STERLING — Sterling’s Old Fashioned Fourth of July audiences have enjoyed a summer show courtesy of the Sterling Community Theatre Troupe for over 30 years. But not this year. Instead, this summer will see the Sterling High School Theatre production of the sketch comedy “Maybe Baby, It’s You.”
Along with the show will be a brief musical revue featuring Broadway tunes and some taped interviews, both compliments of the Sterling Community Theatre Troupe. The two-hour show along with the revue will be seen this Thursday and Friday, July 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m. and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 5.
Perhaps the most unusual thing of all is actually presenting a show at all this year.
“We were just a few days from opening the show in March, when the world changed and everything shut down” explains director Betsy Dutton. She and her six-member cast are happy they get to do the show at all.
“We realize that some people are skeptical about coming to a show now. And we respect that. We are planning on social distancing by limiting capacity and encouraging audience members to use masks,” she said. The high school theater will have every other row open for audience members and require two seats between each family unit. Audiences will also be discouraged from hand-shaking and greeting the cast following the show.
The Sterling High School cast features four new graduates and two incoming seniors. Cast member Abby Riffel said, “This show is very different because it’s a series of short sketches that make up the whole play – kind of like ‘Saturday Night Live.’ The audience will get to experience multiple different stories rather than just one and we all get to play multiple characters.”
Each cast member will play three or four roles in the show. “It’s a challenge to do three kind of outrageous characters. I play a charming brain surgeon who happens to be a horrible dancer as well as a 7th grader who’s been held back four years. Oh, and a stud – but that’s not such a stretch,” cast member Caleb Brownlee said, laughing.
“My favorite sketch is the one I do with Medea as my blind date,” Bryson Brownlee said. “I get to act somewhat like myself, and it’s hilarious.”
Cast member Alaina Madden chimed in, “I get to play an elderly lady that has some funny but also some really sweet moments, too.”
Riffel continued, “The message of Maybe Baby is that love can come in many different ways. With each sketch in the play, we see an unconventional way that people fall in love. I think it’s the perfect balance between chaos and real emotions that love can bring. Everyone can relate to at least one sketch in this play.”
Cast member Luke Harding summed it up: “I think we are all just excited to be able to do the play at all. With how much is going on in our country and the world right now, it’s awesome that we get to provide some fun entertainment to the people.”
A total of 32 people will actually be seen in “Maybe Baby” but 19 of those will be seen on film. The script by Charlie Shanian and Shari Simpson incorporates “man-on-the-street” interviews between each sketch. Sterling College communication faculty Todd Vogts and Micah Oleze filmed the interview sequences for the troupe. Sterling High graduate and young film auteur Bryce Wilson is editing and putting the interviews together for the show. The interviews include questions like “Do you believe in the idea of soul mates?” and “what is the craziest thing you have ever done for love?”
“This is really a great merger of high school and community,” Dutton said.
Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students and will be available at the door before each performance.