Fun show rates six whoops and a holler!
The Root Beer Bandits—A Rootin’ Tootin’ Wild West Musicale has been corralled at Garry Marshall Theatre.
Y’all have to love a town named Sarsaparilla, a one-horse town except the horse ran away. That’s where the Western tale unfolds about a plucky dreamer named Polly (the tremendously talented Grace Yoo), the only gal to ever ride for the Pony Express in 1860.
Delivering a letter to Sarsaparilla’s Sheriff Bailey (the sweetly heroic hunk Clayton Snyder), Polly discovers that a dastardly duo, ornery Copper Penny (the formidable Kelly Brandeburg), and her sidekick-in-crime, Zeke (scene-stealing cowpoke Josey Montana McCoy), are scheming to pilfer the town’s gold-flecked root beer. The hoop-skirt entrepreneur Sally Sue (first rate highflautin’ honey Cloie Wyatt Taylor) gets hogtied but finally helps set things right.
There’s no shoot out, instead justice is served with a “sing out.” The songs are terrific, co-written by director Joseph Leo Bwarie who peppers the production with a fun vaudeville style. There’s a live “cowboy” band on stage, and a hoedown finale that’s as wild as a bucking bronco with bees in his saddlebag.
The behind the scenes: book and lyrics by Joseph Leo Bwarie and Lori Marshall with music by Rachel Lawrence; Christine Larkin choreography; Jessica Champagne-Hansen costume designer; Heather Wright wigs; Benjamin Warren and Siena LaGambina properties design; JM Montecalvo’s lighting showing off Tanya Orellana’s splendid Western scenic design, and perfect casting by Elizabeth Ayoob.
The marshallARTS Family Series presents “The Root Beer Bandits” through Sunday, April 28. For tickets call (818) 955-8101 or visit garrymarshalltheatre.org. Garry Marshall Theatre is located at 4252 W Riverside Dr. in Burbank. Friday, April 19 at 7pm is a sensory-sensitive performance. On Easter Sunday, April 21 at 1pm, the holiday matinee will be followed by an Easter egg hunt for all the lil’ buckaroos.