Monday, August 25, 2014

Footlight Theater presents a Wild West Dinner and Melodrama at the Hurst Ranch

Valerie Smusz as Natassia Kinky and Aaron Bennett as Two Gun Boris
Alexis St Onge as  Darla and Richard Carr as Canyon Kid
Susan Chapman as Honey Darling

A Wild West Dinner, vaudeville and Two Act Melodrama Extravaganza, jam-packed with romance, action, suspense and hilarity!!
WELCOME HOME, CANYON KID...NOW REACH FOR THE SKY! When a straight shooting singing cowboy known as The Canyon Kid returns to Dirt Clod, he finds his hometown in the grips of a tyrannical "hanging judge" named Basil Kadaver and his evil co-horts - the slinky gypsy seductress Nastassia Kinky and her half-witted brother, Two Gun Boris. To make matters worse for The Kid, he also discovers that his childhood sweetheart, Darla Darling, is engaged to a known desperado who is now the town sheriff. Will The Canyon Kid defeat the bad guys, win back the love of his life and restore justice to his home town?? 
Hurst Ranch and Footlight Theatre Company have teamed up to meritoriously bring to life the world of Wild West Melodrama!  Set at the striking Hurst Ranch  with its beautiful vintage grounds, audiences are sure to have an outrageous, side-splitting laughter filled evening full of all sorts of knee-slappin, toe-tappin old timey fun! 
Every performance begins with a train ride into the "town" of Dirt Clod on the Hurst Ranch Railroad, where guests can arrive in town and belly up to the bar at The Dirt Clod Saloon featuring red wines by Hurst Ranch, whites by Inner Sanctum and Gianelli Wineries along with Indigeny Reserve Organic Cider and more.
An 1890s style musical vaudeville shows begin at 5:45, featuring performances by  local old timey bands including Faux Renwah, The Lava Cats and more.
At 6:00 pm, with the ringing of the dinner bell, a 3 course gourmet Western BBQ is served up by The Historic National Hotel of Jamestown.  The menu entrées include your choice  between 1) USDA choice grade BBQ tri tip beef served with a desert sage and whiskey sauce and 2) broiled chicken breast under a roasted garlic sauce with scallions, both served with a vegetable medley of Southwest corn, tomatoes, onion, red & green bell & Anaheim peppers.  And for dessert,  National Hotel Bread Pudding topped with a brandy cream sauce.
Romp-stomping action and non-stop hilarity ensue after dinner around 7:00 pm, just as the sun begins to set over the beautiful "Dirt Clod Lagoon"!!  In classic melodrama fashion audiences will get to boo and hiss the villains, sigh and swoon for the sweet heroine and cheer the brave hero!! 
A prodigious cast has been assembled for this show, including Richard Carr, a newcomer to the Tuolumne County theatre scene who boldly fills the role of our hero - The Canyon Kid. Michele Tennant bounces around as the Kid’s sidekick and  Alexis St. Onge makes her stage debut as the sweet and stunning-yet totally naive heroine, Darla Darling.  Our hero is opposed by Art Delgado as the conspiring Judge Basil Kadaver, Anthony De Page as the “reformed” outlaw Dalton Doolin, Valerie Smusz as the gypsy femme fatale Nastassia Kinky and Aaron Bennett as the dim-witted deputy “Two Gun” Boris.  Don Pierazzi and Susan Chapman round out this hilarious cast as the forgetful Mayor Donald Darling and his flighty, loving wife Honey.
“Footlight seeks to honor what has been an American tradition since acting troupes rode stagecoaches from town to town performing throughout the west, including right here in the Mother Lode,” said director Anthony De Page.  “Song of the Lone Prairie” is a great example of our region’s custom of Western melodrama.  Written by local playwright Scott Cherney, this play was originally produced at The Palace Showboat Theatre at Pollardville at Stockton, a venue that for a long time honored melodrama, vaudeville and even high noon rootin–tootin stunt shows.  Mr Cherney has been an integral part of keeping melodrama alive for many years, and Footlight is honored to be able to produce his play.  Furthermore, the Hurst family and staff are amazing people who have been wonderfully supportive in this new theatrical endeavor.  They are delightful to work with and their unique venue is an ideal match to Footlight’s Western theme.”
Head on out to Hurst Ranch and
Cheer the hero, boo the villain and sigh for the sweet heroine!!
Friday and Saturday evenings, August 29 - September 20!
First Train to Dirt Clod: 5:30 pm 

Vaudeville show starts at 5:45 pm

3 course gourmet dinner is served at 6:00 pm sharp with the dinner bell!

Melodrama starts at 7:00 pm!

For reservations call Hurst Ranch at (209)984-4040, or visit

Dinner Tickets require reservations 48 hours in advance.  Please specify Tri-tip, Chicken or Vegetarian when you make your reservation.
General Admission: $40

Show only tickets are also available.
General Admission: $25

NOTE: Due to mature subject matter and mild violence parental discretion is advised. Children under 13 are not advised.

1st. Course:  Mixed Green Salad with a classic dressing
Entrée:  Choice grade tri tip beef served desert sage & whiskey cream sauce
               Broiled chicken breast under a roasted garlic sauce with scallions.
 Vegetable medley of Southwest corn, tomatoes, onion, red and green bell & Anaheim    peppers
Dessert Course: National Hotel bread pudding with brandy cream sauce.

Dinner Show Musical Schedule:
Faux Renwah - August 29, 30 – September 5, 6
The Lava Cats – September 19, 20