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      ABOUT FRIDAY IN WELLSBORO by Barbara Biddison

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      I must begin with events before arriving at the Warehouse for Opening Night with SYLVIA. I stepped out into my front yard in the early evening and began to chat with the neighbor. I was especially curious about why they were putting out chairs as though to watch a parade. Well, that's exactly why, as I learned when a light dawned and I asked, "Is it Homecoming?" It was the scheduled Homecoming weekend. There was to be a parade and a game that Friday night. But the team they were to have played was suddenly in COVID isolation, and so there would be no game. What? No Homecoming? Well, we had a parade anyway. There were all these floats that the kids had decorated, and their costumes to match, and the signs, and the candy to throw, and the marching band--all that. So here they came down the street, just as they had planned, and a half-hour-long parade came smiling and singing and having a royally good time whether there was a Homecoming game that night or not. And I stood there smiling and waving and thinking, "Only in Wellsboro!" Then as the parade came walking and rolling back toward the starting place , I went in to quickly change clothes.

      We had a Gmeiner art show opening to attend before heading for the Hamilton-Gibson opening. What a wonderful exhibit we found filling the walls and floors of our art center. Steve and Rita Bower have put up a joint show inspired by their trip to Egypt. It was a modestly-sized group of admirers for this Bower show--the walls are full all around and the floor provides space for free-standing pieces. Rita and Steve, with their own styles and visions, bring viewers an Egypt of extraordinary variety. I do love the camels! And I would like to have one of the tall works currently placed throughout the space, but my house is already full of art on the walls and floors and even outside there's the marble statue in the ivy. I'll bet I could still find room. This show will be up through November and I will go back to spend more time in Egypt.

      And on that opening night of all sorts, we headed next for SYLVIA at the Warehouse Theatre. We got there maybe 20 minutes before curtain time (even though there is no actual physical curtain, there is still "curtain time.") As is required, we wore our masks as we walked in and throughout the show and we sat in the carefully distanced seats. There was a buzz of conversation amongst the play-goers. It stopped when the stage lights came on. And then who should appear but Sylvia, a lovely young woman...who was a dog. The dog sniffed all over the room, tossing its hair, nosing pillows, and generally checking it out. The story is easy to follow. A man finds a stray dog in the dog park and brings it home. He's ready to have the vet check the dog out, to adopt her, and to make her his constant companion. We soon know what the man's wife thinks of that! And so it goes. There's a guy, Tom, who has advice for Greg, and Phyllis who stops by, and the therapist, Leslie, but mostly it's a man and his dog and a wife who has other plans. And that dog is so busy! She jumps on the couch, she sniffs, she scratches, and she gazes with adoration at her new master. It is one of those shows that you just need to see in person, not just hear or read about. Fortunately it is still playing at 7:30 on October 15 and 16. There's still time to see it.

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