Paying the Piper in Picayune

Published 5:05 pm Thursday, July 19, 2007

What do rats, a flute, children, $1,000, and a fun evening have in common? The Pied Piper of Hamelin is the correct answer.

This charming play with 22 children is definitely a highlight of the summer. All the hard work that they have put into this production is obvious.

Robert Browing (Austin Williams) brings the audience up to date, describing the poem he wrote. Mayor (Cade Jarrell),the Councilmen (David Thruman and Josh Dearmin), and the Councilwomen (Eowyn Livengood and Kimmie Hey) sing their woes about not knowing what to do. The original score and choreography is by Tara Poolson, who has an amazing talent. She has stacked up numerous accomplishments, and it shows beautifully.

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Directors Lorrie Whiddon-Arnold and Gladys Hughes take you back to a day long ago when rats invaded Hamelin. Everything was wonderful except “the rats who made nests in hats and spoiled the women’s chats besides eating the cheese in the vats and even killing the cats.”

These rats (Cady Galloway, Susannah Baxter, Katelyn Ann Baxter, Mercy Belle Baucum, Faith Bauc cum, Natalie Chatelain, Grace Balli, Danielle Stasney, Hunter Williams) are cute, though, with their little, spry bodies jumping and weaving through the crowds of Hamelin. The children of Hamelin look strangely familiar, just like the rats in different costumes.

Valerie Livengood and Candace Odom did a marvelous job with the costumes, they are outstanding. The Pied Piper is resplendent in his stripes and pointy-toed shoes. The Councilmen and women are resplendent in their dresses and suits. The mayor wears a most dashing tux. The children are in dainty dresses, and the town people’s dress matches their vocation. The audience does not have to wonder who’s who.

The towns people just can’t have rats about, so they demand the Council to do something to get rid of them within the hour. The towns people are played by Taletha Odom, Promis Lemoine, Elisha Baucum, Elliot Hey, Caleb Dearmin, Jhanne Stasney, Hunter Williams.

You must put this production on your calendar. Support the arts and culture of Picayune and call today to make a reservation. It is well worth the $10, and it makes a most enjoyable evening or afternoon’s entertainment.

Picayune on Stage presents “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” on July 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, and 29. The Friday and Saturday dates will have a starting time of 7:30. Sunday matinees will be at 2:00. Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors age 62 and over, $5 for students. The theater is located at 322 W. Canal St. near Magnolia Coffee House. Since the seating is limited in the new theater, reservations are a must. Call (601) 749-5551 and leave your request. If you cannot keep your reservation, please call and cancel so that someone else can use your seat.