Hackmatack Playhouse Announces Free BBQ for Costume-Wearing Audience Members at PETER AND THE STARCATCHER

Hackmatack Playhouse Announces Free BBQ for Costume-Wearing Audience Members at PETER AND THE STARCATCHER

If you happen to arrive at "Peter and the Starcatcher" at Hackmatack Playhouse this month dressed as Peter Pan, you will get a free hamburger and hot dog BBQ before the show. And if your children come dressed as pirates for any of the four special shows - Aug. 14, 15, 21 or 22 - they will get a free meal as well.

This promotional deal is being offered by Hackmatack as they hope to get parents and well as kids the imaginative show, running Aug. 14 to Aug. 31, that has jokes and humor for all ages."

"'Peter and the Star Catcher' will be really fun for younger kids, 8, 10 or 12 years old but it will be just as fun for adults," said Michael Guptill, owner of Hackmatack Playhouse. "I was trying to figure out a fun way to get that across to people so that's why I came up with that idea of a costume party barbecue," Guptill added.

The winner of five Tony Awards, "Peter and the Starcatcher" is the prequel to the well-known story of Peter Pan. This fantasy of youth and adventure follows an orphan and his mates, who are set to be shipped off to an island ruled by an evil king. At sea, Peter, still known as "the boy" meets a feisty girl, a starcatcher-in-training, who realizes that a trunk holds a celestial substance so powerful it must never fall into the wrong hands.

For the four shows offering a free barbecue, food will be cooked by local chef John Edmonds of Sanford, who happens to be the person who first spoke in a play at Hackmatack.

"John is the very first person to say any words ever on the Hackmatack stage," Guptill said, recalling the opening show in 1972.

Edmonds, who appeared as a drunken bartender in "Ten Nights in a Bar Room", jokes that this is what the role he took in real life. In fact, he owned several restaurants and been caterer in the area for years.

Edmonds continues to act at Maine State Music Theater in Brunswick and remains involved with Hackmatack. For four or five years in the early 2000s, when Hackmatack offered pre-theater dinner, Edmonds catered these meals.

"I used to help Michael with food when he first put the tent up," Edmonds said. "I always try to contribute something to Michael because I still love the theater."

Guptill recalls one evening when twice as many people showed up for dinner as had made reservations.

"John specifically had made these kebabs for the meal," Guptill said, "so each kebab automatically became half a kebab, but it was ok because half a kebab is still a kebab."

As to whether Guptill or Edmonds will themselves be dressed in costumes as Peter Pan, Edmonds thinks yes and Guptill had no comment.

"If Michael wants me in costume, he can put me in costume," Edmonds said. "In fact, you tell him he and I should both be in costume. He should tell the costumers to work up a costume."

"Peter and the Starcatcher" will be at the Hackmatack Playhouse from Aug. 14 to 31 on Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 pm with additional Thursday matinees at 2 pm. Tickets and information are available at 207-698-1807 or www.hackmatack.org.

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