KEARNEY — Be prepared for booing, hissing, heroes, villains and characters with silly names.
“The show starts with everybody gathering at the Lotta Luck Hotel,” said director Kathy Beck. “The proprietress is Lotta Luck, who is an ex-lady gambler. A lot of interesting people are up for an auction. One of them is Col. Ticonderoga Sanders, who is a cattle baron, and his lovely daughter, Heidi Clair.”
The hero, Marshal Marshall Law, tries to get possession of his grandmother’s ring that was lost in a card game.
“The other interesting character is the villain, Rod Enreel,” Beck said. “He’s in cahoots with two different people.”
The Minden Community Players present the melodrama, “The Treasure of Shiver River,” today (Saturday) through July 28 at the Minden Opera House in Minden. Tickets for the production are $8.
“We play to the audience,” the director noted. “We have a chase scene. We always have a chase scene in a melodrama. Everybody is throwing pages from the playbook. Everybody has something to throw at the villain.”
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Even with stereotypical characters and predictable plots, melodramas offer patrons a chance to join in the fun.
“Playing to the audience and getting reactions, that’s the fun of doing this,” Beck said.
Never fear a forgotten line or two.
“You should have seen the rehearsal last night,” Beck laughed. “For some reason the performers were dropping lines and forgetting where they were. Sometimes there were long pauses followed by laughter from the audience. They were enjoying it. So there’s always some ad libbing.”
Beck promises some surprises in the show.
The production uses sound effects for humor.
“Col. Sanders proclaims that he’s a cattle baron and then we have the sound effect of chickens clucking,” she said.
Acting in a melodrama requires some special talents.
“You have to have a real sense of comedy and comedic timing to make this work,” Beck said. “And we have a lot of creative talent on stage.”
For tickets for more information call 308-830-0588 or visit www.mindenoperahouse.com.