Happening On Friday, July 15

Coudersport Overtaken by Gangsters!

Friday, July 15, will dawn as any other summer day in the county seat. But signs of trouble lurk on the horizon. While many people are enjoying the food booths, music, crafts and other attractions at the courthouse square (4-8 pm) are visiting the Eliot Ness Museum (4-7 pm), suspicious vehicles have begun arriving on the streets. A few shady-looking characters are casing the town. There’s an undeniable tension in the air. It’s time to alert the authorities!

Bad Guys In Town

Lively Street Theater!

Location: Main Street (at Second and Third Street intersections)

5:45 pm -- Whoa! Look who just snaked his way into town. Al Capone! Now things are getting serious! (Long-time mobster Johnny Torrio meets his new recruit from the rough-and-tumble streets of New York at the corner of Second and East streets, near the County Jail. They walk toward Second and Main streets, discussing how to build their bootlegging empire. The next thing you know, they open a beer garden – right in the center of town!

6:45 pm – One obstacle stands in their way: the Irish Mob on the North Side, headed by Bugs Moran, Hymie Weiss and Dean O’Banion. Bosses from both sides agree to meet for a showdown at the corner of Main and Third streets to see if they can settle things amicably. This may not go well!

8:30 pm - What’s this?!?! A brothel operating above the Eliot Ness Museum (Main and Second streets), right in the center of town! And their selling booze. No respect for Prohibition! Townspeople are up in arms and local cops are going to have to take care of things.

Coudersport Rotary Club Speakeasy Beer Garden

Location: West Second Street (between Hotel Crittenden and Eliot Ness Museum)

Hours: 6 pm to 10 pm; last call is at 9:30 pm

Patrons can select from a choice of beers and non-alcoholic drinks and a variety of food options. They can also try their luck with multiple games of chance. Proceeds benefit community service and charitable activities.

Eliot Ness Biographical Suite/BluJayz Performance

Location: Coudersport Theatre, corner of Main and First streets.

Time: 7 pm. Tickets, $10 each, can be ordered at eliotnessfest.com (Get Tickets)

Where else can you enjoy a major musical production, masterfully composed and arranged by an award-winning professional – and based on the life of none other than Eliot Ness himself? “Eliot Ness: A Biographical Suite” will kick off with captivating music, narration and a poignant graphic display from yesteryear on the big screen. It will be immediately followed by “A Musical Journey to the Roaring ‘20s,” featuring outstanding musicianship and lively dance exhibitions, compliments of the eclectic band, the BluJayz, and an award-winning dance duo.

BluJayz Musical Journey 20s Dancers

Biographical Suite
Coudersport’s own composer Larry Herbstritt, whose body of work includes platinum albums, movie scores and television shows, has worked with a dazzling array of big names. Inspired by reading a Ness biography, Herbstritt could feel his creative juices flowing. Colorful events in the life of Eliot Ness served as his muse. From enjoying a little naughty life in a Chicago speakeasy; dealing with tommy gun-toting gangsters in the Windy City; falling in love with a beautiful woman, chasing down moonshiners with shotguns in Tennessee; and then the sad final years in Coudersport – Ness’s life is loaded with rich imagery for inspiring a tone poet.

Musical Journey
And then there are the BluJayz. They’re a band of six drawn from two states. Herbstritt is among them, playing guitar and keyboard, while pitching in with vocals. Tod Twichell and Bryan Neff are skilled performers on guitar and percussion, respectively. Tim Walck brings his special touch to the BluJayz on sax and other instruments. Anne Acker is well-known regionally as vocalist who also helps out on keyboards. Likewise, Arthur Metzger is a multi-skilled musician with an impressive resume who provides vocals, harmonicas and trumpet. Rounding out the BluJayz is veteran bass player Mark Amman. Attendees should be prepared to step back in time. Dancing the Charleston or a Fox Trot, or freestyling in the aisles, anyone? Come prepared. The music will be there as the sounds of Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, Jimmie Rodgers, Fats Waller and more come live from the stage.

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Eliot Ness Fest of Potter County, Pa. | eliotnessfest.com
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