‘The Curious Savage’ provides humor at BHS
BAKER CITY — When Scot Violette was hired as the drama coach at Baker High School this year, he did some research on which plays are most popular for high school theater programs. He discovered that each decade has the same top three: “The Curious Savage,” “Our Town,” and “You Can’t Take It With You.”
He chose “The Curious Savage” for the school’s spring play.
“When I was in high school in the late ’70s, we did it,” Violette said of the comedy. “It was the first play I was in.”
“The Curious Savage” will be showcased in two performances — 7 p.m. March 17-18 at the BHS auditorium, 2500 E St., Baker City.
The play follows Ethel P. Savage, who inherits $10 million after her husband died. She wants to make the best of it — but her step-children want more than their share.
The children include Sen. Titus Savage, debutante Lily Belle and Judge Samuel, who has had the most overturned decisions in the state.
“The kids try to stop her from setting up a foundation, and put her in the asylum,” Violette said. “But they can’t find (the money) — she took it with her.”
Turns out she converted the fortune to bonds and hid the certificates with her inside the asylum.
As the audience watches how the children treat their stepmother, and how she is in turn befriended by the asylum residents, Violette said, it becomes clear that “the people in the asylum are more balanced than the ones outside.”
Each person who has been committed is “a really interesting character, and each one teaches a lesson,” he said.
And the doctor “knows the kids are jerks, and that Mrs. Savage shouldn’t be in the asylum.”
The cast includes mostly BHS students, although three have joined from Baker Middle School. Actors include Weston Chastain, Taya Riley, Jordan Remien, Zoe Carlson-Morrow, John Hurley, Izzy Wachtel, Grace Taylor, Savanna Brown, Russell Anderson, Grady Lay and Emily Vowell.