Combine the unbridled enthusiasm of typical high school students with a rollicking, award-winning comedy like "Don't Blow the Whistle" and you've got all the makings of one wild and crazy evening.
The Payson High School Drama Department's production of the saga of Sheik Ali and his quest for multiple wives opens Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. in the Payson High School Studio Theatre. Evening performances will also be presented on Thursday, Dec. 7 and Saturday, Dec. 9, with a 2 p.m. matinee scheduled for Friday, Dec. 8.
The action is set in the Sahara Desert, where the sheik is engaged to Fatima. But Ali, played by sophomore Randy Perham, decides if one wife is good four would be ever so much better.
To make his dream come true he abducts three beautiful American ladies from the local Club Med. When the girls escape into the desert, it falls to one Sir Reginald Roots, a most proper British sleuth, to find them by sunrise the following morning.
If he doesn't, the Sheik promises that 1,000 of his finest soldiers, all mounted on camels of course, will swoop down on Sir Reginald's campsite and massacre everybody in sight. And to make his point, Ali points out that all he has to do is blow his whistle and his men will attack.
Just to add some extra intrigue, the play actually features two trios of ladies one group whose members would each prefer her own husband, thank you very much, and one that can see some definite advantages to marrying into royalty, even if they have to share the sheik's affections. And what would a Sahara Desert comedy be without a bumbling CIA agent who is trying to keep the Sheik from getting bumped off by his brother.
Besides Perham, the cast features senior Shannon Meinerts, senior Seth Derwort, and junior Ryan Hilgendorf. Senior Laura Perham is stage manager.
PHS drama teacher John Siler also wants you to know that Ali's sword is a genuine antique, a 1908 model he picked up for a song at a second-hand store.
"I said 'What do you want for this rusty thing?'" Siler said. "When I got it home and cleaned it up, I realized what I had."
Tickets are $3 for adults, $2 for students and seniors and $1 for Renaissance cardholders. The PHS Studio Theatre is located directly behind the school auditorium.