It's a case of going from one extreme to another, or at least from a convent to a brothel, as Stratford on Stage has secured the rights for The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
Performances will be in October 2021 at Stratford's TET Kings Theatre. Helen Snook, who directed the very successful The Addams Family Musical, will be directing the show.
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is a musical with a book by Texas author Larry L. King and Peter Masterson and music and lyrics by Carol Hall. It is based on a story by King that was inspired by the real-life Chicken Ranch in La Grange, Texas. It is well known for country and western queen, Dolly Parton, taking the lead role of Miss Mona in the Broadway production.
Time Magazine called it "a font of fun and friendliness, engagingly rich in regional nostalgia and spiced with delicate bawdry. The country and western score is a delight". WABC TV 7 described the show as the "Best Broadway musical of the season".
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After an incredibly quiet 2020, as a result of Covid-19, Stratford on Stage decided to focus on a large show for 2021. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas had been mooted some time ago as a possibility as Helen had directed the show previously in Matamata. The committee took the plunge and successfully applied for the rights.
Helen says the long lead-in time to the planned production date is important.
"This is a large undertaking and requires a great deal of planning. By securing the rights now, Stratford on Stage has plenty of time to lay the foundations for a show of this magnitude. It also gives us time to find the large cast and support crew which will be required."
As well as the on stage cast, a large crew comprising production and admin managers, marketing, musicians, lighting and sound technicians, hair and makeup, set builders, wardrobe, backstage and front of house crew will be essential. No previous experience is required – just enthusiasm and commitment.
"We all had to start somewhere," says Stratford on Stage's wardrobe mistress, Patsy Commerford.
As well as beginning work on this huge project, a "Spring Fling" social evening for all members of Stratford on Stage and their supporters takes place this week, Friday September 11, at 7.30pm. For further details check out Stratford on Stage's Facebook page or contact a committee member.
Auditions for the show will be held in May 2021 but anyone who is interested in being a part of this fantastic show in any capacity, be it cast or crew, may contact Stratford on Stage at firstname.lastname@example.org or Helen Snook at email@example.com now to express their interest or to find out more.