Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Melo Summer

Some sweet summer memories from 2015.

As I continue on with this play marketing journey I have been on the past two years, I have discovered that melodrama is often synonymous with summertime as many companies tend to believe this is the optimum time of year for these shows, probably since they tend to be more family-friendly than genres.

This year I had three melodramas running in three different states, one more than last year, a number to grow next time around. But this year....I'm no longer regional (in my beloved Calif-orn-I-A) and can be considered national. (Hey, whatever delusions of grandeur I can conjure up is better for my mental well-being than a bottle of Muscatel and a bag of Cheetos.)



LA RUE'S RETURN or HOW'S A BAYOU?, the very first
Avenue Theatre LA RUE cast photo
melodrama I wrote with my best friend Ed Thorpe (aka Max), had two productions this summer, its debut out of state fell in West Plains, Missouri in June. The Avenue is a renovated art deco cinema converted to this community theater playhouse.

THE AVENUE THEATRE IN WEST PLAINS, MO.



One proud papa
Next up. LA RUE had the honor of being the summer attraction at the Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville in Oceano, California in the same exact spot as last year;s SONG OF THE CANYON KID (LONE PRAIRIE-it's complicated). Max had the honor of visiting them in July.

Jacques La Rue and Miss Polly-GAM style






On top of that, the Great American is celebrating its 40th anniversary, so this is a real honor. (As opposed to a fake honor?. What am I babbling about?)

The show runs until Sept. 20

THE GREAT AMERICAN MELODRAMA IN OCEANO, CA


Finally, the Canyon Kid and Thunder rode into Wyoming this July for the Cheyenne Little Theatre Players' production of SONG OF THE LONE PRAIRIE or POEM ON THE RANGE at the historic Atlas Theatre in Cheyenne.
This show had two-count 'em-two separate casts for this show, which kind of makes it two shows in one. That's what I keep telling myself anyway.
LONE PRAIRIE Cast #1 
LONE PRAIRIE Cast  #2











They even made Thunder a bigger star than he was already.
(Thanks, Julie Wagner, the actress who brought Thunder to life. Here's a carrot for you.)

THE CHEYENNE LITTLE THEATRE PLAYERS IN CHEYENNE, WYOMING 

It's gratifying to know that community theaters like the Avenue and the CLTP embrace melodrama and consider it to be viable enough to include it in their seasons filled with such shows as SEUSSICAL, OLIVER, SPAMALOT, LEND ME A TENOR and AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY. Of course I'm also grateful that theaters that specialize in this form like the Great American Melodrama continue to exist as well. It's certainly good for me as a creator that specializes in this genre, but it's also good for theater in general. I still believe that any type of theater should be supported and not looked down upon from some elitist point of view. It all helps perpetuate the art form as a whole.

Speaking of which, coming this fall...a new murder mystery. Oh, get ready to turn your noses up at this one, you wags.


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