with SherBOOno. (For those who just can’t get enough, there’s one last blast of Halloween the following week, when the young Weehawken Royal Actors present “The Pumpkin King,” an original theatrical adaptation of Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” Nov. 6-7.)
“You know what everyone kept telling us they wanted more than anything else for Halloween?” Oakland said. “We kept hearing, ‘We just want a dance party.’ So we thought, ‘We’ll get a DJ.’” So, DJ Slumberjax will spin tunes — and the Halloween party will go on. In theory, it lasts until 11 p.m., “but we’ll probably start reining it in by 10:30,” Oakland said frankly. “The tavern Steps will have a live band, and will be open later. That’s not our role: we don’t want to be the late-night spot. We don’t need to be Party Central. We have a mission and a vision: to serve as Ridgway’s Living Room. We’re happy with that.”