Entertainment

Country meets classical in ‘Cowgirls the Musical’

The all-female cast of “Cowgirls the Musical” will be acting, singing and playing their own instruments, says director Rocky Rhoades.
The all-female cast of “Cowgirls the Musical” will be acting, singing and playing their own instruments, says director Rocky Rhoades. Dave & Dianne Fine Photography

Boots are about to meet Beethoven as “Cowgirls the Musical” takes the stage.

The latest production from Sonora’s Stage 3 Theatre Company brings country and classical music together in a comedy about mix-ups and finding the right mix. The musical begins its run Friday, April 8, and will run through Sunday, May 8, at the foothills theater.

The story begins with a crisis as Jo, the owner of her family’s country-western saloon, is on the brink of foreclosure. So to save her failing business she tries to hire the popular Cowgirl Trio. But instead of bringing in torch and twang, she accidentally books the Coghill Classical Music Trio. When the wrong group shows up to play, cultures clash.

The show features six local and regional actors, all newcomers to Stage 3 productions. The all-female cast will be acting, singing and playing their own instruments.

“New actors, staff and crew members are very important to us at Stage 3; new faces are the life’s blood of any community theater,” said company production manager and show director Rocky Rhoades.

While the show’s performers will be debuting with the company, many have performed throughout the region for years. Among them is 2013 Valley’s Got Talent champion Shelly Bort, who is also stepping in as the show’s musical director. Bort plays the piano-playing leader of the Coghill Trio and will be joined by local performers Leilani Villamor on cello and and Sarah Spenker on violin. Rounding out the cast will be Holly Johnston as saloon owner Jo, Mackenzie Hamilton as waitress Micky and Hanna Lundgren as cook/cashier Mo.

Watching this show come together has been like watching a piece of folk art come to life.

Director Rocky Rhoades

Bort, who will also make her Stage 3 directing debut later this year with “Forbidden Broadway,” said she has “fallen in love with this company.” The actresses have bonded on the production like their onstage counterparts.

“Absolutely we’ve become a band. Everyone has their strengths, so everyone gets to shine at different times. The songs in ‘Cowgirls’ are very solo heavy, and I wanted it to be more ensemble, so I reworked many songs to make room for everyone,” Bort said in a statement about the play. “It was a big job, but I’m so glad I stuck to it, because it’s really brought us together.”

Rhoades said bringing together the all-new cast has been a “wild ride,” but says the results should please the audience.

“Sometimes in creative endeavors being lucky matters. Taking on ‘Cowgirls the Musical’ was a big dream and a big step for the staff at Stage 3, and I feel so lucky to have this cast,” he said. “Watching this show come together has been like watching a piece of folk art come to life. From the opening note to the finale song, every twang and every changing tempo, this show is pure and honest entertainment, and I’ve been so proud to help bring this dream to life.”

Marijke Rowland: 209-578-2284, @marijkerowland

Cowgirls the Musical

When: Opens 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 8; shows are 7:30 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays, through Sunday, May 8

Where: Stage 3 Theatre Company, 208 S. Green St., Sonora

Tickets: $25 adults; $22 seniors; $17 students

Call: 209-536-1778

Online: www.stage3.org

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