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Acting their way out of a paper bag

Posted by Katie Johnston Chase November 1, 2007 11:57 AM

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So what'd you do Halloween night? Hand out candy to little goblins and princesses? Stand in line trying to get into the Milky Way dance party? Smash pumpkins?

I did one of those things (I'm not saying which) and then joined about a dozen of my neighbors out on the sidewalk to watch the Paper Bag Mummers put on a show in the middle of our street. The Mummers are a group of actors who put on old English folk plays in the spirit of Renaissance-era theatrical traditions. The "paper bag" part of their title refers to their costumes, which are made of, you guessed it, paper bags. The Arlington-based group tours our little corner of Somerville every year on Halloween (the couple who lives across the street are members), beginning with a tradition of "dancing the sun down."

I'm not exactly sure what happened during the 5-minute play, other than someone died and was brought back to life, but it was fun to stand out there with my costumed neighbors while we cheered the hero and booed the villain (and the cars that interrupted the performance). And it was nice to see that there are creative types out there who enjoy cavorting through the streets wearing paper bags.

If you want to catch the Mummers, a list of performances is here.

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Katie Johnston Chase likes dive bars, old country music, and pop art that has something to say.
Meredith Goldstein is keen on DJs who spin pop music and restaurants that serve real food after 11 p.m.
Emily Sweeney is a lifelong Bostonian who goes out all over, from Irish pubs in Southie to the roller rink in Dorchester.
Jeff Miranda has never heard a '90s alternative-rock jam that's not already a mainstay on his iPod.
Joan Charlotte Matelli digs movie singalongs, well-made cocktails, and alt-country rockers.
Courtney Hollands is a shopaholic and a music junkie with a penchant for tapas, chai, and Hall & Oates dance parties.
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