note: entire contents copyright 2004 by Bob Guenthner a k a The Old Grump
book by larry l. king & peter masterson
music & lyrics by carol hall
musical direction - nathan hurwitz
choreographed by - connie shafer
directed by jeffrey b. moss
tori lynn palazola - miss mona
gary kimble - sheriff ed earl dodd
meme - jewel
mellisa d'amico - angel
angie blocher - shy
jenny gelwick - linda lou
stacy moscotti - ruby rae
deborah harris - beatrice
sarah madej - durla
rochelle barton - dawn
adria vitlar - taddy jo
sabrina blum - ginger
aaron fuksa - melvin p. thorpe
chris donavan - mayor
thomas taylor poarch - governor
brian clowdus, nicholas evan kennedy, chris glein jason rheinschmidt, erick price, christopher crowthers, james bulleri, william cabrera, hendrick ramos.
A few years ago I made the mistake of paying top dollar to see this show in Boston. It was a drab imitation of musical Theatre. When I heard that a national touring company was coming to the Zeiterion in New Bedford, I was not interested. My plans changed when I found out that a certain blue eyed red head was in it. I met this lovely creature, Stacy Moscotti, in New York, when she was sitting beside me at a show. Being a pushy old guy, I struck up a conversation. I found out that she was in show biz, boy do I love beautiful girls. I have monitored her web site since the meeting, eagerly looking forward to the time I could see her on stage.
This version of the show was so alive. Great acting, singing, dancing, just plain fun. The play is not for the young of age, but is for the young of heart. A strong R rating, maybe closer to an X for adult language, and sexual situations. How else can you put on a show about a popular whorehouse, its girls and their guest's. The Chicken Ranch was an excepted place of business, until a do-gooder TV reporter, Melvin, decided to up his ratings by exposing, and getting it closed. Aaron Fuksa was perfect in this role. His interaction with the audience brought rounds of laughter from us. He continually told one lady in the front row to shut up, and even sent some of his crew down to keep an eye on her, great fun.
Now, speaking of perfect casting. Tori Lynn Palazola as the Ranch owner, and Gary Kimble as the sheriff. The voices and acting abilities of these two couldn't have been better. Despite her profession, Mona was a lady. Despite his choice of words at times, the sheriff was a gentleman. Solo or together, they were wonderful. The play could not go wrong with these two leading the way. Another great job of casting was Meme as Jewel, Mona's helper at the ranch. Very funny, very energetic.
My favorite song was Hard Candy Christmas. The girls farewell to the ranch.
My youngest granddaughter, an adult, accompanied me to the show. The male female perspective, and the 50 odd years difference in or ages didn't matter one bit. We both agreed that this show was a step above most.
My only disappointment is that the show is only here for one performance. From the sounds of loud laughter all around me, I think word of mouth would have sold the place out several more times. Maybe we will be lucky enough to see it return near by, before this cast breaks up and goes their separate ways.