By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
Tickets for the Chase County Fair’s musical have been printed, but the name has been changed. Instead of “Big River,” the Imperial Community Players will be presenting “Pump Boys and Dinettes.”
The change was made, according to Director Jeremy Vlasin, because not enough people auditioned for the Huckleberry Finn adventure musical. The new one has a cast of six.
The musical was performed a number of years ago in Imperial. Vlasin calls it a fun one. “I think the audience will leave saying it was a lot of fun.”
The scene is set at the Double Cupp Diner along Highway 57 in Grand Old Opry Country. Four gas station attendants at the combined filling station-diner spar with the two Cupp sisters, who waitress at the diner.
The musical is interactive with the audience. The actors tell their life story to the audience, drawing them “through the window,” Vlasin said. The cast will mix with the audience, and some audience members may be invited onto the stage.
“Seventy-five percent of the dialogue is spoken to the audience,” he commented.
The cast consists of Paul Gaschler as Jim, Vlasin as LM, Mark Gaschler as Eddie, Derek Gaschler as Jackson, Jilanne German as Rhetta and Sara Behrends as Prudie.
Set in the present day, the cast sings such rock and roll/country songs as “Farmer Tan” and “Be Good or Be Gone.”
A band will be on stage, consisting of Robbie Browning on piano, Nick Talbott on lead guitar, Lucas Bauerle on bass guitar and Chevy Smith on drums.
The musical was written by John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel and Jim Wann.
“Pump Boys and Dinettes” will be presented Aug. 9 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Aug. 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Chase County Schools auditorium.
Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children, increasing $1 after Aug. 3. Tickets may be purchased from Chase County Fair Tickets by calling (308) 882-5260 or (800) 472-3247.