Melodrama at the Avenue Theatre 2015

4RD Annual Melodrama to be a featured part of Festival 2015

 

For the fourth year, officials with the Avenue Theatre in West Plains will present an old-fashioned melodrama at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, June 20, at the theater, 307 Washington Ave., in conjunction with the 21st annual Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival in downtown West Plains, Mo.

 

Admission to all festival events, including the melodrama, is free.

 (l-r) Jacques La Rue – Hayden Topliff; Lieutenant Alan Wextad – Wade Mattsfield; Polly Montclair – Terri Whitsell; Trusted Ike – Jim Clemens; Charming Mimi – Paige Davis; Swamp Crone – Cretia Ussery; and Lazlo the Drunk – AJ Hufstetler.

(l-r) Jacques La Rue – Hayden Topliff; Lieutenant Alan Wextad – Wade Mattsfield; Polly Montclair – Terri Whitsell; Trusted Ike – Jim Clemens; Charming Mimi – Paige Davis; Swamp Crone – Cretia Ussery; and Lazlo the Drunk – AJ Hufstetler.

 

Theater officials said doors will open at 12:30 p.m. for anyone who would like to arrive early and look around the historic theater, which originally opened in 1950 as a movie house.  It closed in the 1980s and re-opened as a not-for-profit community performing arts center in 1990.

 

“We are very pleased to once again be performing a good, old-fashioned melodrama in conjunction with the festival,” said Avenue Theatre representatives.  “Just as the festival celebrates our musical heritage, we will be celebrating our theatrical heritage by producing a melodrama, which was the most popular form of theater during the 19th century.”

 

This year’s production is “La Rues Return”, directed by Grayson Gordon.

 

It is 1875 and the port city of New Orleans, Louisiana is a bustling center for Southern commerce. Prosperity abounds except in one tiny bistro on one tiny street in the French Quarter.

The Chez What bistro has never looked worse. Opened by Colonel Montclair for his daughter, Polly, it was once the chicest new bistro in the Quarter. Now the signs of neglect and decay are everywhere. And all due to Jacques La Rue.

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