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  • Writer's pictureBroadway Beat

Phantom of the Community Theater Struggles to Fit 50-Ton Pipe Organ in Broom Closet

by Tom Hickey. @TomedyTonight.

MARION, Indiana - Earl Whetterson, the self-appointed "phantom" of the local Marion Community Theater, expressed dissatisfaction last Thursday with his inability to find a suitable space at the thrifty spot to store his pipe organ, a frustrated Whetterson confirmed.

"I chose to haunt Marion Community Theater because I wanted a life of mystery and romance," Earl said, pausing to adjust the masquerade mask that covers his mild adult acne. "But when the stage manager tells you to stuff your 50-ton organ in the same 5'x5' room where Brenda stores the cow for the upcoming run of Into the Woods, well, that takes the magic out of it."

Stage manager Mickey Leoner expressed some of the phantom’s additional, constant complaints about the theater's other failures to accommodate tormented recluses, including non-chandelier lighting and a general admission seating plan that does not allow mysterious benefactors to reserve box seats.

"I think he’s most disappointed with the crowds," noted Leoner. "When he became phantom of this theater, Earl expected thronging crowds with torches blazing, thirsty for blood, desperate to end his reign of terror. But usually it's just his mom. Sometimes his coworkers, if he bugs them enough."

Some members of the community sympathized with the self-shunned man.

"I feel for him, I do," said Cheryl Lott, the theater's star actress, treasurer, and entire board of directors. "Our theater never really bounced back after the recession, and we're all trying our best in a space that smells like my grandpa Terry's attic. But Earl... Earl needs to step back and think about if his goals are realistically attainable."

She went on to further explain this sentiment.

"Like, does the Wabash Civic Theater's phantom have a lantern-lit boat to ferry comely young sopranos into the tender embrace of night? Yes. Would it be great if we had one too? Of course! But nobody in our theater is boinking a city comptroller who's embezzling taxpayer dollars, so Earl's gonna have to make do with the water wings I gave him."

At press time, the Marion Planning & Zoning Committee was still reviewing Mr. Whetterson's application to excavate an labyrinthine system of catacombs beneath the theater, planning to vote during the next council meeting, providing Whetterson doesn’t smash all of Town Hall’s fluorescent light fixtures for the eighth month in a row.


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