by Lorie Lewis Ham
This weekend the latest installment of the Throttlebottom series, Throttlebottom’s Salute to Early Television, opens in Hanford at the Temple Theater presented by the Kings Players.
The first Throttlebottom show, P.T. Throttlebottom’s Traveling Medicine Show, was produced in 1996, according to Kings Players board member Corey Ralston. It was the brain child of Charmayne Huntley, a former member of the Kings Players Board of Directors.
“Throttlebottom’s are essentially amateur talent and variety shows,” stated Wyleen Luoma, one of the directors of this year’s show. The material for every Throttlebottom show is original. They are locally written and directed, usually by members of the Kings Players Board of Directors.
According to Wyleen, other Throttlebottom shows have been Wild Phil Throttlebottom’s Wild West Show, Colonel Mimi Throttlebottom’s Parisian Cabaret, Colonel Glen Throttlebottom’s 1938 Radio Hour, The Throttlebottom USO Show and Throttlebottom’s Las Vegas Review.
The current Throttlebottom show, featuring television from the 1950s, was written and is being directed by Wyleen and John Luoma, who also perform in the show. “The theme depends upon the whim of the individual or individuals who volunteer to put on the show,” continued Wyleen.
Some of this year’s acts include The Lemon Sisters, Lilybelle and Mama; Daring Dale and Nurse Nellie, The Hanford Ladies’ Quilting Society, Madame Clari Voyant, The 7th Street Band, Tonapah Bambi, Tony and Maria, Mr. Spinalzo and Friend, Slim Tim and His Guitar, Sister Mary Catherine and the Kazoo Kids, The Great Rondini and Luscious Liz, The Blue-Eyed Songbird, Murphy’s Big Break, and The Thing.
“Throttlebottom does not happen every season,” said Wyleen. “It’s a very big undertaking and is also the biggest fundraiser for the Kings Players since all the material is original [so] there are no costs for scripts or royalties. In its own inimitable fashion, Throttlebottom is pure magic!”
“Throttlebottom shows are a guaranteed crowd pleaser,” shared Corey, who performs in this year’s show. “Each edition we have done has seen huge audiences and public support. Not only are the shows hilarious but they feature new performers that have never graced a stage before.”
Throttlebottom’s Salute To Early Television opens in Hanford at the Temple Theater on September 7 and runs through September 30. More info can be found on their KRL Local Theatre Event page and on the Kings Players website.