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Sellout crowds enjoy Mohican drama

LAKE GEORGE - The first several days of the Last of the Mohicans Outdoor Drama, staged in the interior courtyard at the historic Fort William Henry through the weekend, hosted sellout crowds.

This strong, positive response demonstrated not only considerable enthusiasm for the drama, but that the long-awaited production, envisioned to be a permanent local attraction, may indeed have a bright future, its sponsors said.

The audience was treated this weekend to an action-packed presentation complete with cannon and musket fire, characters bearing fiery torches, Native American drumming and dancing, live horses, and special effects including pyrotechnics providing an illusion that the Fort itself was ablaze around the audience.

Luisa Craige-Sherman, a board member of the production team, said that she and others involved with the show, were happy with the enthusiasm with which it was received.

"The audience was just enthralled it it," Craige-Sherman said, noting she had to shut off Internet-based ticket orders often daily because of the strong demand. The drama, written by director/playwright Michael Dufault, is based on James Fenimore's classic book by the same name.

Dufault has been working on writing the drama for the past eight years, lining up financing for the show, and seeking a venue and sponsors.

He has been aiming to establish the show as a permanent tourist attraction, like Tecumseh has been in Ohio since 1973, and how The Lost Colony has beena staple for visitors to North Carolina since 1937.

His effort has a new momentum, considering this weekend's shows were the first full-length presentations of the drama, and they were received so well, he said.

"There was tremendous energy between the performers and audience, they fed off one another," he said. "At this point, we don't have a venue lined up, but after this great response, we definitely know we'll be back again next year - multiple weeks definitely, rather than one."

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