Tavern's moose takes up acting
July 3, 2008 · Updated 2:24 PM
Somethings wrong in Coupeville. A waterfront icons place is bare the moose is missing from Tobys Tavern.
The moose head has hung in the tavern, along with a buffalo head, a rowing scull and other bits of island esoterica for several years. But dont think Tobys plans on gentrifying the joint. The moose is simply taking a break from his stint at Tobys.
The moose moved to Oak Harbor when he was cast in Whidbey Playhouses production of Catch Me If You Can.
The play is set in a cabin in the Maine woods and there is a reference to a moose head so director Ed Bennett started looking for one. He said there are several around Whidbey but Tobys had the best one.
The nice people there allowed him to ride up the road, Bennett says.
Hes the most gracious character, Bennett added. He accepts stage direction well and doesnt miss many cues.
This is the mooses first production and Bennett says there arent many plays written with a moose in mind. Wed have to look around for a play for him, Bennett said. I guess we could do Bambi, he added.
Weve had lots of people ask us where the moose is, said Gary Sims, Tobys Tavern manager. Theres definitely an empty space here without our moose.
According to Sims, the moose has been hanging out at Tobys for at least five years when the big-antlered guy was donated for display and soon became a gathering place for hats. Sims told the moose Keep a stiff upper lip, before the moose motored up to Oak Harbor.
Playhouse Manager Janis Powell says the moose really is part of Whidbey Playhouses family since Tobys Tavern owner John Rodriguey and his wife Gaye are playhouse members. Their daughter Emily Rodriguey has performed music for several productions and won a playhouse scholarship. Powell says Bullwinkle is probably the most interesting character in the play thats billed as a comedy, mystery, suspense thriller.
Sims says Tobys has never named the moose but hes been nicknamed Bullwinkle by Whidbey Playhouse. Bullwinkle doesnt have any lines in the play but he does play a crucial role by holding several signs that offer clues to the audience.
After Catch Me If You Can closes Saturday, Bullwinkle will return to Tobys Tavern. Hell go back on Tobys waterside wall. Lots of people are waiting for his return, Sims said.