Slocum Players' show goes on, goes Ape

The troupe stages a musical fundraiser to help ready their new theater

By Dave Kern, Columbian assistant metro editor

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The Slocum Players at Sassy Ape Theater

photoSlocum Players supporters listen to Portland pianist Tom Grant at a Sunday fundraiser at Latte Da Coffee House and Wine Bar. Top: Corrie Graham and her pooch, Litapitapoo, were happy to accept donations Sunday to help pay to get the Sassy Ape Theater ready for productions.

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photoCorrie Graham and her pooch, Litapitapoo, were happy to accept donations Sunday to help pay to get the Sassy Ape Theater ready for productions.

(/The Columbian)

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It's a change of venue but not a change in the motto: "The show must go on."

Forced to leave the Slocum House in Esther Short Park after more than 40 years because of increased rent, the Slocum Players have a new theater with a dash of attitude.

They've dubbed their new spot, at 3909 Main St., the Sassy Ape Theater.

That's because for decades the building was the Sassy Dress Shop. Then it became Ape Over Music.

And on Sunday, the players hosted a fundraiser at the nearby Latte Da Coffee House and Wine Bar to help raise money to get the theater ready.

An estimated $1,400 was raised, said Kim Luttrell, a Slocum Players board member.

"We are in need of plumbers and carpenters and electricians" to help make the place ADA-compliant, Luttrell said.

If all goes as planned, shows could start in October.

Scores of supporters showed up Sunday.

"I'd say at least 300 people came today," Luttrell said of the event's attendance.

She said many merchants, particularly Uptown Village business owners, donated raffle prizes. There was also a full slate of entertainment including Portland pianist Tom Grant.

"Primarily, the board from Slocum House came over, and we created this theater company," Luttrell said. "It's kind of like a phoenix … basically the death of one theater and the birth of another."

"We hoping to have maybe a comedy show or a music show in October," Luttrell said. "In December, we'll have a Christmas play, 'It's a Wonderful Life Radio Show.'"

Coming soon, says Luttrell: a wine-tasting fundraiser at Evergreen Wine Cellar, 2608 E. Evergreen Blvd.