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March 13, 2007 > Sunol Rep's Taming the Wild Wild West in a Dress

Sunol Rep's Taming the Wild Wild West in a Dress

By Charlotte Hill

What do you get when you cross a troupe of actors, a misinterpreted will, a dastardly villain, and a beauty salon? Why, Sunol Repertory Theatre's melodrama, Taming the Wild Wild West in a Dress, or... Let's Give the Villain the Slip, of course.

Clarence Rawlins (Stephan Doyle), a handsome actor, has recently inherited a saloon in Lucky Lady, Nevada--or so he thinks. When he and his company arrive in the small town, however, they learn that Clarence was actually left a beauty salon, not a saloon. After Clarence and his buddy Roger Gaines (Derek Johnson) decide to dress as women and run the salon under the names Lady Claire Rawl and Miss Rogaine, total chaos ensues.

Melody Plunkett (Ronda Ropes) is charming as the lovely, piano-playing heroine; her lilting rendition of "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" is especially endearing. Carrie O'Key (Kari Davis and Sarae Van Dyke), Melody's best friend, brightens each scene with her cheerful smile and upbeat charisma. But not even cheerfulness can prevent the diabolical "son of a gun" Colt Revolver, Jr. (Ron Smith) and his fiery sidekick Jessica James (Diane Tiessen) from plotting a "dynamite" bank robbery.

The diverse cast is rounded out by dozens of larger-than-life characters, including the hilarious rancher duo, Rhoda Steed (Patti Balch) and Russell Grubb (Wells Twombly). Other memorable performances include Eileen Dover (Rebecca Brown), whose head is perpetually tilted sideways, and The Olios, a song-singing, joke-cracking, five-child ensemble.

Of course, no melodrama would be complete without one crucial element: the audience. Crowd members are encouraged to cheer, boo, hiss, and everything in between when their favorite characters emerge from behind the curtains. Toss in an experienced director (Klay Klunkel) and a multi-talented crew, and the result is non-stop enjoyment.

Taming the Wild Wild West in a Dress, or... Let's Give the Villain the Slip
March 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, 31
8 p.m.
Sunol Glen School Theatre
1160 Main St., Sunol
(925) 862-0664
www.sunol.net
Tickets: $12.50 each
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