The atmosphere was liberal as liberal could be as members of the Sam Houston State University Musical Theatre Program ran a sound check for the latest performance, “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.”
I watched as members of the cast frolicked with delight on stage in front of the obvious whorehouse in background, and grew interest as I accrued the aura of joy that the actors were projecting. I marveled as men and woman sang and caressed each other in the sake of art.
The Musical Theatre program is celebrating its 50th year anniversary by putting on shows that were firsts in the programs history on the main stage. “Whorehouse” was the first show to be put on when musical theatre became an actual program in 1994. The show is a big cult classic in Texas musical theatre productions and was originally written by Larry King, Peter Masterson and Carol Hall. The story is based on an actual whorehouse called the Chicken Ranch that was closed by reporter famous journalist Marvin Zindler.
Penny Hasekoester, director, is at the helm of what she hails to be more than just a show about a whorehouse.
“This show is not what it seems. People think of it as a play OC scantly clad girls,” said Hasekoester. “It has more to do with the way we sell out and who has power. It’s not just to be shocking. There are real people in real situations.”
Tommy Tune is the plays original choreographer and one a Tony Award for the plays Broadway performance. Jonanthon Charles has a special connection with the production and draws from the original format mastered by Tune, but puts his own slant to it.
“I love this style because it’s very contemporary. It’s very special to me because how more Texas can you get than this?” said Charles. “It’s not your typical musical theatres, Broadway show. The music is different; it’s Texas.”
The epitome of the play for Charles is the Aggie Number, which actually plays on the Texas A&M Aggies.
Jen Lacy plays, Mona who is the owner of the whorehouse. This will be Lacy’s biggest part and will be her last performance. Lacy along with the rest of the cast began working on the production in mid August.
“It is the most fun that I’ve had because it’s a silly and fun show,” said Lacy. “Everyone actually gets along in this cast.”
Whether you are a fan of whorehouses or not, this ‘Whorehouse’ is sure to be seduce the audience to a standing ovation. There is singing, acting and dancing, and best of all the real life situations are some that people go through.
“The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” will be showing this Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.