RANGELEY – “Over The Checkerboard,” a two-act comedy written by Fred Carmichael, will be presented by Rangeley Friends of the Arts Feb. 16, 17 and 18 at the Lakeside Theater.

The play is set in a picturesque New England town where villagers hope an unusual bequest will give them the financial means to fight off a developer who plans to build a shopping mall that will destroy the character of their town.

A novelist who once lived there has died, leaving the village an unpublished work titled “Over the Checkerboard,” which promises to be his best novel since his only successful work won a Pulitzer 35 five years ago.

Controversy erupts when the book turns out to be a steamy look at a small town not unlike theirs with characters startlingly similar to their neighbors, friends and selves.

“Some of the characters in this play could be people walking down Main Street in Rangeley,” said co-director Carolyn Smith. “It will be a fun evening as the performers make the characters of the picturesque New England town come to life as they try to save their small town from an overzealous developer.”

Starring in this production are Nichole Brochu of Kingfield and Sue Downes-Borko, Joan Dunlap, Shep Golub, Barry Libby, Carolyn Smith, Geoff Robbins and Tim Straub, all from the Rangeley area.

“Community theater productions are meant to be fun, and this cast has had fun in rehearsal; and the audience will certainly have a night of great laughter in store for them,” said co-director Terry Martin.

Performances will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday and also at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets, $8 for evening shows and $5 for the matinee, are available at Birchwood Interiors, 864-3500.

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