Theater & Arts

Expect lots of laughs at Oakhurst ‘Males Order Bride’ melodrama

The four husbands-to-be, from left, miner Grubby Shurtz, played by Leonard Brown; salon owner Lucky Betts, played by Erik Sotelo; banker C. D. Nichols, played by J.R. Romero, and lumberjack Forrest Green, played by Cristien Dunkle, talk about their eagerness to meet their new fiancées.
The four husbands-to-be, from left, miner Grubby Shurtz, played by Leonard Brown; salon owner Lucky Betts, played by Erik Sotelo; banker C. D. Nichols, played by J.R. Romero, and lumberjack Forrest Green, played by Cristien Dunkle, talk about their eagerness to meet their new fiancées. Special to The Bee

Trouble is afoot in make-believe Denver, Colo., 1870.

The villainess of “Males Order Bride,” a melodrama opening Friday at Golden Chain Theatre in Oakhurst, is out to trick four suitors into believing she’s four different women.

Starr Billings’ aim: Marry the men, murder them and take their money – a scheme orchestrated by her lawyer, Big Harry Deal. He hires the actress from New York to woo the men. The bad guy and gal, played by Robert Britt and Bree Rose, plan to split the men’s inheritances.

“You are watching two bad guys seduce the rest of the cast, but also each other,” co-director Stephanie Brock says, “so they are being doubly mischievous.”

As a melodrama, the audience is encouraged to boo and cheer the performance along – just please don’t throw the free popcorn at the stage.

Co-director Robyn Wages calls the play a classic melodrama – “over-the-top comedic placement combined with clear, direct delivery of lines, and a little bit of fun.”

The unsuspecting victims: gold miner Grubby Shurtz (Leonard Brown), banker C.D. Nichols (J.R. Romero), lumberjack Forrest Green (Cristien Dunkle), and saloon owner Lucky Betts (Erik Sotelo).

These chaps resort to mail-order brides because they “all have their quirks – let’s put it that way,” Brock laughs.

As the plot thickens, the men get some help from a local tomboy, Grubby’s daughter, Calico Shurtz (Lyric Piccolotti). And saloon patrons also make an appearance: two men (Lou Larmay and Jeri Barron) and Trinket la Glitz (Sherrie Brasher) and Tiara Rhinestone (Amber Holmes), who aren’t too impressed by the femme fatale villainess.

“I hope people really enjoy a good laugh for two hours,” Brock says, “because there is a lot of fun stuff in this show.”

Carmen George: 559-441-6386, @CarmenGeorge

Males Order Bride

  • 7 p.m Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, June 10-26
  • Golden Chain Theatre, 42130 Highway 41, Oakhurst
  • goldenchaintheatre.org, call 559-683-7112
  • $15, $12 for seniors, $10 for active military and students with ID, $8 for children age 12 and younger
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