Jo is in a pickle; she has only 24 hours to save her father’s small town saloon from foreclosure.
She books the Cowgirl Trio as a saving grace, and the comedy unwinds when she ends up with the Coghill Trio, a group of classical musicians.
It’s classical versus country in “Cowgirls,” a musical comedy presented by the Rossland Light Opera Players. While the show isn’t set to take the stage until November, the ground work starts now, says Rossland Light Opera Players’ (RLOP) Julie Crispin.
The theatre troupe is hosting a read through this Thursday at their clubhouse (2054 Washington St.) in Rossland at 7 p.m.
“It allows people to come and get a feel for what the show is like,” explained Crispin, who’s producing the small show. She’s here to make the logistics easy for Director Kathy Wilson, who’s ultimately responsible for casting six actors to fill female roles, those with ability to play an instrument are a bonus.
“If we have a chick come in, and she had a whole bunch of energy and she could carry a tune and play the banjo that would be it right there,” laughed Crispin.
But the parts don’t have to be reserved for women only. They’ve put a man in a dress before—it’s comedy – and they’ll do it again.
Though the RLOP has a large membership, favourites like Adam Sander and Jason Whitley can’t seem to stay away for too long, the amateur group isn’t formal and often actors will take time off.
This is not only understood but embraced, as it allows for new talent to hit the stage.
“My philosophy is you can’t always be in the show,” said Crispin. “Not every show has a role for everybody and you can’t do a show without a producer, director, publicity person . . . it’s all volunteer so you get to learn everything.”
She began her journey with the RLOP is about five years ago. Her nerves were real when she sang her first song on stage (somewhere she hadn’t been since high school drama class) and nailed it.
“I tend to gravitate toward the same kind of character but I like to play all kinds,” she said. “I’ve been in a lot of matriarchal roles, kind of stern, for whatever reason I don’t know.”
She’s played Auntie Em in “Wizard of Oz,” and a “cranky old woman with a thousand kids” in “Anne of Green Gables,” the troupe’s last big production. Crispin acted as director for a “Murder at Crooked House,” but this is her first time as producer.
“We are mostly known for family-themed shows, but it’s fun to step outside the box and do something different,” she said.
The RLOP presents one large show a year but often do fun little ones as fundraisers but also to perform for a different audience.
The adult show promises to be interactive, entertaining and delicious.
Crispin is reaching out to the community to incorporate local goodies from chocolate to baking and adds there will be beer. The hoedown feel will come to life at the Miners’ Hall, where ticket holders will sit amongst actors, in a sense, with the stage reserved for the show’s musical elements.
After the read through, the real auditions follow suit this Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and the day after (Monday) at 6:30 p.m. at the clubhouse. But Crispin understands summer time can be tricky and will make special arrangements if those times don’t work for potential cast members.
For more information, contact her at 250-231-9140.