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Arts

October 7, 2014
 

Roxy to stage The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Ichabod Crane rides into the Roxy Regional Theater in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, which opens on Friday, October 10 at 8 p.m. with a pay-as-you-can first night.

Washington Irving’s classic tale opens for our traditional pay-what-you-can with all unsold tickets on sale at 7:30 p.m. for whatever price you wish to pay.

Featuring Tommy Winters in his return to the Roxy stage as Mr. Van Tassel, Leslie Greene as Mrs. Van Tassel, Cameron Perry as Ichabod Crane, Allie McCaw as Katrina Van Tassel and Michael Spaziani as Brom Bones, John McDonald’s world premiere adaptation recounts the frightening events which took place in Sleepy Hollow, New York, during the late eighteenth century.

legendof sleepy hollowAs the story goes, the time is 1790 and the place is the countryside around the Dutch settlement of Tarry Town (historical Tarrytown, New York), in a secluded glen called Sleepy Hollow. Sleepy Hollow is renowned for its ghosts and the haunting atmosphere that pervades the imaginations of its inhabitants and visitors. The most infamous spectre in the Hollow is the Headless Horseman, said to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper who had his head shot off by a stray cannonball during “some nameless battle” of the American Revolutionary War, and who “rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head.”

The “Legend” relates the tale of Ichabod Crane, a lean, lanky and extremely superstitious schoolmaster from Connecticut, who competes with Abraham “Brom Bones” Van Brunt, the town rowdy, for the hand of 18-year-old Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter and sole child of a wealthy farmer, Baltus Van Tassel. Crane, a Yankee and an outsider, sees marriage to Katrina as a means of procuring Van Tassel’s extravagant wealth. Bones, the local hero, vies with Ichabod for Katrina’s hand, playing a series of pranks on the jittery schoolmaster, and the fate of Sleepy Hollow’s fortune weighs in the balance for some time. The tension between the three is soon brought to a head. On a placid autumn night, the ambitious Crane attends a harvest party at the Van Tassels’ homestead. He dances, partakes in the feast, and listens to ghostly legends told by Brom and the locals, but his true aim is to propose to Katrina after the guests leave. His intentions, however, are ill-fated.

After having failed to secure Katrina’s hand, Ichabod rides home “heavy-hearted and crestfallen” through the woods between Van Tassel’s farmstead and the Sleepy Hollow settlement. As he passes several purportedly haunted spots, his active imagination is engorged by the ghost stories told at Baltus’ harvest party. After nervously passing under a lightning-stricken tulip tree purportedly haunted by the ghost of British spy Major Andr√©, Ichabod encounters a cloaked rider at an intersection in a menacing swamp. Unsettled by his fellow traveler’s eerie size and silence, the teacher is horrified to discover that his companion’s head is not on his shoulders, but on his saddle. In a frenzied race to the bridge adjacent to the Old Dutch Burying Ground, where the Hessian is said to “vanish, according to rule, in a flash of fire and brimstone” upon crossing it, Ichabod rides for his life, desperately goading his temperamental plow horse down the Hollow. However, to the pedagogue’s horror, the ghoul clambers over the bridge, rears his horse, and hurls his severed head into Ichabod’s terrified face.

The next morning, Ichabod has mysteriously disappeared from town, leaving Katrina to marry Brom Bones, who was said “to look exceedingly knowing whenever the story of Ichabod was related.” Indeed, the only relics of the schoolmaster’s flight are his wandering horse, trampled saddle, discarded hat, and a mysterious shattered pumpkin. Although the nature of the Headless Horseman is left open to interpretation, the story implies that the ghost was really Brom (an agile stunt rider) in disguise. Irving’s narrator concludes, however, by stating that the old Dutch wives continue to promote the belief that Ichabod was “spirited away by supernatural means,” and a legend develops around his disappearance and sightings of his melancholy spirit. In reality, Crane returned to Connecticut without his horse after the headless horseman frightened him away.

This production is made possible in part through the generous support of Larry & Barbara Goolsby. Additional funding support has been provided by Dr. Ernest & Joan DeWald, Chris & Nicole O’Connor and Starlene Sykes.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow plays seven public performances only: 8:00 p.m.on October 10, 11, 17 and 18, with 2:00 p.m. matinees on October 11, 18 and 25. Active-duty military can enjoy two tickets for the price of one to the Saturday matinee performances.

Tickets are $20 (adults) and $15 (ages 13 and under) and may be reserved online at roxyregionaltheatre.org, by phone at (931) 645-7699, or at the theatre during regular box office hours (9:00am to 2:00pm, Monday through Friday, and one hour prior to curtain).This production is made possible in part through the generous support of Larry & Barbara Goolsby. Additional funding support has been provided by Dr. Ernest & Joan DeWald, Chris & Nicole O’Connor and Starlene Sykes.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow plays seven public performances only: 8:00 p.m.on October 10, 11, 17 and 18, with 2:00 p.m. matinees on October 11, 18 and 25. Active-duty military can enjoy two tickets for the price of one to the Saturday matinee performances.

Tickets are $20 (adults) and $15 (ages 13 and under) and may be reserved online at r2, by phone at (931) 645-7699, or at the theatre during regular box office hours (9:00am to 2:00pm, Monday through Friday, and one hour prior to curtain).



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