Amish Acres

Amish Acres® Historic Farm and Heritage Resort is Listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is America's most complete Amish heritage experience featuring historic interpretation, culinary and performing arts, lodging, and shopping.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Nobody's Perfect

During his acceptance speech at the 2016 Tony Awards, Lin-Manuel Miranda recited a sonnet he’d written that said in part, “Love is love is love is love is love is love is love, cannot be killed or swept aside.” Despite its rather arch title, the current Round Barn musical, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” might be better described by Miranda’s poem.

In twenty sketches spanning two acts and a couple of hours cast members Rory Dunn, Josey Miller, Lauren Morgan, and Ryan Schisler portray love in all its twists and turns, in success and failure, and as experienced in the several different ages of life. The quick costume changes demonstrate the clear design of Costumer Ashley Alverth, helping to delineate the many characters played by the four, and the actors themselves help us quickly realize the only thing the many scenes have in common is the theme of love.

There’s an almost mystical aspect to the opening and closing when the actors, dressed in awe-inspiring druidical robes celebrate the divine and all too human facets of love from the beginning of time.

Almost immediately we are shown two paradoxes -- Rory Dunn and Josey Miller seem like they’re made for each other, but having been brought together by a dating service they talk themselves through and out of the many twists and turns of the relationship they never have.

That’s followed by the revenge of the geeks -- Ryan Schisler and Lauren Morgan seem to have been put together out of spare parts, yet somehow despite their obvious incompatibility, things click.
The four conspire together in the cynical “Men Who Talk and the Women Who Pretend They’re Listening,” as four (or is it six or eight) individuals go through the motions of pretending they’re enjoying each other’s company because they’re not sure they’ve got other options.

One of my favorite scenes was “I’ll Call You Soon (Yeah, RIght)” when an unseen young man’s phone call leads to the four actors filling the stage with what feels like a full production number.

The whole first act, which ends with marriage, seems to prove the observation of my first college drama teacher, Linda DeVries, who way back in the early seventies told us that in Shakespeare’s comedies Love is a sickness that is only cured by marriage.

Perhaps that’s why Act Two is the stronger part of the play, when love passes the test of time and endures. I was especially impressed by: Josey Miller’s tour de force in “Always a Bridesmaid,” as she recounts the many failed marriages whose start she witnessed just a few feet from the altar; Ryan Schisler’s and Laren Morgan’s desperate attempt at carving out time to let the sparks fly within the confines of a household that included kids, pets, and a mother-in-law (“Marriage Tango”); and Rory Dunn’s star turn as the Husband who lives through his car in “On the Highway of Love,” and his duet with Miller closer to the ending of life in “I Can Live With That.”

My favorite moment was Schisler’s understated but satisfying defense of love that has lasted decades despite the dissolution of so many marriages around him, in the song “Shouldn’t I Be Less In Love With You?” personifying Shakespeare’s words (him again) that “Love varies not with his brief hours and weeks, but bears it out even to the edge of doom.”

Indeed, if I can get biblical, the second act proved the truth of the words, “…love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave.” (Song of Songs 8:6)

Director/Choreographer Amber Burgess deserves a lot of the credit for creating a clear arc from chaos towards order in this collection of sometimes uneven parts, and crafting a thoughtfully fun show from so many disparate ingredients. And let’s not forget -- the accompaniment was live and lively, featuring the piano magic of Music Director Paul Rigano and the violin expertise of Burgess.

I wonder if the title ought to have been simply, “I Love You.” Nobody’s perfect, and for the most part, there’s no changing each other. We are who we are, and that’s okay.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Fast. Frenetic. And Fresh.

The fast and frenetic we already knew – “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged),” currently playing on the Second Stage at Amish Acres, has been around for more than three decades, and its manic presentation of the Bard’s life and words is still laugh out loud hilarious.

But time hasn’t stood still, and neither has the show. Even though I’ve seen this show before, as well as purchased and read the script, I’m pretty sure there was no such person as SIRI back in the 90s, nor had anyone heard of Alexander Hamilton, at least as a rapper.
Which is a way of saying even if you’ve seen Complete Works before, you haven’t seen it before. And if you haven’t seen it, you’ve got to see it.

The premise is simple -- preeminent Shakespearean scholar Martin Flowers recruits the formidable Ryan Schisler and the weak-stomached Matthew Springer so that together they can present all the Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies of the Immortal Bard in under ninety minutes.

Each player has a star turn -- Schisler as Romeo, Springer as Juliet, Flowers as Hamlet, but basically everybody plays everything because, as Shakespeare once said (or was it Ferris Buehler?), “Live comes at you pretty fast.”

There are some surprises such as when -- Spoiler Alert -- Ophelia’s corpse is played by an overstuffed dog that sort of looks like Scooby Doo, or when Hamlet begins to treat his knife like a lolly-pop. Actually, the whole play is surprising. Fortunately it’s surprisingly fantastic.
Do they succeed? It depends on how you measure success! They certainly succeed at getting us to laugh, out loud and often. Flowers’ manic insecurity overwhelms his attempts at scholarship. Schisler broods and breeds his way through his intentionally inept portrayals of classic characters, while Springer, who plays the preponderance of female parts with a decidedly weak stomach, is game on, all in, and wit in. (I’m not sure if that last phrase is a real thing, but it ought to be).

The result is a riotous romp through the several classic and not so classic classics. The three agonize how to perform “Othello” without blackface, what to make of any play like “Troilus and Cressida” that features a character with a name like Agamemnon, or how to tell all those history play kings apart without a program. (Fortunately there’s a program!)
And lest you think the stomach churning cooking show parody of Titus Andronicus is over the top, let me assure you that the actual play is far more gory than you’d guess.
Right before the show I mentioned to a family member that it looked like the play would skip the largely unknown Shakespeare collaboration “The Two Noble Kinsmen,” which is not list in the program’s list -- but they didn’t! (They do skip Edward III, Arden of Faversham, The Book of Sir Thomas More, and the additions to The Spanish Tragedy, but then, everybody does, or did, until this year).

The show is ably directed by Rory Dunn. Richard Pletcher is the Executive Producer, Garth Moritz the Production Stage Manager, and, as the program notes, Amber Burgess is “Everything Else.” That everything else seems to include conducting all the backstage costume changes and probably the costumes too.

Box Info: “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” by Adam Long, Jess Winfield, and Daniel Singer, is presented at the Locke Township Meeting Hall’s Second Stage, at Amish Acres, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 PM, Sunday’s at 2:00 PM, through April 9. For tickets and information call 800-800-4942, or go to

Monday, February 20, 2017

Preview of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

If you ever sat in school, wondering why your teacher assigned something so boring and incomprehensible as a play by Shakespeare, then “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged” is for you.

On the other hand, if you ever sat in school entranced because the best teacher in the world assigned a play by Shakespeare, then “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged” is for you.

And if you’ve ever wondered who is this Shakespeare guy then “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged” is for you, too.

Thirty years ago Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Wingfield wrote and performed this play in Edinburgh, which led to a nine-year run in London and performances around the world. The play is manic -- the actors, who play themselves, parody one Shakespearean play after another. All the history plays, for instance, are squeezed into an American football game, or an English soccer match, or even Aussie Rules Football, depending on the actors’ country of origin. “Titus Andronicus,” one of Shakespeare’s goriest plays, becomes a cooking show that is not for the faint at heart.

And after a frenetic version of “Hamlet,” the cast attempts to perform it faster and faster, and then does one more time backwards. In all, you’ll see all thirty-seven plays in an hour and a half. Culture on the half shell. It’s fast, it’s painless, and it’s worth it!

Now it’s coming to the Round Barn Theatre as part of its Second Stage program in the Locke Township Meeting House.

“My favorite thing about it,” Amber Burgess, Artistic Director of the Round Barn Theatre, noted, “is that when you think of Shakespeare you think of something flowery. It takes the idea of being afraid of Shakespeare and turns it on its ear. It’s accessible. It’s funny. It’s smart.”

If you’ve seen the show before, you haven’t seen this show before, because each cast makes it their own, altering the script to suit their venue and locale, as well as their personalities. Burgess, who saw the show for the first time in 2005, near Denali National Park in Alaska, agreed. “There were a lot of references to the National Park Service instead of the normal references to the local mayor of the nearest town,” she said. “Even though there’s a format, there’s an element of improvisation to it.”

Those local references for these local performances will be developed by director Rory Dunn and his cast. Dunn is excited about directing this show. “You have a great script,” he said. “The authors have written a lot of wonderful comedy. And this is the revised version. They’ve just updated some of the jokes and references, making it a little more contemporary, referencing television shows, recent technology, things like that.”

But the key thing, he said, is “Practice, practice, practice. This is a fun, playful show. Once you start working with the cast you have the chance to develop that feeling of fun before the first audience comes in. You discover a lot in the process. The authors talk about how important it is that from the audience’s perspective, this is the first time this show has been performed,” Dunn added. “That’s possible because the actors have worked so hard that it’s finely tuned.”

As for the show itself, Dunn said, “Really it’s a love letter to Shakespeare in so many ways, even when they make fun of him. The authors want us to know about everything he’s contributed to art, society, culture, and to have fun doing that.”

Dunn himself remembers that “The first time he saw it, I was just blown away.” His first performance was in a bar. “They just ambled down, set up a little stage, hung up a sheet behind which to make their costume changes, and got started. There was a wonderful pace. Everyone was great in what they were doing. And there was so much great audience interaction. “

The second time he saw it was on a college campus. “Those students had just been studying Shakespeare.” Dunn laughed. “For every cast and every audience it’s a different experience.”

Burgess emphasized that everyone in the audience would get something out of it.

“We already know the stories because they’re a part of our society. Whether people know it or not, they know a lot of Shakespeare. On the other hand, if you are a Shakespeare Scholar, there are plenty of private jokes in there for you.”

“The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged,” by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Wingfield, is part of The Round Barn’s Second Stage program and will be performed at the Locke Township Meeting Hall at Amish Acres, from March 17 through April 9, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 PM, Sundays at 2:00 PM. For ticket information call the Round Barn Theatre at 800-800-4942 or go to 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Review of "The Miracle Worker"

In recent weeks we have seen the photographs of children in wartorn regions, stunned, covered in blood, staring back at us uncomprehendingly, not even looking to us for answers anymore. If you’ve got any sand in you, you have to realize there are no throwaway children. There are no throwaway human beings.

For that reason along with many others “The Miracle Worker,” the story of Helen Keller, is as timely as ever. Her teacher, Annie Sullivan was warehoused as a child among throwaway people, and from the searing experience Sullivan was motivated to lead the blind and deaf Keller away from the danger of becoming yet another throwaway human.

Abby Murray-Vachon plays the miracle worker of this story, Annie Sullivan, who has been brought in by the Kellers to teach their daughter Helen. Murray-Vachon has distinguished herself in the many and varied roles she has portrayed during this memorable season at the Round Barn Theater. Partway through “The Miracle Worker” she delivers words that tear into the soul like few speeches in drama. The Kellers admit they have considered sending their daughter to a facility but did not like what they saw on visiting day.

With passion but also purpose we hear Annie Sullivan describe more than we would ever want to believe about the facilities where she was housed, telling what happens to the sick and dying, the babies brought there to die, and the rats which are the only toys Annie and her dying brother had for play during their bitter years when they were warehoused. This scene ought to leave you breathless.
You can’t have a great Annie Sullivan without a peerless Helen Keller. We have one in Hannah Shetler. Shetler invites us into a world of darkness and silence. Thanks to her dedication to her craft Shetler leaves us stunned and in tears when the walls are finally torn down and words spill into her world. Shetler’s performance can be summed up in three words: focus, will, and strength. Both Murray-Vachon and Shetler come through their clash of the titans richly displaying the love that is at the core of this story.

But this show is not a stern polemic. “The Miracle Worker” is filled with heart and humor. The sheer physicality of the two central roles leaves the audience exhausted and exhilarated. Here we see most clearly how Director Amber Burgess is able to draw upon her own experiences in playing Annie, guiding the actors through the no-holds-barred sequences with power and discipline.

The play is set in 19th century Alabama after the era of Reconstruction when African-American hopes were squelched. The servant family, played by Myesha-Tiara in the role of Viney, along with her children Martha and Percy, played by Brooklyn Redd and Charles Redd, play their parts with historical and cultural authenticity and integrity. Bravo.

Amelia Lowry, who plays a blind student and is the understudy for Helen, does a nice star turn in her brief but important role. The Keller family is portrayed by Tucker Curtis and Heidi Ferris in the roles of Helen’s parents, Revel Ferris-Curtis, who plays both Baby Helen and her sibling Mildred)Quinn Rattan as the older son James, and Rita Kurtz as Aunt Ev. Together they create a classic dysfunctional yet loving family torn to the breaking point by Helen.

I remember the original television broadcast of “The Miracle Worker” in 1962 with great fondness. Over the years I’ve had the chance to see “The Miracle Worker” performed on several stages. Direction, stage design, lighting, and sound (the latter essential for the flashback scenes that we hear and do not see), and of course acting -- this is the best production of “The Miracle Worker” I can remember. You must go see this.

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Odyssey of the Steamer

Ruth’s main steamer in the restaurant’s kitchen broke down on Monday. She needs it for the coming weekend. After much research we ordered a replacement generator for it. The part came in the next day. It was the wrong part. We were told by multiple sources that replacement part for our steamer is no longer made. We found a similar used steamer in Indianapolis. We were told it was in good working order. We drove to Indy and picked it up. Our long time “kitchen mechanic” opened it up to find that it was dismantled and most of the parts were laying on the floor of the machine.

We then, as we should have in the beginning, went to Cleveland Range directly. Our original steamer is still made. Cleveland sent us to a parts company in Kalamazoo which has a branch in Mishawaka. The Mishawaka company cross referenced our serial number and the discontinued part number and found the new replacement part number. Their supplier is in Fort Wayne, Indiana, an hour away. They said we had to replace the blower element as well, but Fort Wayne did not have the second part. We went back to our original supplier who has both the newly numbered part and the blower part. We drove to Aurora, Illinois, returned the wrong part and picked up the correct part. It arrived back in Nappanee on Thursday morning to be installed. We are up and running. We then received a call from the company in Aurora saying that the blower part had been forgotten and was lying on their dock. Obviously we didn’t need the second part since by then we were up and running. We are waiting on the Indianapolis company to pick up the trashed steamer. Ruth is happy, but we are taking no chances.

Tonight, Don Hart, who plays the Rabbi in The Round Barn Theatre’s current production of “Fiddler on the Roof” is coming before show time to bless the steamer. If it worked for him to bless Motel’s new sewing machine, a Singer, so we are confident our “new” steamer will make it through the weekend with hot cooked food.

Review of “Fiddler on the Roof”

In the opening number of the musical “Fiddler on the Roof” Tevya the Dairyman admits that nobody’s really sure how the traditions practiced by the Jews of Anatevka got started. But it doesn’t matter. The traditions are what help the community keep their balance, like that fiddler. The one on the roof.

Now, however, anyone who reads the newsheet handed out at the Round Barn’s production of “Fiddler” will know exactly how playwright Joseph Stein, lyricist Sheldon Harnick, and composer Jerry Bock worked together to create the original Hal Prince production!

Ticket holders to this fourth production of “Fiddler on the Roof” will also learn about the inspiration artist Marc Chagall derived from the original Tevya stories penned by Sholem Aleichem, the history of the various Tevya’s who’ve acted on the Round Barn stage, and the amazing story of how Jewish refugees from the Ukrainian conflict are rebuilding their lives in a real life Anatevka, deliberately named the village in the famed musical.

All that before the opening curtain rises and Joseph Stein’s most famous musical fabulously comes to life once more on the Joseph Stein stage at the Round Barn Theatre at Amish Acres.

Jeremy Littlejohn reprises the part of Tevya he first played in 2006. It is a role for which he is well suited, whether its leading the village in their celebration of “Tradition!” or dancing and singing “To Life,” or pondering “If I Were A Rich Man.” Littlejohn brings what in Hebrew is called “khavod,” sometimes translated as “weight,” signifying not how much one weighs, but how weighty a presence one brings to the scene. He does a great job with a central facet of the character, his willingness to express the full range of emotions to God: wonder, joy, sadness, regret, and even anger and disappointment. There is no false piety in Littlejohn’s portrayal -- just a determination to live out a personal relationship that takes God seriously enough to laugh with and cry with the Creator.

In Hebrew (last time) the word for love does not describe feelings so much as actions. That’s the truth behind the love in the portrayal of Tevya’s wife Golde by Amber Burgess. Whether its in her leadership in the Sabbath service, her response to Tevya’s dream, or simply her response in the central number “Do You Love Me?”, Burgess displays the calm and steady personality that can weather three unconventional marriages chosen by her daughters or the orders to pack up and move an entire household with only three days notice.

Not only that, but her costume design for Fiddler is perfect, bringing to life well worn but well cared for and clean clothes for the villagers.

Everyone in the village of Anatevka is there, just as we want them to be. The three oldest daughters (played by Kristin Brintnall, Abby Murray Vachon, and Katlyn Casanova) each push the envelope further and further, leaving us wondering in the end if faith and tradition will be flexible to handle more and more radical change. Their voices are to die for.

Travis Smith lives the tension between heartfelt love and societies boundaries (dare one say walls), in his portrayal of the Russian Fyedka. He also demonstrates his singular skills as Music Director.

Sarah Philabaum puts an exclamation point to her star turn as Fruma-Sarah, returned from the dead to back up Tevya’s decision to give in to his eldest daughter.

The youngest members of the cast, Amelia Lowery, Hannah Shetler, Martin Flowers, and Drew Flickinger demonstrate the depth of experience they’ve gathered in their theatrical careers, carving out clear characters instead of caricatures.

Director Charles Burr, who has acted or directed more productions of Fiddler than he can remember, recognizes how the stories of a particular people in a specific historical setting is also universal because of our shared humanity, and presents a version that is both comforting in its familiarity but also vibrant and alive.

Sarah McGowran’s choreography is especially strong in “Tradition,” “To Life,” and the extended wedding scene. Executive Producer Richard Pletcher has designed a set that is like one of those wonderful sliding puzzles, in which the pieces are rearranged in several patterns, revealing Anatevka as a character of its own.

The Round Barn Theatre at Amish Acres in Nappanee presents “Fiddler on the Roof,” Book by Joseph Stein, Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, Music by Jerry Bock, produced by special Arrangement with Music Theatre International, through October 16th. For reservations and information call 800-800-4942.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Jeremy Littlejohn returns as Tevya. It’s a Tradition!

I was singing songs from "Fiddler on the Roof" before I knew there was such a musical. That's because once upon a time the songs from Broadway Musicals were sung by Top Forty artists on the radio. I remember humming along with "Matchmaker," "If I Were A Rich Man," and "Do You Love Me?" as a kid without knowing that the music had a story. "Sunrise, Sunset" was sung at our wedding. Like a lot of people, once I discovered the musical I realized this is my story.

And what a story. The late, great Joseph Stein based "Fiddler's" book on the immortal stories of Sholem Aleichem. Tevye, the dairyman of the Russian village of Anachevka, lives a life of contradictions, maintaining a delicate and paradoxical balance between abject poverty, hardbound traditions, a changing world, and unquenchable joy. Along with his wife Golda and five daughters, and the many other residents of the village, they all manage to keep their balance like, well, like a fiddler on the roof!

Though Aleichem's stories are firmly rooted in the Jewish experience, their universality evokes the shock of recognition. Who hasn't thought to themselves "This is my life -- I know these people!" when watching the musical?

Certainly Charles Burr has. Burr, the artistic director of Tibbits Opera House in Coldwater Michigan, will direct this year's production of "Fiddler on the Roof" at Amish Acres. This is the fourth time it has been performed in the Round Barn Theatre, but Burr has been a more frequent visitor to Anachevka. Burr paused as he reflected on the fact he's been involved in so many productions of Fiddler, he's lost count.

"At least two" as director, Burr said, and "six, seven, eight, I lost count" as an actor. He always plays the Rabbi.

Asked about his approach to the show, he emphasized, "We have to honor what has gone on before. ...We're not going to want to set it in a space station orbiting around the moon," he added, laughing. His Fiddler will be set in the particular place and time but "there's no denying its inner universality."

"I think people are always happy to see it this familiar story," he said. "It's so real. There's the barn. There's the street. There's the home. It is a very good show. While it doesn't need grand, sweeping changes, there's always something new. There's a reason it's everyone's favorite show."

Fans of the Round Barn Theatre will remember Burr for having recently directed "The Diary of Anne Frank," and for having acted in "Harvey." He said that he was especially looking forward to working with Jeremy Littlejohn, who will reprise his role as Tevya, and Amber Burgess who will play Golda.

Burr wants to emphasize "the love between the two of them. Sometimes it's lost in all the argument. They bicker because they love each other."

His favorite number? It was hard to choose, but perhaps "If I Were A Rich Man." "There's no better song that illustrates a character," Burr said. "There's the comedic element, the religious element, his attitude towards his wife."

Then there's "Do I Love You ," which he called "a whole scene set to music. You know, These are some of the best songs ever. Great music. Great words."

"Fiddler on the Roof" was put together by a Mount Rushmore of Broadway legends: Jerome Robbins, Harold Prince, Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick, and Joseph Stein. It opened in 1964, won nine Tony Awards, and continues to be a favorite of local, regional, national, and international stages. It has had a Broadway revival every decade in the show’s fifty year history and is currently running through the end of 2016. It has been produced over 1,300 times in Japan alone and nearly 500 productions are mounted each year around the world.

For reservations or more information call the Box Office at Amish Acres, 800-800-4942, or go to 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Casey and Casanova dance Gershwins to life in “Crazy for You”

There are no essay questions when it comes to tap dancing. Like a math problem, there’s only one right answer. Either you got it or you don’t.

The cast of “Crazy For You,” currently playing at the Round Barn Theatre at Amish Acres in Nappanee, has got it. They’ll have you believing that a passel of cowpokes from Deadrock, Nevada, can dance every bit as purty as four show girls from New York City because that’s just the way it is!

They’ll have you believing that love sorts things out so that whether or not you’ve been engaged to someone you don’t love who won’t leave you alone for five long years, all it takes is a moment for eyes to meet for everyone to get sorted out with the right person to make the perfect couple.

They’ll have you believing you had a great time humming along with familiar classics by George and Ira Gershwin, songs like “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” “Embraceable You,” “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” and of course “I’ve Got Rhythm.”

“Crazy for You,” though first produced in 1992, is set in the 1930’s, and is loosely based on the Gershwin show “Girl Crazy.” Though it is a largely feel good show, it is a product of the Depression, a desperate time of foreclosures and business failures. This desperation undergirds the show, adding a strong backbone to the plot.

The musical tells the story of Bobby Child, who would rather dance regardless of what it pays rather than learn banking skills, including how to foreclose on people’s dreams, under the tutelage of his dominating mother.

Temporarily giving in, he arrives in Deadrock, Nevada, in order to foreclose on an old theater when he realizes he can save the theater if only some Broadway dance girls join forces with some rugged cowboys to put on a show. In order to snare the girl of his dreams, Polly Baker, who happens to hate him because of that foreclosure thing, Bobby adopts the persona of scowling director Bela Zanger. Zanger himself shows up about the same time everyone in the show realizes there’s no audience to be had when you live in the middle of nowhere. Will the show go on? Comedy ensues!

Matt Casey, as Bobby Child, the dancer with the dream, sings and dances so effortlessly that you almost believe anyone could do the same. He and Kaitlyn Casanova, the cowgirl with a heart of gold who with her father stands to lose the town’s only theater to creditors, make a winsome couple. Casanova has demonstrated her astounding range as a singer throughout this season at the Round Barn.

James Edward Dauphin, who plays the European director Zangler, performs a real star turn as the artiste’s artiste who knows a good thing when he finds it. His scene with Casey, who as Childs has dressed as Zangler to win his girls’ heart, is a classic as the two mirror each other in a dazed stupor.

Kayla Ricker is memorable as the tigress who finds happiness by bringing her prey to heel. Rory Dunn plays the cantankerous saloon keeper Lank, her hapless and ultimately happy prey.