Front row from the left Minerva Hotchkiss (Shelby Bell) Ottillie (Hunter Stride) , Toby Mugg (Nate Bigelow), Rocky Romance (Robert Harre), Verlinda Springblossom (Deidre Stevens), Flora Fourflusher (Liz Murphy), and Bunco De Sneer (Toni Bossaller). Back row from the left are Judge Abernathy (Kaitlyn Hertzel), Slats (Becca Vossler), Becky (Alicia Bigelow) and Crazy Nanette (Megan Waldron).
Exeter-Milligan’s All-School production of “The Ballad of Gopher Gap” was certainly packed full of characters.
The audience was introduced almost immediately to Bunco De Sneer (Toni Bossaller), the swindling owner of the lease on a mine that produced everything from jewels to gold. His conniving sidekick, Flora Fourflusher (Liz Murphy), runs the assay office in Gopher Gap where everything is certified genuine.
Throw in a Crazy Nanette (Megan Waldron) who is constantly on the lookout for her misplaced baby who has now grown up and a genuine hick, Slats (Becca Vossler) and you have yourself a good old fashioned melodrama sans some railroad tracks.
Toby Mugg (Nate Bigelow) shows up as the last victim of the notorious Bunco and tries, despite enduring a beating, to warn the new stagecoach full of innocents of their impending ruin.
The stagecoach dumps out Judge Abernathy (Kaitlyn Hertzel), his heiress sister Ottillie (Hunter Stride) who is really just looking for a husband since she already has a fortune. Looking for riches are poor Becky (Alicia Bigelow) who is dressed in burlap bags while the poetry spouting mountain man, Rocky Romance (Robert Harre)has his eye on the real mine owner, the fair beauty, Verlinda Springblossom (Deidre Stevens). There to get to the real scoop on the mine is newspaper reporter Minerva Hotchkiss (Shelby Bell).
Despite Bunco’s attempts to swindle Miss Springblossom out of her mine, all’s well that ends well and well, that’s how it ends with Miss Springblossom and Rocky Romance tying the knot and saving the mine.
Under the direction of Jeretta Tauriella crew members for the production were Megan Zwickl, Malinda Hall, Meghan Miller and Ashley Miller.