Feature Friday - Durango Melodrama & Vaudeville

1.What should we expect with this years show?

This is the story of two orphan girls, Henriette and Louise, who make their way to Paris. H
enriette is kidnapped leaving her blind sister at the mercy of the unscrupulous Mme. La Frochard. The latter provides Louise with shelter on the condition that she begs for money. La Frochard has two sons; Jacques, the elder, who torments Louise, and Pierre, who falls in love with her. Meanwhile, Henriette has been arrested and sent to prison on a misunderstanding. A kindly doctor secures her release, but will she ever see her lost sister again...?

2. What exactly is a Melodrama and Vaudeville?

When done correctly, Melodrama is a tangled combination of superb acting and dramatic overtones that uses subtly accentuated movements with musical accompaniment, to emphasize the drama of the scene. The Vaudeville routines, at the end of the show, are an expression of pure unadulterated fun and farce with both modern and historical overtones. They provide an opportunity for our cast and directors to showcase their personal creativity, humor and wit.As always, your participation in the of hisses, cheers and lilting ahhhh's is a part of the dynamic and fun we form with this collaboration.
3.Tell me a little bit about the history of the Melodrama?

From Rod Barker, Producer - Melodrama began in this theater in the summer of 1962 under the direction of Orvis Grout and the Diamond Circle Melodrama Company which included my Grandmother, Marion Jarvis; Father Earl Barker; Mother, Jentra Barker; with local and regional business pioneers: Mahlon T. "Butch" White, Robert Beers and Mort McGinley. It was a big gamble to produce such a show in a town that was only beginning its entry in to the world of tourism. It ran uninterrupted, for a span of 45 years, including a period under the direction of my sister, Jeannie Wheeldon.

4.Are the people in attendance mainly Durango locals or visitors?

Both… we are fortunate that the theatre is enjoyed by many!
5.What's your favorite way to spend a day in Durango?

This is different for everyone and depends on the time of year. For me, getting up early to enjoy the great weather and life, light breakfast, spend the day enjoying anything outdoors with friends, evening at a lovely restaurant like Mahogany Grille.


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