Suburban Legend Presents
Last Chance Saloon: A Wild West Pantomime
January 8, 9, 10 and 15, 16, 17 at the Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, Maplewood, NJ
Suburban Legend launches its 4th season with an original play called Last Chance Saloon: A Wild West Pantomime at the Burgdorff on January 8th at 7:30 p.m. This original play was written by Chrissy and Ridley McIntyre and directed by Ridley McIntyre. The show is produced by Kathleen and Edward Ash-Milby and Chrissy McIntyre.
The McIntyre’s took over the mantle of panto in SOMA from Liz and Gareth Jones last year, bringing “Robin Hood: A Very British Pantomime” to the towns.
Locals have come to love this very British tradition, which has become a staple of the holiday season in South Orange and Maplewood.
The first production, “Arrrr! A Very British Pantomime” introduced the town to the British holiday tradition of panto — a family show that is a cross between a fairy tale and a broad vaudevillian stage show. Some classic panto tropes include the principal boy which is always played by a woman, the Dame which is always a man in garish drag, and a plot usually ending with a happily ever after. In between all that, there is singing and joking, talking back and forth with the audience and a raucous good time had by everyone, young and old.
The shows raise thousands of dollars each year for local charities. The actors, directors, producers and the behind-the-scenes helpers all graciously donate their time to create a very special theatrical experience for families.
This year, the writers decided to change things up and move the show from a traditional British setting and put the characters out in the Old West. “Well, it’s not old yet, so they just call it ‘the West’.” You’ll still find all your favorite Panto tropes like the Dame, the Principal Boy, the calling back and forth with the actors, singing, laughing and even dancing. But this year, the actors will have a little western twang.
Producer Edward Ash-Milby said, “When Chrissy and Ridley announced the next production would be a Western, there was a lot of excitement among the cast. I believe we yeehawed to the news. The question would be how much of the classic Western we can pack into a show. As it turns out: a lot!”
Once again, proceeds from the show will go directly to local charities. Suburban Legend is happy to donate profits collected to support St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, NJ and Bridges Outreach which has a few locations in our area. Chrissy McIntyre said, “I think giving the money to help those in our neighborhood helps foster a real sense of community among the cast. Everyone pitches in to help with the production and we all just want to make a great show so we can sell out and give as much as we can.”
Towards that end, there is a new way to raise money in the form of a gallery show. Cat Delett of Cat Delett Art and Illustration and Chrissy McIntyre have teamed up to create a gallery show at the Burgdorff during the run. It’s called The American West Through East Coast Eyes and features local artists work on that theme. Part of the art sales will also go to the charities listed above.
On continuing the tradition of bringing panto to Maplewood, Joe Giannone, the longest running cast member had this to say, “I took part in my first British panto because I’m interested in foreign languages and exotic cultures, but I keep coming back because it’s always so incredibly fun. One doesn’t often get the chance to perform, in front of all your friends and family, a play for which you help write gags, build scenery and, in short, bring to life. We have a really talented, wacky group of people and for several months we have a lot of laughs and eat a lot of pizza.”
The year is 1865. The town of Lickety Split, Kansas has fallen on bad times, and has been broke for years – owing all their money to a local gang. At the local watering hole, owner Miss Kitty and her bouncer Josie Wales are trying to put together a show to lure interest from the NJT railroad company. They’re looking to build a station nearby and Miss Kitty wants Lickety Split to be that stop, but first she has to convince her childhood friend and secret beau Sheriff John “Duke” Morrison to join in on the idea.
However, all bets are off when two strangers walk into town, with a secret mission to find gold in the haunted caves. Can Smith and Jones get the gold and keep it, or will the local gang clean them out, too? Find out in our hilarious Wild West Show unlike any other!