StageWest Community Theatre of the West Plains’ production of the radio version of the holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” recently completed what theatre officials are calling a successful run. The all-volunteer troupe is now turning its attention to its next production, the first of 2013: “Way Out West in a Dress, or Life is a Hurdle When Wearing a Girdle.”
A comedy in the form of a melodrama, “Way Out West” is written by Clarksville, Tenn.native, playwright and community theatre director Billy St. John with music and lyrics by Bill Francoeur. StageWest veteran John Brooks returns as director after having just finished directing “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
According to information from Pioneer Drama Service, “Way Out West in a Dress” is about young actor Clarence Rawlins, whose falsetto voice isn’t the only “false” thing about him after he gets himself and his acting troupe into a little debacle in Lucky Lady, Nev. Discovering that he has misread his distant aunt’s handwritten will, Clarence learns he has not inherited a profitable saloon, as expected, but instead the Lucky Lady Salon, a beauty parlor.
Flat broke, Clarence has no choice but to raid the costume trunk and transform himself into a down-on-her-luck British aristocrat, Lady Claire Rawl, now head hair stylist of the small town’s only salon. His pal and fellow actor, Roger Gaines, becomes a French stylist, Rogaine.
Together with the ladies in the troupe they open the beauty salon to great success. But their good luck runs out when, unbeknownst to them, the owner of the saloon next door plots to acquire Clarence’s salon as part of a scheme to rob the bank next door to it.
StageWest returns to Cheney’s Emmanuel Lutheran Church for “Way Out West,” with performances taking place Jan. 25-27, Feb. 1-3 and Feb. 8-10. StageWest publicity chair Kay Pacheco said there are still a few parts left in the production, and any interested individuals should contact Richard Craven at 768-2150.
“So think of us when the winter blues get to you and you want something to brighten your day,” Pacheco said in inviting the public to the performances. “I know this is one play you will enjoy.”
StageWest also announced that the winners of the raffle baskets during “It’s a Wonderful Life” are C. Foster and Cary Huether, both of Cheney.