By David F. Rooney
“It was a time when men were men and women were scarcely around.” These 12 words, uttered by Narrator Frankie Howe at the beginning of the spoof, How the West was Dun, sets the tone for this 90-minute comedy being presented by the RSS Grade 9/10 class on January 14 and 15.
This family-friendly play by American science teacher Chris Gieschen is a good-natured parody of American western films, particularly the melodramatic ones of the 1950s. According to the Pioneer Drama Service How the West was Dunn parodies “many of Hollywood’s Westerns and has modern touches to boot. Slick and wealthy Richard Coldheart must marry Polly Wanda Cracker to control the Cracker property. However, it’s Polly’s homely sister, Prunella, who wants to marry him. Meanwhile, our hero, Sheriff Wayne John, has his hands full surviving the hilarious antics of well-meaning but not too bright Deputy Doowrong. When a bundle of villains, including Snydley Dastardley, Kid Kid, and Calamity Jan, attempt to take over Low Humidity Chasm (Aren’t you sick and tired of melodramas taking place in Dry Gulch?), things really go crazy!”
It sounds like fun and I got the sense while watching a rehearsal at the Performing Arts Centre on Wednesday that the cast and crew were having a fine time with the script. Their sense of humour was positively contagious and I am sure that if they can maintain that touch of hilarity through the rehearsal period they’ll really entertain their audiences later this month.
How the West was Dun is being performed on January 14 and 15 at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre. The doors open at 7 pm and the show starts at 7:30. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students over 10. Children under 10 are free. Tickets are available at the RSS office. There is no reserved seating.
Here are a couple of photos from their Wednesday noon-hour rehearsal: