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Audiences will lose their heads over ‘Sleepy Hollow’

By: Eileen Wilson, Telegraph Correspondent
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No tale says Halloween scary like Washington Irving’s classic tale, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Sutter Street Theatre will bring their own special version to the stage, starting with a Gala opening performance at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 28, which will coincide with historic Sutter Street’s Night of 1000 Pumpkins celebration. But, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” isn’t all thrills and chills. According to director, Mike Jimena, the play, adapted by Kathryn Schultz Miller, is enhanced with an almost Disney-like feel — a lot of color, music and lighting added. “We’ve integrated contemporary music in the show, and it’s very funny, very tongue-in-cheek,” Jimena said. He said though it’s based on a slightly scary story, it’s “kind of a Haunted Mansion type of scariness.” Connie Mockenhaupt, the theater company’s artistic director, loves the fact that the show is good, spooky fun. “As well as being a bit scary — it’s not too scary, it’s for kids of all ages — it’s really funny,” she said. “It’s a double treat.” Sutter Street Theatre is making a name for itself with its smart scripts and performances. Their recent “Dorothy Meets Alice or the Wizard of Wonderland” came home with two Elly Awards last month. Their upcoming show will feature an often-used playwright, and a cast of energized actors, several who are said to be Sutter Street favorites. Lead actor Brady Tait, who plays Ichabod Crane, said he can’t wait for opening night. Performing on stage since he was in grade school, 16-year-old Tait looks forward to bringing some fun to the stage. “I enjoy humor, and Mike Jimena allows us to incorporate a lot of comedy in to this show,” he said. “The entire cast of dedicated actors does a really great job.” Tait said he is especially excited about singing and dancing his way through the evening. The story, told by the townspeople, comprises a series of vignettes. “I was most interested in creating a performance that all ages can enjoy,” Jimena said. “A 2-year-old and an 82-year-old will equally love the show.” Jimena said a large part of their Young People’s Series audience is grandparents. “Sometimes we have a higher demographic of seniors than kids,” he said. “Still, kids who come on opening night, or on Halloween weekend, will get a treat.” Halloween treats will be given to all children who attend opening night, or Halloween weekend performances, and kids who come in costume will get their ticket for half price. For more information and tickets, visit sutterstreettheatre.com. * * * KNOW AND GO What: “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” When: Gala Opening performance 8 p.m. Oct. 28, 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 29-Nov. 27 Where: Sutter Street Theatre, 717 Sutter St., Folsom Tickets: $17 general, $15 SARTA and seniors, $13 children 12 and under Information: Sutterstreettheatre.com, (916) 353-1001