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Bath-area students take MOHIBA to another dimension

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Bath-area students take MOHIBA to another dimension

BATH — Prepare to cross into "The MOHIBA Zone."

This year's performance of the classic Morse High School Bazaar talent show spoofs the equally classic TV show "The Twilight Zone," complete with its own Rod Serling-like host.

The 81st MOHIBA will be held at the high school's Montgomery Theater, 826 High St., at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 19, and Saturday, Nov. 20. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $7 for students and senior citizens. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

The event, one of the oldest variety shows in the country, dates back to 1927, although it did not take on the MOHIBA name until two years later, according to director Kevin O'Leary. Morse only skipped the event in 1944, during World War II and at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, due to the blackouts occuring at the time, O'Leary said. The school used to hold the show twice a year, in both the spring and fall.

This year's show will have six connecting skits. There are musicians, hip-hop dancers and skits by students from all four grades.

About 150 students, involving stage crew, are involved in the show, O'Leary said.

O'Leary, who teaches English and drama at Morse, returned to the show last year after a three-year hiatus with the Lanyard Theatre Company. He previously directed MOHIBA for five years.

The show, which O'Leary called "sort of 'Leave it to Beaver' meets Tim Burton," draws alumni from as far back as the 1920s and sells out both nights, he said. The weekend before Thanksgiving, he noted, is a good time to bring in more recent alumni who are home for the holidays.

O'Leary credits MOHIBA's attraction to Morse being steeped in tradition, with one of the oldest alumni associations in the country.

"This place has an incredible attraction for those who have graduated," he said. "MOHIBA is this glue that binds all the generations, all the way back."

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net.