Bath high school bazaar returns with 'Doctor Who' theme

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BATH — Who is featured in this year’s Morse High Bazaar?

The question and the answer are the same.

MoHiBa, as the school’s time-honored annual variety show is better known, pays homage this year to “Doctor Who,” the British science fiction series whose hero has been traveling time and space via a London police box since the 1960s.

The 82nd annual event hits the stage at Morse High School’s Montgomery Theater, 826 High St., at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 18 and 19. Admission is $8 for the general public and $6 for students and seniors.

One of the oldest school variety shows in the country, MoHiBa dates back to 1927, although it did not adopt the MoHiBa name until two years later, according to director and producer Kevin O’Leary, who teaches English and drama at Morse. The school only skipped the event in 1944, at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, during the blackouts of World War II.

The show, which used to run in both the spring and fall, features a new theme each year. Last year’s installment spoofed “The Twilight Zone,” and this year “Doctor Who” gets the nod in “Doctor Whoiba.”

Like last year’s show, this one will have six skits, three in each act. It will feature two Doctors – played by sophomore Nathanial Barter and junior Josh Dilley. In true “Who” fashion, the first Doctor will “regenerate” into a second version for the second act.

And with no inexpensive time-traveling phone booths around, MoHiBa will use a portable restroom. Beware: potty jokes will abound.

The Doctor will also have six female traveling companions.

“The basic premise is, MoHiBa’s about to start, and our first companion is supposed to host both nights, and all of a sudden the (potty) appears on stage, and she freaks out, and (Doctor Who) takes her, and so she has to scream to somebody else to cover her, and it just starts this chain reaction,” O’Leary said. “… By the end of the show we’ve got eight people crammed into the (potty).”

The Doctor Who theme serves as a kind of glue between the various elements of the show, which include class, team and club acts, and individual singers and dancers.

For example, the seniors are doing a spoof on the 2012 apocalypse, which some believe was foretold by the Mayan calendar, and which features some “Doctor Who”-esque time traveling. There’s also a spoof of the TV show “Jersey Shore.”

Putting MoHiBa together every year is great  fun, O’Leary said.

“For the seniors it’s always nostalgic because this is their fourth and last,” he said. “And of course the freshmen, who don’t really know what MoHiBa is, they’re excited because they’re part of something with a long-standing tradition.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Sidebar Elements

Nathanial Barter, left, Matt Boyle, top, and Josh Dilley star in MoHiBa 2011, “Doctor Whoiba,” at Morse High School this Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.