Throttlebottom Productions Presents The Tonapah Bambi Show In Hanford

Jun 1, 2016 | 2016 Articles, Lorie Lewis Ham, Theatre

by Lorie Lewis Ham

This weekend Throttlebottom Productions Presents The Tonapah Bambi Show which will be performed in Hanford at the Temple Theater by the Kings Players. We took a moment to chat with Wyleen Luoma, one of the directors of this show, and with “Bambi,” who is played by Wyleen.

KRL: Please share with us exactly what this show is and what type of acts there will be?

Wyleen: The show is an eclectic mix of comedy (lots of comedy!), instrumental and vocal music, exhibition dancing, gospel and blues numbers, synchronized swimming,
culture (Shakespeare), and art (“The Masterpiece”).


Tonapah Bambi (Wyleen Luoma)

KRL: When and how did the character of Bambi come to be, and can you tell us a little about her?

Wyleen: Bambi was the brainchild of former Kings Players Board member Charmayne Huntley, who conjured Bambi up to entertain at the retirement party for one of Kings County’s BOS members. Bambi was a hit from that event forward and has appeared multiple times on the Temple Theater stage and in other venues as well.

KRL: What is it like directing this show?

Wyleen: There are actually three “primary” Directors as well as Directors of several specialty numbers. Multiple Directors is somewhat unusual for us, but this production features 42 performers in 26 Acts and we felt that was the most efficient way to bring the whole thing together. And as one of the Directors of this production, I can honestly say I’ve never had more fun in anything else I’ve directed – and there’ve been quite a few!


Chris and Denise Jorden doing their thing as the dance duo Motion

KRL: What is the most fun about directing this show?

Wyleen: Every bit of it! Especially the laughter – everybody laughs most of the time. In my book, it doesn’t get much better than that!

KRL: What do you enjoy most about playing Bambi?

Wyleen: What’s not to enjoy channeling a tall Dolly Parton with all of Dolly’s accoutrements except her talent? And playing her always for laughs…

Interview with “Bambi”:

KRL: Please give us some background on your performing experiences.

Bambi: Oh, Honey, that would take an awful long time. So my manager has enclosed a letter about me written by P. Theodore Throttlebottom. Teddy (that’s what I call him) is a real impri….impre……impresario – and one of my very special friends! (see letter below)


Debbie Walker doing Juliet’s Balcony Scene

KRL: You are the MC of this current show, tell us what that is like?

Bambi: Well, now, that’s a darned good question! Being a Master (I would say “Mistress,” but some folks don’t care much for that word) of Ceremonies is a great big responsibility. But when you come right down to it, it’s pretty much the same as herding cats.

From the desk of P. Theodore Throttlebottom, Jr.:

Throttlebottom Productions has a long and historic association with Hanford. The founder of today’s entertainment empire, Colonel Phineas T. Throttlebottom roamed the dusty roads of 1880s America pedaling his patent elixir and recruiting local talent to entertain the crowds between his colorful exhortations to purchase his cure-all nostrum.

Over the decades, Throttlebottom evolved into the multi-media entertainment powerhouse it is today. Whatever the medium, Throttlebottom has stayed true to its traveling troupe origins. The 1932 Radio Cavalcade, the wartime USO Show, The 1952 traveling Television Talent Search, Wild Phil’s Wild West Show, the Lost Wages Review and the international hit, Colonel Mimi Throttlebottom’s Parisian Cabaret, have all included Hanford on the Throttlebottom circuit.

Bambi was discovered by Throttlebottom talent scouts in Tonapah, Nevada where she regularly appeared at the Tonapah Elks lodge and starred at Buddie’s Crow Bar and Truck Stop. Bambi’s down-home warmth and folksy charm quickly won over talent scouts and she was persuaded to join Team Throttlebottom. A uniquely talented performer, Bambi has the ability and the heart to gather similar talent around her. Although she has toured the entire country as Throttlebottom’s ambassador, Bambi is especially happy to be back in Hanford once again.

Please accept my personal invitation to sit back and enjoy Bambi and our extraordinary Throttlebottom troupe for a memorable evening of entertainment.
PTT, Jr., CEO Throttlebottom Productions

Dates for The Tonapah Bambi Show are June 3, 4, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, with Friday and Saturday evening performances at 7:30 and Sunday matinee’s at 2 p.m., at the Temple Theater, 514 E. Visalia Street, in Hanford. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at (559) 584-7241 and on their website:

You can find more theatre articles, and other entertainment articles, in our Arts & Entertainment section.

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and an enthusiastic contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet.


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