Monday, February 17, 2014



Get ready to shout a few "hee haws" and "ride 'em, cowboys" if you plan to travel to that infamous "chicken ranch" located in the lone star state of Texas.  Based on a real brothel with a colorful history, "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" is a rip-roaring, rootin'-tootin' musical comedy with music and lyrics by Carol Hall and book by Larry L. King and Peter Masterson.  The Connecticut Cabaret Theatre in Berlin will be entertaining the ladies and gents lavishly or maybe lasciviously weekends until Saturday, March 15.

Director and producer Kris McMurrray really likes this show, because this is his fifth dance with the musical and the first one in which he isn't prominently featured on stage.  It has lost none of its appeal since its opening on Broadway in June of 1978. Just be aware the language of four letter words is as colorful as the story.

For more than a century, the Chicken Ranch has been operating with the smooth hand and guidance of Miss Wulla Jean (Linda Kelly) until she passed on and Miss Mona (Kelly Bourque) took over the reins and continued its fine reputation of service to the gentlemen of the community of Gilbert, Texas.  Perhaps it ran so well because the Sheriff Ed Earl (Tom Roohr) and the Mayor (Rick Bennett) shut their eyes and tacitly gave it their protection and approval.

All boded well until the Chicken Ranch got into the crusading cross hairs of one television rabble rouser, the barking watch dog,  Melvin P. Thorpe (Bobby Schultz) who decided the brothel must cease and desist its business operations. Needless to say, Miss Mona and her girls did not take kindly to old Mel and his interference.  Involving the Senator (Russell S. Fish) and the Governor (Steve Sorriero) were no help.  The loyal customers or if you prefer guests (Rick Bennett, Chris Brooks, Will Dayton, James J. Moran, William Moskaluk, Chris Pearson) were doomed to be disappointed while Mona's girls (Ashley Ayala, Kaite Corda, Shannon Fish, Sandra Lee, Erika Lee Pocock, Elizabeth Bernard, Jessica E. Rubin and Carleigh Schultz) and Mona's right hand gal (Alison McMeans) were powerless to stop the tide of censorship and change.

Kris McMurray provides a snappy good ole time for all as he directs this large and enthusiastic cast from all over Connecticut.  Musical director Pawel Jura leads his band spiritedly through such numbers as "Girl, You're a Woman Now," "The Sidestep," "Hard Candy Christmas" and "I Will Always Love You." For tickets ($30), call the CT Cabaret Theatre, 31-33 Webster Square Road, Berlin at 860-829-1248 or online at Remember to pack goodies to share at your table or plan to buy desserts and drinks at their onsite cafe.

Come to the hoedown with or without your cowboy hat and spurs.  A fashion show worthy of Frederick's of Hollywood lingerie is an extra treat.

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