North Hennepin College actors to stage ‘Sasquatched’ musical

Sometimes the most level-headed creature in the woods is a Sasquatch.
Student actors and community members will introduce theatre patrons to Arthur the Sasquatch in the musical “Sasquatched” in seven upcoming presentations at North Hennepin Community College.

The performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 8, Saturday, April 9, Thursday, April 14, Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16.

North Hennepin Community College student actors, from left, Chimin Vang, Ryan Christensen, Julia Dahl, Mitch McIntyre and Taylor Loeks, work with choreographer Danielle Ricci during rehearsal for “Sasquatched.” The musical will be presented April 8-16 at the Fine Arts Center theatre on the Brooklyn Park campus. (Sun Post staff photo by Gretchen Schlosser)
North Hennepin Community College student actors, from left, Chimin Vang, Ryan Christensen, Julia Dahl, Mitch McIntyre and Taylor Loeks, work with choreographer Danielle Ricci during rehearsal for “Sasquatched.” The musical will be presented April 8-16 at the Fine Arts Center theatre on the Brooklyn Park campus. (Sun Post staff photo by Gretchen Schlosser)

There are also shows at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 10 and Wednesday, April 13. The April 15 show will include American Sign Language interpretation. The performances are in the Fine Arts Theatre in the Fine Arts Center on the Brooklyn Park college campus.

The musical was written by 1983 NHCC alumni Phil Darg and is directed by Mike Ricci. The show was a hit at the New York Music Festival in 2013, and Darg and Ricci have worked on several changes and a new song for this show.

Arthur, the Sasquatch, is lost in the woods in a Pacific Northwest national park. So is Sam, a 10-year-old boy, who was camping with his helicopter parents. The boy and the Sasquatch find each other and work together to find their way home. Along the way, they deal with a crazed television crew and misguided locals trying to drum up the myth of bigfoot and resulting Sasquatch hunters to patronize their business.

John Naumann stars as Arthur, and Jayden Olmsted, a 12-year-old sixth-grader at Rogers Middle School, plays Sam. There is a five-piece live band playing the music, including a new song written by Darg.

The play is family friendly, Ricci said, and follows Sam’s family into the woods. There are subtle messages about the environment, ecology, helicopter parents and respect for those who are different than ourselves.

While Sam’s parents are desperate to find their son, the locals desperate to drum up business and the television crew just trying to get a story, Sam and Arthur forge a respectful friendship.

“Arthur is probably, in some ways, the most level-headed creature on the stage,” Ricci explained.

The play opens Friday, April 8, the same day as the college’s showcase event for the communications, language and fine arts programs.

The day includes the showcase 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center. The showcase will include the display of alumni images on life after NHCC, graphic poster and book displays, Native American artwork, the exhibition of student artwork, student speeches and map and poster demonstrations.

There is a also reception for the NHCC Student Art Show opening 6-7 p.m. Thursday, April 7, and four chances to play the Spanish game wheel, at 10 a.m., noon, 2 and 4 p.m. Friday, April 8, in the campus center.

Tickets for the evening shows are $7 for children, students and seniors and $10 for adults, and $7 for matinee performances. Tickets are available online at nhcc.edu/theatre.

Contact Gretchen Schlosser at [email protected]