Set Pieces From 'Cry-baby' To Be Saved At New Center

The Scene/County currents and undercurrents

January 16, 1991|By Patrick L. Hickerson

Commuters along Route 40 near Bethany Lane have the opportunity to glance at a slice of film history situated among ongoing renovations where the Enchanted Forest theme park used to be.

The enormous black gosling, which peers from under the suspended smiling countenance of Old King Cole, was recently an odd-looking set piece in one scene of John Waters' film "Crybaby," a musical about two rival social groups in Baltimore's suburbs: the Drapes and the Squares.

In the scene at the Enchanted Forest, Allison (Amy Locane), a Square, performs "Mr. Sandman" with other Squares for the grand opening of the theme park as the public and members of the Drapes look on. Allison is torn between her exclusive social group and her love for an imprisoned Drapes singer, Cry-Baby (Johnny Depp).

Also in the theme park scene were actresses Polly Bergen, Rikki Lake and rock singer Iggy Pop. All, including Locane, were filmed with the approximately 8-foot high by 12-foot-long baby fowl prominent in many of the shots.

Before this gosling was placed in the limelight, it was just one of the two carriages in the Mother Goose Ride, playing a small part inthe now-defunct Enchanted Forest's fairy tale theme world.

Now, through the magic of videocassette, this former children's ride favorite will be an internationally known set piece featured with nationally recognized personalities.

Although not visible to the public, other set pieces used in "Cry-Baby" -- the Cinderella Castle, the Gingerbread Castle and Mother Goose -- remain where they have always been -- they have not been moved or destroyed, according to an official ofJ.H.P. & Associates.

That company is developing the area that in the spring of 1992 will become the New Enchanted Forest. That will bea commercial center anchored by a Safeway supermarket, with a theme park.

Asked if the prominent placing of the gosling was an effort by the developers to show off a piece of cinema memorabilia, the official said that was not the intention; the baby fowl's location was tokeep it out of harm's way as development continues.

Now, this black gosling may not rank with Rosebud, Sam's piano or Dorothy's slippers, but it is -- for Howard County -- a slice of the worldwide film culture usually reserved for New York or Hollywood.

Of course, someHoward countians may find all of this cinematic fanfare a bit passe:last summer the Forest Diner was the setting for a public service announcement about safety at railroad crossings.

Interested collectors may be disappointed to learn that the gosling, the Cinderella Castle and Gingerbread House will not be featured in Christie's or Sotheby's any time soon.

The fate of the duck has already been sealed. The official stated that any object in the Enchanted Forest is not forsale and will be incorporated into the design of the New Enchanted Forest. One day, we will all be able to walk around these small cinematic landmarks.

SOURCE: Patrick L. Hickerson

ILLUSTRATION: PHOTO FILE PHOTO/1987

CAPTION: The black gosling form the Enchanted Forest, which served as part of the backdrop for the movie "Cry-Baby," will be preserved when the site of the theme park is turned into a commercial center.

LACK OF SHOULDERS DRIVES HOMEA POINT

In the midst of last week's snow -- complete with icy road conditions, freezing winds, and relentless shoveling -- Columbia residents didn't necessarily need a shoulder to cry on, but rather a shoulder to park on.

While trekking home last Monday and Tuesday nights to Clary's Forest in the village of Hickory Ridge in Columbia, I noticed several abandoned cars stopped on the side of the road. Thecars abandoned along Route 29 at least had a little room to park on the road shoulders.

Since the majority of streets in Columbia haveno shoulders, the cars abandoned there had no place to park except right along the curbs of the sidewalk, which in most cases blocked thelanes of traffic.

Other sections of the county are not much better. Parts of Ellicott City -- especially Historic Main Street -- Elkridge and North Laurel have extremely narrow streets as well.

All inall, it only took an extra few minutes to maneuver around the shipwrecked automobiles after the oncoming traffic finally passed. Hopefully, everyone involved reached home safely those nights.

What reallybothered me were the all-terrain, four-wheel-drive, king-of-the road-type vehicles whose drivers arrogantly waved and seemed to say, "Getoutta my way, mortal," as they whizzed by.

I guess in times of inclement weather, those all-terrain people feel a need to bask in their superiority. I say bask all you want, just don't give me a heart attack when you rocket by.

Icy roads aside, I first became aware of the lack of shoulders in Columbia when I moved to the New City about three months ago.

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