By BOBBIE GREEN
The Virgin Valley Theater Group (VVTG) launched an original musical melodrama on Friday night, October 8 at the Mesquite Community Theater. The play will have a series of performance dates throughout the month of October.
The performance of “Drama at the Diner, or How the Rebel Found His Cause” had people dancing the aisles to old-fashioned rock and roll music between their bursts of laughter in front of the wacky melodramatic characters hanging out at the Dry like a Bone Diner in Lizard, Nevada, which is allegedly located fairly close to Bunkerville.
The original melodrama was written especially for the Virgin Valley Theater Group by Susan Kjellsen and Nancy Arnold. The two talented ladies have experience writing melodramas together. Each of them is fairly new to Mesquite and has found a home at VVTG.
Although their work is registered intellectual property, they do not charge VVTG for its use. âWe do this because we love it,â said Arnold, who also ran production. âWe donate our scripts because we want VVTG to thrive. Their expenses like rent continued throughout their closure during the pandemic. “
It was impossible to choose just one actor who carried the show. It was a real overall effort and everyone did a great job portraying their characters.
Audiences didn’t need the signs of boos and hisses when it comes to the production villain. They were fully committed to disliking the villain and supporting the hero on their own.
The smart lines in the scripts were delivered perfectly, even though it was opening night.
The group of singers featured in the room, calling themselves “The QTips”, sounded great. Earth Angel was a favorite and important as there were two fiery angels hanging out at the Diner played by Kat Cole and Chad Calmelat.
There was also a lively rendition of “The Stroll” performed at the Sock Hop held at the Diner.
The devious villain played by Glen Bjornson who sported the obligatory mustache, created conflict in the drama.
Love was also in the air between Peggy Sue, played by Marie Palmer, and Johnny B. Goode, played by Robert Craig. Love was blooming shyly with Poppy Cox (Joy Craig) and nerdy Miles Ahead (John Sadler)
If you are going to. be on the lookout for Wonky Donkey and how the Qtips got their name.
The public were treated to intermission entertainment by the Lifelong Dancers and were able to participate in the hand jive and the YMCA. It was two hours of pure family fun. Laughter was genuine throughout the theater. The public left with a smile and morale.
VVTG President Pam Sadler reminded everyone that volunteers and supporters are needed. These productions could not take place without the entire volunteer team, from scenographers and make-up artists to theater ushers.
“Drama at the Diner” will be played on October 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23 at 7pm. Morning performances will take place on October 10 and 17 at 2 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased at the door. Don’t miss the opportunity for an evening filled with laughter. Either you come or you are worth nothing!