'Get Smart' coming to Westminster High School stage
By By Lois Szymanski and Neighborhoods correspondent
Nov 07, 2014 | 3:00 AM
Westminster High School's drama department will present the play "Get Smart," adapted by Christopher Sergel from the original television show created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, at 7 p.m. Nov. 13-15 at the high school.
With plots taken from two episodes of the television show, the play satirizes the work of secret agents — with the blundering Agent 86, Maxwell Smart, and his female partner, Agent 99, working for CONTROL to foil the international organization of evil, KAOS, and the villain, Mr. Big. Familiar props like the shoe phone come into play as well as iconic characters such as the Chief and Agent 13.
Drama Director Melissa Purdy said, "After doing 'Phantom [of the Opera'] last year I knew we wanted to do a comedy, something lighter. I saw this and thought it would be so much fun. Because of the movie, the kids were familiar with it and they got online and Googled episodes to watch. I think they've kind of fallen in love with it," she said.
Maxwell Smart is played by senior Mikey Hudson and Purdy said he's nailed the part. "He's a mimic," she said. "He has the ability to imitate and mimic incredibly well. He sounds just like [Maxwell Smart] but he's also made the part his own. He is embracing it and having fun with it and is perfect for this."
Purdy said senior Connor Kertiss, who plays the Chief, and Hudson do a great job of playing off each other. "Connor has that very dry sense of humor that works well for the Chief," she said. "It's exactly what that part needs."
Agent 99 is played by senior Kristin Gibbons. "She is very, very versatile," Purdy said, "She has a great ability to switch back and forth between the two elements in 99's character. That underlying sarcasm that Agent 99 has is played beautifully."
When Purdy spoke of the part of Mr. Big, played by Brooks Vernon, she had to laugh. "He has the perfect voice and personality for Mr. Big and everyone is going to crack up every time he opens his mouth," she said. "He and Andrew [Grabowski, the senior who plays Garth] are a riot. Half the bits they do on that stage they came up with on their own. They are having so much fun. The entire cast cracks up at what they have come up with."
Purdy said audiences will love this play, which brings back the television series older folks may remember and the movie the younger set may recall.
"There are whole chunks of dialog that are straight Mel Brooks out of the movie," she said. "It's a funny play. I had a lot of good comic actors to work with this year."
Tickets cost $7 each and may be purchased at the door.
The school is at 1225 Washington Road, Westminster.
For more information, call the school at 410-751-3630.
Christmas in the Valley
For a fun family day, visit the 32nd Annual Christmas in the Valley from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, at the Pleasant Valley fire company.
Start your Christmas shopping at the bazaar by browsing rows of vendor sales. Kim Thomas, president of the Pleasant Valley fire company ladies auxiliary, named a few of the handcrafted items to be offered by vendors, including jewelry, needlepoint and hand-sewn items, wooden items, floral arrangements, decorative items, paintings, stained glass, homemade soaps and more.
The auxiliary is known for its cheese balls and will again offer them for sale at the bazaar at a cost of $6 for a one-pound cheese ball or $3 for half-pound cheese ball. The cheese balls are ready to eat or to freeze for a future occasion. "Everyone loves our cheese balls," Thomas said.
While at the bazaar, stop by to see the fire company's extensive train exhibit with working lights, firetrucks putting out a fire, a campground with fires, an excavation site with working trucks and more. The exhibit features buttons children can push to activate a variety of features.
The train garden is free to visit, although donations are accepted.
The train garden will also be open every Saturday and Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m., beginning Nov. 15 and running through Christmas. Watch the website at http://www.pleasantvalleyfire.org to catch additional dates and times as they are added.
The train garden is presented by the fire company and Christmas in the Valley is hosted by the Pleasant Valley ladies auxiliary, but both offer free admission.
For more information, call Kim at 410-346-7563 or the fire company at 410-848-1977.
The fire company is at 2030 S. Pleasant Valley Road, Pleasant Valley.
Trinity Lutheran Church will have a family-style German dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, at the church, 833 Deer Park Road, Smallwood.
The menu includes bratwurst, pork, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, green beans, red cabbage, applesauce, cucumber salad, bread, assorted desserts, coffee and iced tea.
German music from Little Dutch Band will add a melodic aspect to this cultural event.
The cost is $15 for adults, $7 for 6- to 12-year-olds, and free for children age 5 and younger.
The dinner benefits Helping Hands Ministry, a service group that prepares dinners for funerals, collects food for those in need, helps with Christmas dinners for those in need in the community and more.
For additional information, call 410-848-8923.
Veterans Day gown offer
Love It! at Stella's Bridal and Fashions will honor veterans and military personnel on Veterans Day by giving away select gowns to brides-to-be who are veterans or active-duty military or are marrying veterans or active-duty military.
These brides-to-be should visit Love It! at Stella's Bridal and Fashions between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11, to choose a free gown from the gowns being offered for this special event.
Doris Dower, co-owner of the shop, said appointments are not necessary, but will be helpful.
Alterations are not included, and those who come for a dress should be prepared to display a valid military ID from either the bride or the groom.
"They serve and protect us and we wanted to serve them somehow," Dower said of why the shop decided to make this offer.
The shop is inside the former Westminster Inn at 5 S. Center St., Westminster.