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Reeling in one heck of a fish tale

Anyone who likes “up north,” the Green Bay Packers and ice fishing — or anyone who likes to laugh at those who like those things — will get a kick out of “Guys on Ice,” the current offering at the Thingamajig Theatre Company, beginning Jan.13 and running through the end of the month.

This fantastic little gem about ice fishing buddies was created at the American Folklore Theatre in Door County, Wis., by the late Fred Alley (book and lyrics) and James Kaplan (music). It’s crammed with caricatured dialect and mannerisms and real-man pursuits supposedly inbred into folks from northern Wisconsin.

It features bachelor Marvin and married Lloyd, played to the nines by Tim Moore and Brooks Lindner respectively, who go off to their ice fishing shanty in Sturgeon Bay for a day of wishful thinking and beer drinking.

Along the way, they share their musical visions about nearly everything.

Marvin hopes to win the heart of the Pick ‘n’ Save cashier by being featured on a cable TV fishing show. Moore shows off a great voice singing that fantasy in “The Guy from Tee Vee,” and that’s only the start.

Lloyd, on the flip side of the coin, laments the possible breakup of his marriage in the balladic “The One That Got Away” — again, just one of many fine numbers.

They duet about their outdoor gear in “Ode to a Snowmobile Suit” and the delights of consuming their catch in “Fish is the Miracle Food” a song that also features pseudo arias and a pas de deux that are simply outrageous and hilarious.

The intrusion of Robin Hebert as Ernie the Moocher, with his “instrument,” loud voice, obnoxious songs and neediness, regretfully happens only once each act. But Hebert also conducts the audience participation “Leinie’s is the Best Beer Half-Time Show” at the end of intermission, a song that is just plain fun.

Laura Moore, as director and choreographer, keeps things moving beautifully. The bits of dance are a stitch, and she uses the charming set design effectively. Keyboardist Sue Anderson also does a great job with the instrumentals.

“Guys on Ice” is a very small musical but it generates a very big bundle of enjoyment. It’s very much worth the trip, and the price of admission, for this fine keeper.

Thingamajig Theatre Company presents “Guys on Ice: The Ice Fishing Musical” running through Jan. 29, and is sponsored by Citizen’s Bank and The Pagosa Springs SUN.

For more information and tickets visit www.pagosacenter.org or call 731-SHOW.

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