The frazzled and fractured frontier aspect of Rossland’s main street renovation won’t dissuade the show from going on for the 26th annual Gold Fever Follies when it kicks off this Saturday night

The frazzled and fractured frontier aspect of Rossland’s main street renovation won’t dissuade the show from going on for the 26th annual Gold Fever Follies when it kicks off this Saturday night

Gold Fever Follies – Main street madness won’t stop fever in Rossland

Gold Fever Follies will roar back to life for 26th season starting Saturday, June 30.

Rain, shine or road construction, the show will go on in Rossland as the Gold Fever Follies kicks off a two-month extravaganza of professional theatre this Saturday night.

The 26th version of summer thespian theatrics will forge ahead at the Miner’s Union Hall at 7:30 p.m., marking the maiden voyage of an 83-show run that will not be derailed by the major construction taking place along the city’s main street, Columbia Avenue.

In fact, the historical musical theatre show—based on the gold rush days of the 1890s—is mining gold out of the ore it has been given in the chaos created by road construction this year.

Rossland Mayor Greg Granstrom quelled fears in the community on Thursday that parking would be an issue and could force the cancellation of the show.

Even with the road in disrepair and vehicular lodging spaces in short supply at the Miner’s end of Columbia, people will still be able to park near the hall and not have to trek overland from Warfield.

“The Follies have been an institution in the City of Rossland for a good many years and the show must go on,” he said. “Despite the road construction and the loss of street stalls on Columbia, we have ample parking close by.”

Half a block away from the Miner’s Union Hall is the lot in question, perched on the corner of Spokane and Columbia streets, right across from the Prestige Mountain Resort.

Developed as a tourist attraction, Gold Fever Follies started with all local actors in 1987, evolving 15 years ago into a cast of now professional actors. This year’s 10-person version features Rossland’s Jill Amantea, with other members laying claim from Nelson, Edmonton, Toronto, Victoria and Vancouver.

And for the last three weeks rehearsals have taken on a feverish pace for the Saturday opening of “John Versus John,” written by Warfield’s Brian Turner and directed by Iron Mountain Theatre Company’s R. J. Peters of Rossland.

Felix LeBlanc, theatre manager and returning cast member, said the play is the story of two dueling lawmen, freely sampled and adapted from the annals of Rossland’s history.

And so, as memory has it, Big John Kirkup (LeBlanc), one of Rossland’s first police chiefs, has a falling out with the city’s first mayor, Robert Scott, and the conflict and the fun begins.

Scott turns vengeful and hires a man John Ingram, who was as noted for his corruption and horrible nature as he was for his penchant for the bottle—and was also Winnipeg and Calgary’s first police chief.

“It’s kind of like the Magnificent Seven if it ever came to Rossland,” said LeBlanc. “There are lots of showdowns and, of course, the Cancan.”

The show is embellished with local lore, old time tunes and real Cancan dancers from the Boomtown Garter Girls, said artistic director Ray Furlotte.

“While artistic license is often used, many of the characters are based on real people from Rossland’s past,” he said.

On two nights in August the cast will again present “Naughty Knickers,” an evening cabaret filled with a burlesque talent show, fueled by liquor, and “follied” by gender role reversals.

For more information on the cast, as well as the history of the show itself, check out the website at http://www.goldfeverfollies.com/.

Show times are 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Tuesday through to Saturday, from June 30 to Aug. 25. The grand opening is July 12. Tickets are available at the door for $13 for general admission, seniors are $10, while children under 12 are $8, and under five are free.

Just Posted

Area A Director Ali Grieve (right), Village of Fruitvale Mayor Steve Morissette (front), and Village of Montrose Mayor Mike Walsh (left) held a congratulatory ceremony for Beaver Valley students who are part of the Class of 2021 graduates of J. L. Crowe Secondary at Beaver Creek Park on Thursday. Photo: Jim Bailey
Beaver Valley Grads of 2021

Beaver Valley mayors, RDKB Area A director celebrate their 2021 graduates with gift ceremony

Adrian Moyls is the Selkirk College Class of 2021 valedictorian and graduate of the School of Health and Human Services. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College valedictorian proves mettle in accomplishment

Adrian Moyls is a graduate of the School of Health and Human Services

A volunteer delivers food to families as part of a West Kootenay EcoSociety program. Photo: Submitted
Farms to Friends delivers 2,500th bag of food to families in need

The program services communities in the Nelson, Trail and Castlegar areas

Selkirk College has begun its search in earnest for a leader to replace president Angus Graeme who is set to retire from his position in May 2022. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College seeks community input for president search

Current president Angus Graeme retires next year

A report shows nine West Kootenay communities are have more low-income persons than the provincial average. File photo
Study casts new light on poverty in the West Kootenay

Nine communities in region have more low-income residents than provincial average

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Most Read