The Cat’s Meow: Sherman Central Performs ‘Purrfect Crime’

Wiggles the cat (Arcana Osterhoudt) amuses herself as Madame Zamboni (Ivy Yokom on right) displays her powers as Digby (Georges Meredith), Bubbles (Sophie Lindsey) and Jancie Farnsworth (Payson Altsman) look on.

Not to let the cat out of the bag, but the butler was the guilty party in the Sherman Central School Drama Club”s presentation of the Purrfect Crime on March 22 and 23 .

The laughs kept coming as the plot thickened and the characters revealed themselves. The play was directed by Lennart and JoAnn Liffner, and was put on by five 8th graders, two 9th graders and three seniors, as well as four students who are responsible for lights, sound effects, microphones, and backstage necessities.

Lennart Liffner said the students showed ingenuity in their performances.

“It really came together at the end,” he said. “The students added little flourishes. I”m very proud of them.”

The seniors in the cast were Taryn Palmatier as Cecilia, Sophie Lindsey as Bubbles and Ivy Yokom as Madame Zamboni. After the second night”s performance, the Liffners thanked them for many years of dedication to the Drama Club and presented each with a small gift, since the Purrfect Crime is their last performance at SCS.

Wiggles the cat (Arcana Osterhoudt) lounges beneath a painting of herself and her deceased owner, Big Bob.

“The seniors really carried the show,” Lennart Liffner said. “It’s great that they have the experience that they do.”

Ivy Yokom said that being in Drama Club has been a great experience

“I have really loved being in all of the shows,” she said. “My advice to everyone is to follow your dreams.”

Arcana Osterhoudt, who played Wiggles the Cat, said she treasured all of the experiences she had with the seniors.

“It was great. I can”t believe that this is my last show with the seniors,” she said. “We’ve been in shows together since I was in seventh grade.”

Big Bob”s children, Little Bob (Jasper Eschenbach), Annie (Quinn Liffner), and Cecelia (Taryn Palmatier) argue about who is going to receive their father’s fortune.

The audience knew the fur was going to fly right from the start, as deceased cattle rancher Big Bob’s children were discussing who would inherit his fortune of $36 million. Neither Bob’s wife (Madalyn Wilson) nor his children, Cecilia (Palmatier), Annie (Quinn Liffner), and Little Bob (Jasper Eschenbach) received a cent, however.

When the lawyer Janice Farnsworth (Payson Altsman) read the will, which had been written on a post-it note, the family was stunned to find that everything had been left to Bob’s beloved cat, Wiggles. The only stipulation was that the butler, Digby, played by Georges Meredith, would be the trustee for the money and also that a reputable pet psychic would be hired to discern Wiggles’ wishes.

Two prominent pet psychics enter the picture with “an elaborate ruse” to steal the kitty’s fortune. The psychics, Madame Zamboni and Bubbles, turn out to be fakes, who devise a scheme to have Wiggles leave all of her money to the Catnipaholics Anonymous (an organization which they plan to quickly create).

The psychics’ plan is discovered, thanks to bumbling private detective Vince Varley, (Aiden Walker) and they are pitched out of the house. However, Wiggles is suddenly kidnapped, and a ransom note for $36 million is received. Big Bob’s wife and children suddenly realize that they miss Wiggles terribly, and so, they head to the bus station to deliver the ransom, which has been converted to diamonds.

During a sibling spat, however, the bag is torn, and the diamonds fly everywhere, even into the audience. Then, in a surprise twist, the psychics help the family realize that Digby is the kidnapper and that he had been trying to siphon off Wiggles’ money all along, through a fake company of his own.

Digby (Georges Meredith) gives Wiggle the cat (Arcana Osterhourdt) a diamond necklace as the lawyer Janice Farnsworth (Payson Altsman) speaks.

The final scene ends as Wiggles is showered with affection by Big Bob”s family, the two psychics have found employment as finders of lost pets, the detective is now the new house butler, and the lawyer has taken over Digby’s fake company. Life at the ranch has become the Cat”s Meow.


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