(From left) Jordan Koop (as Phineas Flatworm)

New Footlighters season starts with melodrama

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The dirty laundry will be out in the open on July 15 and 16 when Footlighters Theatre Society presents a melodrama, The Villain Wore a Dirty Shirt, at the Prince Charles Theatre.

Villain is the group’s 12th summer melodrama, and as with previous melodramas, the audience will be in for an evening of fun and laughter as they enjoy another twist on a tried-and-true formula.

“It’s a fun show with great stock characters — the hero, the villains, the damsel in distress,” said director Gail Kitt. “It will be a lot of fun for the whole family.”

The show takes place in the mining town of Digalittledeeper, Calif., where Olympia Klenz (played by Jennifer Dewald) and Sweet Sally (Jacqui Vezina) operate a laundry, the Tub and Scrub. Sheriff Jack B. Nimble (Matt Hansen) is in love with Sally, but he turns into a babbling fool every time he gets close.

Meanwhile, villain Phineas Flatworm (Jordan Koop) discovers Olympia has amassed a tidy sum in a manner only possible in a laundry. So with the aid of his mother, Mrs. Mugwump (Ann Deatherage), and Lola-Lola (Bobby Doran), a talentless flamenco dancer, he sets out to get control of the Tub and Scrub.

The action really picks up when other characters are added to the mix, including Coyote (Jasmine Lothien), waifs Little Lavania and Irma (Katie Foy and Jesika Troughton), Ida (Suzanne Chubb) and Mayor Haggle (Mark Douglas). Aurora Moore, Ella Moore, Zoe Marini and Hayley Ducharme make up a children’s ensemble, and guest stars Axel Marini and Frank Goodsir are slated for appearances (with others in the works).

“It’s wonderful to see so many new faces in this cast,” said Footlighters president Brian Lawrence. “One of our goals is to educate aspiring performers.”

Tickets for The Villain Wore a Dirty Shirt are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors/students and $5 for children under 12, and are available at Black Bear Books or at the door.

The Villain Wore a Dirty Shirt follows closely on the heels of The Sound of Music, which ran in April for three performances, two of them sold out. It kicks off Footlighters Theatre Society’s 17th season, and will be followed by a locally written version of Aladdin on Dec. 1, 2 and 3. Produced in co-operation with Adam Robertson Elementary School, Aladdin will, like 2007’s Jack and the Beanstalk, feature adults in quirky takes on familiar roles in the centuries-old tale, as well as a large chorus of children from Creston Valley schools.

“For many children, this is their first stage experience, and we’re thrilled to give them that chance,” said Lawrence. “It’s always fun to see the generations working together on a project like this.”

And in the spring, Footlighters will conclude the season with a revival of its first production, the thriller Deathtrap.

“The group was new when Deathtrap was first presented, and attendance was slim,” said Lawrence. “But it’s a great show, and we think it deserves another chance.”