Being a writer of historical fiction, particularly surrounding the mining towns of Colorado, I take every opportunity to make the short drive to Cripple Creek and check out the latest and greatest melodramas at the Butte Theater.
Tonight was opening night for the fall season with an original melodrama written by Chris Sorenson, a veteran of Cripple Creek theater. The offering this season is called "Haunting at the Old Homestead" followed by a Halloween Olio.
My husband and I love to go to the melodrama whenever we have the opportunity and even though we know the players by face only, they have come to feel like family members who melt our hearts each time they light up the stage.
Without giving away the plot, suffice it to say the melodrama surrounds paranormal activities of the Old Homestead, a true-to-life brothal on Myers Avenue, the Red Light District of 1890s Cripple Creek. The building still stands today as a museum. The house and its notorious madam, Pearl DeVere are the fixtures upon which the story is built. Ghostbusting is the theme of this fun-filled evening at the Butte. Filled with music, chills, thrills, laughter, fun, mystery and surprises, I am happy to report HAUNTING at the OLD HOMESTEAD is the finest piece of work I have seen come out of the Butte Theater since....well, EVER.
The Olio was hysterically funny, so much so that when the three male actors, Mickey Burdick, Rob Scharlow and Chris Joel Onken came out dressed in creepy, monster drag (yes, that means female monster drag) singing their own special versions of a few pop songs about "creepy, evil, seductive women", I laughed till I couldn't catch my breath. Chris Onken was my personal favorite, stepping onto the stage looking like a bizarre, young Stevie Nicks with a twist of gender bender singing Witchy Woman. Honestly, I laughed so hard the tears were rolling down my face along with all my eye makeup, no doubt making me look like a "Witchy Woman" of a different sort. It's safe to say that everyone in the theater was laughing just as hard if not harder than I. When the troupe sang "Monster Mash" I found myself singing the do-wops (something I did in an Elvis band years ago, but that's a story for another day).
I sum it all up by saying this: if you live in the Pikes Peak Region and haven't been to the Butte Theater you are missing a treat. Especially with this production. BEST EVER! Check out their website for more info at ButteTheater.com or on Facebook (search "The Butte Theater"). This particular melodrama started today, October 5 and ends November 4.
Way to go, Butte Theater and The Thin Air Theatre Company.