On May 10th, 2019, Saxon Drama will premiere William Gleason’s The Pink Panther Strikes Again. Performances on May 11, 17, and 18 at 7p.m. as well as a 2p.m. matinee on May 18 will follow, with tickets at $8 for students and seniors and $10 for adults. The show is rated PG.
The show, directed by theater instructor Mrs. Gibbons, and assistant director, South Salem student Hallah Herb ‘20, is based off Blake Edwards’ 1976 film of the same name. A member of the Pink Panther franchise, The Pink Panther Strikes Again, follows the hilariously oblivious Inspector Clouseau, played by Leo Elkington ‘21 in the Saxon rendition, as he deals with a mysterious disappearance, an old rival’s return and a looming threat of global annihilation.
Neither the movie nor the play ever misses a chance to put Clouseau in a zany situation. They’re both filled with slapstick, wit and tongue-in-cheek camp.
“[The play] is like a caricature of real life,” stage manager Maddison Pierson ‘20 said. “Everything is bigger and bolder. It’ll be a lot of fun to watch.”
Leo Elkington describes his character, Clouseau, as “very lovable” and, “an idiot savant,” a fool with a wise side. He credits his acquisition of the slapstick-heavy role to years of dance and athletics, and french class with helping him develop Clouseau’s signature french accent.
Clouseau’s rival and the antagonist of the show is ex-Chief Inspector Dreyfus. He is played by Charlie Morter ‘21. Driven insane by Clouseau’s stupidity, Dreyfus is housed in a asylum at the start of the show and is obsessed with taking down Clouseau. Morter said he prepared for the role by emulating the mannerisms of evil-doers in pop culture, such as the classic “evil laugh” so many villains have.
After weeks of rehearsals and preparation, the cast spent the week of May 6-10 preparing for opening night. They were in rehearsals from 2:30p.m. to 8p.m.
Hallah Herb, although previously an active member of Saxon Drama, will be making a directing debut with this show.
“Because it’s a show that’s integrated into the advanced theater class, we don’t get the prep time we usually get.” Says Herb, “There are points where we question if we can create something we’re proud of in time. Then, in the last week, we saw it all come together and that’s so incredible to watch.” Herb’s goals for the show are a “cartoonish, stylized tone.” similar to the original cartoons.
“Everyone should come see Pink Panther this weekend,” Elkington said. “There’s a lot of pink, there’s a lot of panthers, and there’s a lot of fun.”