CU Phoenix Players bring a rootin’ tootin’ show to the stage

Bonnie Bucy • Updated Jul 26, 2013 at 9:28 PM

“Deadwood Dick, or the Game of Gold,” a rootin’ tootin’ melodrama based on the “Dime Novels” of Edward L. Wheeler, will be firing up the Heydel Fine Arts Center at Cumberland University Feb. 23-26 as the Phoenix Players proudly present their 2012 Spring Production. Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m. and the matinee on Sunday is at 2 p.m.

A special Dinner Show will again be offered in conjunction with Castle Heights Chop House on the Friday and Saturday evenings where $20 includes meal, drink (alcoholic beverages sold separately) and a show ticket. Dinner will be served beginning at 5:30 p.m. Call 449-9800 for further details and reservations.

Remember the lure of the Old West with its heroes, lily pure maidens and black hearted gamblers? Well, in 1876, Edward Wheeler started turning out “dime novels” about a Robin Hood of the Black Hills whom he named Deadwood Dick. Overnight, Dick became so popular that the series continued for 15 years.

Playwright Tom Taggart has taken the most exciting situations, the more colorful characters and the most amusing dialogue from these novels and fashioned a blood and thunder melodrama with long lost daughters, stolen gold mines, and kidnapped heroines where hairbreadth escapes abound.

Directed by Larry “Doc” Menefee, the cast of the exciting shoot’em up includes Nicholas Williams as Ned Harris, alias Deadwood Dick; Deron Martel as Wild Bill Hickok, Mallary Ferraro as Lily Blossom, Anna Rose as Rose, Cory Carlton as Blackman Redburn, Jack Yatsko as Judge Nix, Charity Cruz as Calamity Jane, Jessica Bailey as La Paloma, Brittney Heater as Pong Ping, David Webb as Chet Pussy, Slater Parks as Sheriff Loveless, Samantha Smith as Molly Loveless, Andrea Davis as Teetotal Tessie and Larry Davis, Brendan Martel and Debbie Williams as miners, toughs, saloon girls and crusaders.

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