Local amateurs Allegro return to Church Hill
By Thom Dibdin
Edinburgh amateur musical company Allegro are to stage Larry L. King and Peter Masterson’s provocatively titled The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas at the Church Hill Theatre this week.
First staged on Broadway in 1978, Best Little Whorehouse ran for a total of 1584 performances. Music and lyrics are by Carol Hall. It is based on true events, when a Texas brothel was forced to close down after 70 years of trading because of the pious indignation of a crusading Houston radio reporter Marvin Zindler.
The Allegro production features a cast of 41 and is directed by Janice Bruce with choreography by Alison Scott and musical direction from Angus Tully. Melanie Sherwood stars as Miss Mona the madam of the Chicken Ranch brothel in rural Texas, the role which won a Tony award for Carlin Glynn and was played by Dolly Parton in the 1982 movie adaptation.
Peter Tomassi plays Mona’s one-time lover Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd, who is forced to close the establishment down, the role which earned Henderson Forsythe his Tony on Broadway and was played by Burt Reynolds in the movie.
Lech Boron plays the radio reporter Melvin P. Thorpe, fresh from the personal triumph of exposing a peanut bar for not having as many peanuts as advertised, who now sets his sights on the rather bigger prize of closing down the Chicken Ranch.
In a classic case of political double standards, many of the state’s politicians who have been customers at the brothel publicly denounce it and its inhabitants in order to preserve their political careers. Including the State Governor, who just happens to be offering the winners of a local football match the prize of a night at the Ranch.
When Thorpe bursts in on proceedings, the Sheriff’s protection counts for nothing – Miss Mona and all her girls are thrown out onto the street while Melvin P. Thorpe receives a commendation from the Governor for his services to the state of Texas.
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas runs at the Church Hill Theatre, Morningside Road, Tuesday 26th – Saturday 30th October 2010 at 7.30pm with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. Tickets are £10.00 (opening night and matinee) and £12.50.
Contact 07526 718676 for ticket details.
Tickets are also available here, through Ticket Scotland