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Mid-Columbia Lions Follies: The Wacky Wild West

Show to benefit Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation

The Mid-Columbia Lions Follies will present “The Wacky Wild West” as its 37th annual show April 5-6 and 11-13 for 7:30 p.m. shows, with a matinee performance Sunday, April 7, at 2 p.m. All performances are at the historic Hood River Middle School Auditorium.

The show uses the old-time westerns as its base, including characters from Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Big Valley and the Lone Ranger.

The story takes place in a fictional town called Beverly Gulch, Nev. This opens the door for the housewives and hillbillies of Beverly Gulch to take over.

As chaos clashes with the law, an upcoming town festival and a large payroll shipment, the story unfolds.

The Follies is a fast-moving, musical performance that includes local talent of all ages. One of the highlight performances in the show is “Grandma’s Feather Bed,” performed by 16 local students from the Hood River and White Salmon area. The Can-Can is back with original costumes and music to open the show.

Main characters include Bob Fox as Marshall Billion (replacing Andy Streich due to illness); Dave Tallman as Hoss Cartwrong; Megan Perkins as Miss Katie; Shane McCarthy as the Lone Stranger; Mike Oates as Clevis Tubbs; Sarah Fox as Emma; Rachel Weatherly as Dancing with Cats; and Sandy Belcher as Mrs. Fairmont.

The Follies production folks wanted a western spoof for the 2013 show. Terri Tyler took on the task of writing the show. She started with just a scene or two, but the writing was so good that she was encouraged to write the whole script. The cast is very excited about presenting it.

Bev Bridgewater is the director of the show. Megan Perkins is the vocal director and Annette Wahner is the choreographer.

Since the music is “old-time” and early country western, Rich Garber agreed to record the musical accompaniment for the show. Songs include “Ghost Riders in the Sky,” Don’t Fence Me In,” “Lonesome Me,” “The Auctioneer,” “Cowboy Sweetheart,” “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys,” and several songs from Broadway.

There is no lack of creativity with the cast of the show, and “The Wacky Wild West” has become one more outlet to showcase the many talents of the Follies local cast and crew.

Trudy Tallman has designed and painted the sets for the show. Dorris Greenough, as the costumer, and Alice Pierson, as the cosmetologist, bring the characters to life. Cindy Biddle is once again the stage manager who makes everything work backstage, assisted by Roger Pierson, MacKenzie Schmidt, Mary Jette and Jimmy Oates.

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The show is a fundraiser for Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation. With the support of many local program advertisers, it has raised $326,000 over the years. This makes the Follies the largest single fundraiser for the Founation.

Funds go to aid many Oregon residents who have sight and hearing needs. Among other things, the Foundation helps fund surgeries for individuals and it supports new research in sight and hearing.

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