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Good gourd! Stage West bringing two festive performances to West Fargo

Stage West will be bringing a pair of shows to West Fargo in the coming months. Read on to learn more.

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“Murd-arrr!!! Pirates of the Salty Dog” actors rehearse on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022. The murder mystery dinner theatre opens Thursday, Oct. 13 at Speedway Events Center in West Fargo. Pictured from left: Benita LeBlanc as Eddie “Bones” Stevenson, Steward Savela as Jean “The Razor” Thibodeaux, Charles Newman as Sheriff Willie Rackham, Kellie Meehlhause as Anne “Momma” McQuarrie, Krissy Borud as Bonny “Dragon Lady” Howard and Aimee Klein as F. “Bigbeard” McQuarrie. Not pictured: Sarah Nelson, who is cast as Clive “The Swallow” Morgan.
Contributed / Stage West Productions
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It’s festive gourd season and everyone’s all “pumpkin spice this” and “sweater weather that,” but we think pirate mysteries and Christmas pageants are cooler than a corn maze, thanks to Stage West .

The arts-based group is bringing “Murd-arrr!!! Pirates of the Salty Dog,” a murder mystery dinner theatre to the Speedway Events Center on October 13, 14 and 15. Plus, they’re opening up auditions for “Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” Tuesday and Wednesday at West Fargo Public Library ( sign up here ), which is set for Dec. 9 to 11 and 15 to 18 at Bonanzaville.

So, keep gourd season going all the way to the holidays while carousing with pirates and caroling with mischievous children. What could possibly be more festive? Read on for details.

‘Murd-arrr!!! Pirates of the Salty Dog’

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 13, 14 and 15, 2022
WHERE: Speedway Event Center
TICKETS: Tickets are $50 per person and include dinner, dessert, coffee and the performance. Visit app.arts-people.com

Written by Toby Otero, “Murd-arrr!” is a mystery that documents the adventures of Captain Bigbeard, who’s attempts at reinventing a life on the straight-and-narrow are squashed when “The Razor,” a French privateer enters the picture.

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Starring local actors Aimee Klein as Bigbeard and Stewart Savela as “The Razor,” the show is a far “yo-ho-ho!” from Stage West’s summer performance of “Legally Blonde,” but regardless, mystery theatre fans will come for the acting and will stick around for the cash bar and culinary delights.

Expect to cozy up at tables of eight and tuck into some comfort food. Audience members have their choice of breaded chicken cordon bleu, barbeque ribs and alfredo, all served with dinner rolls, salad and assorted mini cheesecakes. More details at app.arts-people.com.

‘Best Christmas Pageant Ever’

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“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” book by Barbara Robinson is a classic tale about “the worst kids in town” taking on a church play about the Three Wise Men, a ham, scared shepherds and six rowdy kids, according to independent bookseller Abe Books.
Contributed / Abe Books

AUDITIONS: Held Tuesday, Oct. 4 and Wednesday, Oct. 5
SHOWS: Shows from Friday, Dec. 9 to Sunday, Dec. 11 and from Thursday, Dec. 15 to Sunday, Dec. 18
WHERE: Bonanzaville
TICKETS: On sale soon

Almost as ubiquitous as your annual viewing of “A Christmas Story” or “Christmas Vacation” is “ The Best Christmas Pageant Ever ,” a play adapted from the book by Barbara Robinson, which debuted at Seattle Children's Theatre in 1982. The 70-minute performance “plays pretty much every holiday,” in some places, Artistic Director Adam Pankow said, and now Stage West is bringing it to Bonanzaville.

Featuring the Herdman kids, “probably the most inventively awful kids in history,” according to Concord Theatricals, a performance arts licensing group, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” follows a church-going couple’s attempts at putting on a church pageant with the unruly Herdmans at the front and center. Antics ensue.

It’s a first holiday-themed performance for Stage West, and also the first time they’re looking for several school-aged actors.

“This is our first show that we’re looking for youth performers to be a part of,” Pankow said, emphasizing that it’s a great opportunity for kids to meet other kids outside of school and other regular routines. “It’s their chance to be a part of something that’s happening in their own backyards, which is pretty cool.”

Auditions are Tuesday, Oct. 4 and Wednesday, Oct. 5. Sign up for a slot here .

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More about Stage West

Stage West, established in 2021, is quickly setting the stage for theatrical and other arts events in West Fargo. As the artistic producing arm of West Fargo Events , Pankow said Stage West hopes to bring live performances, arts education and cultural experiences to West Fargo.

“One of our missions outside of our core summer season is to bring art into corners of the community and support our business community,” he said. “We want to make West Fargo a more artful place in every corner of the city.”

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Stage West actors perform in “Legally Blonde: The Musical” in July, 2022.
Contributed / Stage West

The organization is planning a full schedule of performances for its 2023 season, and so far has put on several impressive shows for being such a young (and small) group. Stage West has performed “Legally Blonde,” “ Don’t Hug Me ,” “Love, Loss and What I Wore,” “Murder on the Menu” and “Rock of Ages.”

The organization’s story is just going to get bigger and better, so be sure to watch the plot thicken on Facebook and Instagram .

Read more from The Arts Partnership

This article is part of a content partnership with The Arts Partnership, a nonprofit organization cultivating the arts in Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo. For more information, visit theartspartnership.net.

This article is part of a content partnership with The Arts Partnership, a nonprofit organization cultivating the arts in Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo. For more information, visit theartspartnership.net.
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