Thursday, December 12, 1957   Vol. C650



East Farewell - Some people in East Farewell feel the Christmas season is not officially started until the town tradition of Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’ opens at the Playhouse. This is the sixth year that the play has been produced and performed in East Farewell Playhouse. The play opened on Saturday night to a sold out crowd and will run through January 6th with performances on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights with a matinee on Saturday afternoon. Playhouse producer, Jed Bernstein, has once again taken the tradition path and presenting the play but this year the lead role of Scrooge is being played by top movie star James Mason. Leo G Carroll, the much beloved Scrooge from all previous productions was unable to play the role this year due to conflicting engagements. Carroll defined the role in the East Farewell production and Mason knew the bar was set very high. In the opening show he rose to the level and many say he surpassed it. The gruff, miserly and downright mean character, well known to everyone who has read the story, was brought to life by Mason and with wonderful makeup and beautiful costume design he was able to bring the character into the minds and hearts of the audience. Once again this year the role of Belle was played by local Natalie Mallard and in a surprising change she also played the role of Mrs. Cratchit. Two completely different characters but in the first show she was able to pull off the character change seamlessly. Other locals filled out the cast with Randle Cross reprising his role as the humble but loving Bob Cratchit and last year’s surprise star little Billy O’Brian who is now 13 once again played Tiny Tim. This year the three ghosts were played by the same person, Douglas Beaufort. As the ghost of Christmas past he was thin, wiry and agile, bounding around the stage with great ease showing Scrooge scenes from his past but as the ghost of Christmas present he came on stage as oversized, jovial spirit who portrayed a genuine joy for the moment and as the spirit of Christmas future he reverted to the thin side but was completely covered with a gray hooded cape and what appeared to be a black mask totally obscuring his face. He was truly disconcerting and very convincing.

            The East Farewell Playhouse has gained a reputation for the wonderful sets and scenes they have produced for this play. Owners Rick and Julie Davidson have continued with their hard work and fundraising for the Playhouse. This year with the expert guidance from Bernstein they have been able to produce a full slate of very entertaining shows. Rick Davidson even mentioned in an off-the-cuff comment that they may even make a profit this year. Local support for the Playhouse has been very strong since its opening seven years ago and out of town and support has been steadily growing thanks to a strong advertising campaign developed by Julie Davidson. This year’s show is sold out in advance for many shows. This is not unusual, but tickets remain because the Davidson’s have always held back a few tickets for each show so people showing up on show night at the box office are able to enjoy the show. Everyone in town makes sure they have at least one ticket to the show if not several. As usual this is a show not to be missed.

Ghost of Christmas Present and Scrooge 1957



East Farewell – The 1957-58 Cougars basketball team started their season on Friday night with a convincing win over the Central Bears, 40-32. This year’s Cougars have a new look having lost highly visible and locally loved seniors, center Wilson Watson and forwards Tom O’Hare and Billy Reilly. The new team has only two seniors, center Dave McGill and returning guard Fergal Conner. McGill played last year as backup to Watson. Filling out the starting five this are forwards Don Tasker and Joey Mitchell and point guard Bobby Fox all juniors. This is not a new team. All the starting five were on the team last year and saw a good bit of action. This team has played together as the squad that would scrimmage last year’s starters during practice, so they are familiar with each other. They started the season with a very strong game and looked sure of themselves and communicated well on the court.

            The game started with the first tip off for both centers, McGill for the Cougars and Dunlap for the Bears. Both boys jumped too soon and came down before the ball was tipped with Dunlap swatting the ball standing flat on the floor. Not a rules violation, just an awkward start. The Bears took advantage of the miscue and guard Don Francis grabbed the ball and raced down the court for a quick score. The Cougars then took over and went on a 12-4 run and took a 23-18 lead into halftime. The Bears made a run early in the second half and were able to take a brief lead 28-26 by employing a well run press and double teaming McGill. The Cougars were able to make adjustments and forwards Tasker and Mitchell were able to step up and make critical baskets and calmly break the press enough that the Bears called it off. By the end of the second half the Cougars had regained control and were ahead, 38-32 with only one minute left. Cougars coach, Charles Wilson, started to clear the bench to give the younger players, all sophomores, a chance to play.  Walter Ferguson, Mack MacKensie, Robby O’Shea played very strong defense but were only able to score once brining the final score to 40-32, Cougars.

            Next week’s game is at home against the Corning Devils. The Devils are one of the teams that that have been picked to be a contender for the league championship. The game begins at 4:15, Friday in the Regional High Gymnasium.



UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold came home from a seven-day mission to the Middle East, confident that the Arab-Israeli armistice is "reasonably stable”.

President Eisenhower is going to Paris for the NATO summit conference as his doctors pronounce his condition as good.

The second subway strike in 18 months hits New York City and causes thousands commuters to scramble for alternate means of getting to and from work.

Many, many thanks to www.mrpopculture.com for contributing to this section of the East Farewell News.


Published by JD Carroll