Footlighters holding auditions for annual melodrama

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Following a season that ended last week with two sold-out performances — and one nearly so — of The Sound of Music, Footlighters Theatre Society is preparing for the first show of its 17th season by holding auditions for the melodrama, The Villain Wore a Dirty Shirt.

“Melodramas have proven to be extremely popular in Creston, and we’ve produced one several summers in a row,” said president Brian Lawrence. “We missed out last summer, so we’re excited to be back on track with this one.”

Auditions for Villain will be held at 7 p.m. on April 20 at the Snoring Sasquatch. The melodrama will be directed by Gail Kitt, who has directed several Footlighters melodramas, most recently Curse You, Jack Dalton in 2008.

The show contains stock melodrama characters — hero, villain (obviously) and damsel in distress — but the setting makes it unique. The action takes place in Tub and Scrub, a laundry that does a booming business in the mining town of Digalittledeeper.

The laundry is operated by Olympia Klenz and Sweet Sally, who has caught the eye of the young sheriff, Jack B. Nimble — but every time he gets close he turns into a babbling fool.

Meanwhile, the villain, Phineas Flatworm, discovers Olympia has been rinsing gold flecks from miners’ laundry for years, and she’s amassed a tidy sum. He figures if he had the only laundry in town, he’d make a million! With the aid of his mother, Mrs. Mugwump, and Lola-Lola, a talentless flamenco dancer, he gets control of the Tub and Scrub.

Villain requires 11 performers — four male and seven female — and will be performed July 15 and 16 at the Prince Charles Theatre. Rehearsals will commence as soon as casting is decided.

In Footlighters’ 2011-2012 season, The Villain Wore a Dirty Shirt will be followed by a locally-written Aladdin — a co-production with Adam Robertson Elementary School — in early December, and a revival of the group’s first show, the thriller Deathtrap, in April 2012.