By Sarah Schrock
Last week I talked about deer. Now, just when I thought I’d seen it all (well, I am not sure I have ever really felt that way), I was catching up on social media posts and I see this crazy photo of a polka dot deer. It looks like a deer in goat hide or a cross between a Dalmatian and a deer. Apparently, the piebald (as it’s called) is a rare genetic variant found in about 2 percent of the population. Unbeknownst to me, many people have spotted this curious creature in the valley. This photo was taken by Rebecca Hasse near the high school. So, there you go, the deer stories just get stranger in the Methow during hunting season.
This makes me recall another strange animal sighting from over the summer that I never reported on. Now, I am not quite ready to add my name to the believers (like my counterpart in Mazama), but what I can say is that I saw what — from a distance — looked like Chewbacca. Perched atop a rocky pinnacle near the summit of Mt. Watson on the western flank, there exists a very large, hairy … something. From a distance, both my husband and I saw what looked like a human figure, large-human sized, upright and hairy. Upon closer examination with binoculars, the creature was not humanoid, but still a wildlife mystery. It looked like a mountain seal. A wolverine, maybe. A massive mutant marmot, perhaps. I am still baffled by what we saw. Maybe it was the mountain air, but maybe not …
While I am on the subject of genetic mutants, “The Little Shop of Horrors” performance at The Merc Playhouse is a must-see, especially if you are a fan of the cult classic musical from 1986. While there’s no Steve Martin or Rick Moranis, the quirky sci-fi thriller comedy hosts a topnotch cast of local talent. All of the cast members do an impressive job, and the directing and music are perfect. But the vibrant and beautiful voice of Audrey, played by Margo May, and the deep baritone of Audrey II, played by Nate Chrastina, stole the show for me.
May’s vocals were so striking, the minute she hit the first chord I wondered, “who is this girl?” Once I read her bio, it all made sense. She’s the real deal — a professional performer. With appearances on TV and American Idol, numerous collaborations on pop and electronica albums and at least one motion picture appearance, she can now add The Merc to a growing list of performances. No doubt this isn’t the last we will see of her.
One of the charming things about community theater is that it’s often a family affair. Nate Chrastina’s sinister presence, dramatized by the bloody glow of the red spotlight, was an outstanding debut for the dad of five. The role seemed like a natural fit. His voice and stage presence were perfectly cast for the part. Chrastina’s daughter Bella, whose face is becoming more prominent on local stages since the family moved here just over a year ago, joined her dad onstage playing numerous roles.
Coming up next in the local theater world is the Missoula Children’s Theater Performance of “The Secret Garden” on Nov. 10. Thanks to a successful GiveMethow campaign in 2017, the theater troupe is back this year.
This year’s GiveMethow crowd-sourcing fundraising campaign lasts through the rest of this month and is an easy way to get your 2018 charitable giving done in a few clicks. It’s a one-stop shop for giving — all local and all needed. Looking through the various listings, you can’t help but be overwhelmed with the number of worthy and unique efforts going on right here.
Send me your story of genetic mutants, a recent encounter with alien life forms, or anything of the spooky nature as Hallow’s Eve and Day of the Dead approach.