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Babe Ruth Comes to Pickle RiverPosted: July 8, 2012

Fort Steele Heritage Town’s Wild Horse Theatre is now operating at full throttle for the summer season, with three presentations this year.

Along with the popular ongoing Living History Street Theatre, there are two stage productions being presented in Off the Rails, which opened June 30, and Babe Ruth Comes to Pickle River, which premiered Thursday, July 5.

Click on images to enlarge and to begin a self-directed slide show

Almost 300 people attended the opening night of the show which director Tanya Laing Gahr says is “a charming, good-natured, quintessentially Canadian play.”

The two actor play features the talents of Lisa Aasebo and David Popoff, who sink their teeth into six characters apiece, including the lead roles of Jane and Roy, two people trying to get by in the remote Northern Ontario community of Pickle River in the 1920s.

It is a time when radio was just beginning to spread beyond the realm of the major cities, and the time when the great Babe Ruth was winding down his legendary career.

“This play is about the early years of radio in Canada’s hinterlands,” Laing Gahr explains. “The magic of radio as a medium for communication was/is its ability to only give us some of the information – sound, and nothing else – and allow our minds to fill in the details. Radio plays with rich, vivid landscapes, diverse characters, and swiftly changing

Cast with director Tanya Laing Gahr, centre

backdrops were created using nothing more than the actors’ voices and a few sound effects.”

A reception was held for the cast and crew at the International Hotel following the July 5 performance.

The play is a rib-tickling romp from a simpler time and Aasebo and Popoff will be performing the Nelles Van Loon-written gem Thursday to Saturday at 7 p.m. until Sept. 1 at Wild Horse Theatre.

Aasebo, originally from Vancouver, will be familiar to local theatre-goers as she performed in summer productions at

Wild Horse Theatre for three years and last summer performed with the Kimberley Summer Theatre. She is

From left: Lisa Aasebo, Tanya Laing Gahr, Rusty Gahr, Chelsea Hanson and David Popoff

professionally-trained in theatre and musical theatre and has toured Western Canada with Jubilations Dinner Theatre, and has been perfecting her craft for over 25 years.

Babe Ruth Comes to Pickle River is Popoff’s first stage performance at Fort Steele. However, he’s been working in theatre productions the past four years. His most recent

performance was as Glen Guglia in Mount Baker Secondary School’s production of The Wedding Singer, and he had a stellar turn as Gary/Roger in Key City Theatre’s production of Noises Off.

Along with director Laing Gahr, the play is a product of the efforts of lighting and sound technician Chelsea Hanson and set master Rusty Gahr.

Ian Cobb/e-KNOW

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