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Cooper comedy stirs up literal mayhem

Darth Vader, played by Norah Wells, left, reaches out to shake hands with Sherlock Holmes, played by Addey Golat, right, in front of her stormtroopers during a scene from Cooper Elementary School’s comic play, “A Delightful Nightmare,” which will be performed at 6:30 p.m. tonight and Wednesday at the Superior High School Performing Arts Center. Maria Lockwood

Superior Telegram

It’s the mother of all mash-ups, and it’s coming to the Superior High School stage. Familiar characters from Shakespeare plays, fairy tales and the movie screen clash in Rome, jail and the food court during Cooper Elementary School’s production of "A Delightful Nightmare." Students will give free public performances of the play at 6:30 p.m. tonight and Wednesday in the high school’s Performing Arts Center.

"It’s going to be fun," said director Dustin Anderson, who wrote the play.

For years, members of the Cooper Drama Club have been making audiences chuckle with their work. This year’s twisty tale will bring plenty of color and action to the stage, with bold costumes and makeup, unique takes on classic characters and young thespians providing a moving background.

"It’s nothing like we’ve done in the past," said fifth grader Samantha Dandrea, who plays the roles of Juliet and Little Red Riding Hood. "I think the coolest part is that it’s different, but things that you’ve heard of before, mixed up."

The third, fourth and fifth graders said audience members will enjoy the twists and turns of the play as they pick out the different characters.

"There’s a lot of projection and a lot of different things going on at the same time," said fourth grader Annie Bachand, who plays the roles of Julius Caesar, the Wicked Witch and a "Dr. Who" teen. "I also like that there are, like, different characters in wrong scenes, like Darth Vader’s in Sherlock Holmes. I like that."

In one scene, the characters include Sleeping Beauty and a Wicked Witch, but it’s not the right Wicked Witch. Instead, this one has green skin and hails from Oz. In another, Captain Hook threatens Shakespearian characters as he searches for Peter Pan. The mixed-up mayhem centers on one character as she bounces from scene to scene.

"It’s about a girl named Kat who discovers this door of time travel in her room, who at the very end actually becomes part of ‘Dr. Who,’" said Anderson, the drama club advisor. "She goes in these worlds and meets all these characters. They wonder who she is and is she a threat to them, but she kind of gets mixed up in their lives and it becomes kind of like a nightmare to her, but not a typical nightmare with, you know, a lot of fear, it’s just a lot of goofiness and comedy. She thinks it’s a nightmare but at the same time it becomes kind of pleasant and delightful, hence the name ‘A Delightful Nightmare.’"

Although there is no cost to attend, donations will be accepted.

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