It was a record weekend for the Virgin Valley Theatre Group (VVTG) with over 400 audience members in attendance for the three performances of “Trouble on the Train.”
This weekend will be the last chance to see this hysterically funny and completely inaccurate account of just how the “Virgin Valley Got its Name.” It may not be the true story but its one that is certainly worth watching.
The weekend began with a bang when the cast members and Pastor Bill Stevenson received a standing ovation on opening night then ended with a sold-out house for the Sunday matinee.
Audience members raved about the show written by Mesquite’s own Nancy Arnold and Sue Kjellsen and performed by a small army of actors, extras and sextet.
It’s a large cast for the VVTG, the second largest in the group’s history next to “Anything Goes” which they performed in 2014; it’s also the second largest audience they’ve seen for performances since then as well.
Is it the music that draws the audience? Perhaps in past performances it was but the success of this play is largely due to Stage Manager, Pam Sadler’s, suggestion that the show feature guest performers.
In Trouble on the Train or How the Virgin Valley Got its Name there is a “Big Wedding” and who better to perform those ceremonies than a real preacher or the town’s Mayor?
Sadler contacted the churches and City Hall to secure six guest actors, a different one for each of the performances and succeeded not only in raising money for the theatre but in raising awareness about the VVTG.
Raising awareness and getting bodies in the seats is the first step in a creating a sustainable theater group but it’s after the bodies are in the seats that the magic begins, and future audience members are secured.
There’s no doubt that this amazing cast of characters has gained a fan or three after keeping the audience in stitches every minute or three from beginning to end.
Everything in this show is over the top and wonderful from the set which was designed by Richard Sisneros to the acting which has created perfection in the production; it’s a melodrama; it’s supposed to be over the top. The group prides themselves on giving you great music, comedy, acting, sound effects (no good melodrama is without sound effects) and half-time entertainment or in theatre terms, intermission.
The audience walked out of the show with comments such as, “Who knew there was so much talent in Mesquite?”; “It was a wonderful show.”; and the best comment ever, “I can’t wait until they do something like this again.” It’s comments such as these that let the crew, writers and actors know that they’ve done their jobs well and they appreciate each one of them.
The cast ended opening weekend on a real high and can’t wait to wow the crowds for the next three performances. Guests for the following performances include Pastor Rick Jackson on March 15 at 7 p.m., Bishop Brian Wursten on March 16 at 7 p.m. and Pastor David Constien on March 17 at 2 p.m.
Come see the magic this cast and crew have created and call a doctor because you will be kept in stitches.