Come back to 1870 Julian. You are a miner working the gold mines. You and three other miners have shared a 10 x 10 cabin for the past 6 months. Your only entertainment has been playing cards with a ratty old deck and lying to one another about past adventures. Now a *SHOW* is coming to town, a melodrama with a villain, a hero, and (rarest of all) women. There’s singing, cheering, booing, hissing, and WOMEN.
The Triangle Club has been putting on the Melodrama for about 50 years. You can almost count on something memorable happening. Like the time the hero’s punch accidentally made contact with the villain and knocked him out the window. Dr. Merrik had to take him next door and stitch him up while director, Mrs. Bobbi Green, filled in as the villain for the rest of the performance. Or like when the hero was fighting the villain and the villain’s young son yelled out in a tearful anguished voice “That’s my Daddy, don’t hurt my Daddy!” And how about the time the local ambulance driver was playing the part of the hero and got called for an emergency. A professional actor from England was in the audience and he volunteered to fill in. Bobbi handed him a script and the show continued on. Often the funniest lines of all come from the audience who are encouraged to participate (after being reminded by Director Bobbi that this is a family show), by offering words of advice, encouragement and warning to the players on stage. One year the Civil War Reenactors were in town and decided to attend a Melodrama performance in full period costume. The Left side was filled with Confederate soldiers and the right with the Union soldiers. There was definitely full audience participation. If one side booed the other side booed louder, in friendly competition! And they sang Civil war songs. The play took an extra hour to complete but everyone had fun and felt like they were back in the 1860s.
This year’s director, Garnet Welch, is cracking the whip over the all-volunteer cast, who come from all walks of life to put on the traditional Melodrama and raise money for our local charities. Garnette will also play the instantly recognizable Melodrama music that lets you know if the villain or hero is coming next. Bobbie Green, who has been the Melodrama’s zany director for at least the past 30 years (participant of 35 years), has folded up her director’s chair and passed her megaphone to Garnette. Lola Barbee has worked tirelessly throughout the past 30 plus years to write most of the original scripts for the Triangle Club’s annual Melodrama performances.
Over the years, the Triangle Club chorus group has had some pretty interesting costumes. They always start with a temperance number dressed in black skirts, white Victorian blouses, lace up boots and wide brimmed hats. And they always end with a “floozy” number dressed in saloon dresses with boas around their shoulders and feathers in their hair. But it’s their middle number that’s always a surprise. In the past, these respectable middle-aged mostly Reubenesque-figured ladies have dressed as fairies, chickens, cats, bees, little kids, teenagers, and in bathing costumes of the period. This year’s number is still top secret. What they won’t do in the name of charity!
One thing is never a surprise. You can always count on having fun at this one and a half hour bargain-priced, entertainment-packed family show! Don’t forget to come 15 minutes early for the community sing-a-long.