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Jungle story coming to Winters Mill High School stage

From left: Luke Gore, Tom Eppley and Aidan Russell rehearse a scene from "The Jungle Book KIDS" at Winters Mill High School.
From left: Luke Gore, Tom Eppley and Aidan Russell rehearse a scene from "The Jungle Book KIDS" at Winters Mill High School. (Submitted photo)

With toe-tapping tunes, huggable characters and plenty of action, Winters Mill High School's drama department will be presenting "The Jungle Book KIDS" onstage at 7 p.m. Nov. 20-22 and 1 p.m. Nov. 22.

While on the run from tiger Shere Khan, a boy named Mowgli is befriended by a panther named Bagheera and a loveable bear named Baloo. Together they share the musical rhythm of the jungle and a set of scary and fun, over-the-top adventures.

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"I chose this play because we have a lot of talented students and I wanted to include as many as possible," said drama director Meredith Birmingham. "We have about 80 kids in the cast and we were able to use everyone who auditioned."

Birmingham said she turned to her students for ideas and they were quick to inspire her, building the entire set and sharing their thoughts.

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"Because they were familiar with it and have loved the movie since they were little they were really able to help me with it," she said.

Freshman Aidan Russell plays the part of Mowgli. "He's so hyper and excited and happy, the kind of guy who will do anything for anyone," Birmingham said of Russell. "That makes him a perfect fit for this role. He's sophisticated in his timing and also has a beautiful voice for the songs."

Birmingham said senior Thomas Eppley, who plays Baloo the Bear, is exactly what you would picture Baloo to be. "He's a big loveable senior who has always been our lighting technician but was passionate about doing this play. Kids will love him and his warm personality right away."

Junior Luke Gore plays the panther, Bagheera. "This is his first time acting ever ... and he is wonderful. He has altered the role to fit his own personality and because he has a dry, hysterical humor it works perfectly," Birmingham said.

"I'm most excited about people coming and enjoying the production," Gore said. "I think kids of all ages are going to love it [and] the audience will enjoy the little jokes and sarcasm hidden in the script.

"This is a classic film and there are so many students in the show that the set and the kids are constantly moving," Birmingham said. "It's visually exciting to the eye, a play everyone loves, but one that we are making new."

The play was adapted by Larry Clemmons and Marci Helser from the original novel "The Jungle Book" by Rudyard Kipling. With memorable songs like "The Bare Necessities" and "I Wan'na Be Like You," this play might have audience humming along.

Admission is $10 per person.

Winters Mill High School is at 560 Gorsuch Road, Westminster.

For more information, call the school at 410-386-1500.

Train show

The annual Westminster Toy Train Show is coming to town. If you have an existing train garden or plan to build a Christmas train garden, or if you are a train enthusiast, here is an event for you.

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Sponsored by the Deer Park Lions Club, the train show will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 23 at the Carroll County Agriculture Center, off Gist Road, Westminster.

Featured will be 190 tables of toy trains and related items for sale, including Lionel, American Flyer, Bing, Ives and other brand trains. Collectors will find HO, N, and standard gauge trains and kids will love visiting the large operating train layout sponsored by the Baltimore American Flyer train club.

Admission is $4 per person, with children younger than 12 admitted free.

While there, enjoy lunch or light refreshments, offered for sale by the Deer Park Lions Club.

For more information, call Richard Liebno at 410-848-4929.

Christmas in Shipley

Zion United Methodist Church of Shipley will have its Christmas bazaar, Christmas in Shipley, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 22.

Look for holiday gifts and treats, including homemade jams and jellies, pickles, relishes, soups, sauces, mixes, baked goods, flowers and handcrafted items. There will also be a white elephant table.

A Santa's Secret Shop will offer a variety of gifts for children to select for family and friends.

Zion's Cafe will feature oyster sandwiches as well as other kinds of sandwiches, soups and desserts. In the morning, breakfast sandwiches will also be available.

The bazaar will take place at the church, at 2716 Old Washington Road, south of Westminster.

For more information, call Mary Lee Diffendal at 410-833-6295 or the church at 410-857-4444.

Lois Szymanski covers Finksburg, Gamber, Pleasant Valley, Reese, Sandymount, Silver Run, Smallwood, Union Mills and Westminster. To contact her, call 410-346-7321 or email loisszymanski@hotmail.com.

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