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Red Ranger Came Calling

Red (played by Orion Moss) meets the Head Elf (played by Rich Wiley) in Berkeley Breathed’s holiday tale, Red Ranger Came Calling, presented by Drama Dock Dec. 21, 22 and 23 at Vashon High School Theatre.
Red (played by Orion Moss) meets the Head Elf (played by Rich Wiley) in Berkeley Breathed’s holiday tale, Red Ranger Came Calling, presented by Drama Dock Dec. 21, 22 and 23 at Vashon High School Theatre.

The setting is rainy, wintry Vashon, yet Red Ranger Came Calling: A Guaranteed True Christmas Story is a warm-hearted musical for all ages and Drama Dock’s holiday gift to the Vashon community. The show runs Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 21, 22 and 23 at Vashon High School Theatre. Based on Berkeley Breathed’s popular Christmas tale, the story takes place on Vashon in the late 1930s, and features such iconic Island haunts as Vashon Hardware Store (did you notice the bike in the window?), the lighthouse at Point Robinson and Vashon’s very own “Bike in the Tree.” Breathed (of “Bloom County” and “Opus” fame) lived on Vashon for nearly a decade, and his wondrously illustrated book is inspired by a true story of his father’s depression-age childhood, and his obsession with his radio and movie hero, Buck Tweed, Red Ranger from Mars. Breathed’s supreme gift of outrageous, glowing imagery lights up his funny, provocative characters and text. Brought to stage life by music and movement, Drama Dock’s show features an all-ages cast of Island performers. The original musical adaptation is the work of Myra Platt, Edd Key and Seattle’s Book-It Repertory Theatre. Drama Dock’s production is directed by Charlotte Tiencken (33 Variations), and produced by Sue Wiley. 

The story begins and ends with a bicycle. Red is an irascible 9-year-old boy from New Jersey whose parents banish him for Christmas of 1939 to his Aunt Vy’s house on Vashon, “a damp little island somewhere off the country’s upper left-hand corner.” Disillusioned with adults, grumpy and sulky, Red reimagines himself as his beloved movie hero from Mars. “It was that universe,” Breathed writes, “cluttered with space Nazis and princess nabbers, that seemed to need him more than his own.” All he desires is a flashy red superhero bicycle, sitting in the Vashon Hardware Store window, to become that hero himself. But the bike eludes him. Though Red is a “sour-faced” cynic, he meets a “genuine elf,” takes a risk, and the story unfolds with true belief, compassion and joy.

Drama Dock presents:
Red Ranger Came Calling: A Guaranteed True Christmas Story
Thursday-Saturday
Dec. 21, 22, 23 at 7:00 pm; Dec. 23 matinee at 2 pm
Vashon Island High School Theatre
Tickets at brownpapertickets.com or Vashon Bookshop
$20 general; $18 Drama Dock members, seniors, students
$12 youth 12 & under