by Lorie Lewis Ham
Welcome to the first Local Live! In this new section, we will be highlighting some local theater, music, and literary events worth considering adding to your own event calendar. A new event will be highlighted each Wednesday evening at 7 p.m., in plenty of time for you to include these events in your weekend plans should you so decide. Some will be events we have had the opportunity to experience ourselves; others will be ones we just wish we could attend.
It seems appropriate that KRL’s first Local Live article should be on a Reedley’s River City Theatre Company production, since we ourselves are based in Reedley. I had the privilege of seeing Pump Boys And Dinettes on opening weekend and it was a lot of fun. According to their website, no show more typifies their theatre company than this one. It not only launched their company, but is their most requested title. This is the third production of Pump Boys And Dinettes by River City.
Filled with beautiful harmonies reminiscent of my own Southern Gospel music roots, the twangs of old country music, and down home humor, this show is definitely worth seeing and is a perfect fit for this area. Good old boys and pretty girls fill the small stage with fun and laughter, and I thought the personalization they added was a nice touch. Throughout the show the characters reference Dinuba, Reedley, Kelly’s Beach, Visalia, Kingsburg, Cricket Hollow, and of course the Kings River.
My daughter, Jessica Ham, who is one of KRL’s teen writers, especially loved the dancing fish (you just have to see this to get it), and Michael Angel’s Elvis version of one of the songs—complete with bedazzled gas station coveralls.
This musical does not have a complicated plot line or music only suited to more sophisticated tastes—it’s simple, wonderful, fun, and a great escape from the trying times of our world right now. River City regulars Michael Angel, Stacie Hall, Matt Wiebe, director Mark Norwood, and several others, share the stage with Teresa Gipson making her River City debut. Teresa has performed with Good Company Players and the Fresno Grand Opera. The vocal talent on the stage was top notch. Who knew long time Reedley resident and River City Director Mark Norwood could sing like that!
The band for the show included Reedley’s own Burl Walter Jr. on drums, who was the founder of Reedley High School’s Big Green Marching Machine, and Aarne Kela who tore up the piano throughout the night.
If you’re looking for something fun to do, something to take your mind off the problems of life, Pump Boys And Dinettes is the show to see. It will be playing at Reedley’s Opera House until October 3. For more information visit their website or simply check out the event calendar here at KRL.