Dastardly deeds and a damsel in distress
Someone will be tied to the railroad tracks during "Good Enough For Me," a fun-filled play with all of the clichés, stage-asides and over-acting of an old-fashioned melodrama.
"But who gets tied to the tracks will surprise you," says Patricia Leines-Pine, who plays Purity Goodenough in the play. Leines-Pine was Miss Oregon in 1996 and a runner-up for Miss America.
Sharon Wesner-Becker, chairwoman for Belles and Beaus, a Jacksonville organization that stages Old West and Victorian events, is the producer.
Shows are set for 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, at Bigham Knoll, 525 E. E St., in Jacksonville.
Melodrama has had a long and colorful past in Jacksonville, and "Good Enough For Me" is tied with Jacksonville's 150th Jubilee Week — a 10-day celebration that starts Thursday. See www.jacksonvilleoregon.us for a full schedule of events.
"Melodrama was performed at the Old Pioneer Village through the '60s and into the early '80s," Leines-Pine says. "It was the old wood fort that stood along Highway 238 just as you entered Jacksonville."
"Good Enough For Me" is based on "Clear the Tracks!," an original melodrama by Barbara Haley, who wrote the script about 15 to 20 years ago. It was produced at a small theater in Merlin that ran melodramas for a number of years, according to Wesner-Becker.
Haley's story is about the poor Widow Goodenough and her orphaned granddaughter, Purity, who will lose their home if the railroad is not completed on time. Our hero, Tom Trueheart, promises to save the day, but dastardly Duncan Darkdeeds and his evil accomplice, Simon Sneed, conspire to disgrace Trueheart, take over the railroad and blackmail Purity into marriage.
Local actors Robin Downward, Robert Wesner, Mark Madge, Donna Dominick and Flora Albano play Trueheart, Darkdeeds, Sneed, Wanda Wayward and the widow, respectively.
"Trueheart is like Superman meets Mighty Mouse," says Leines-Pine. "He's never touched alcohol until he meets Wanda. At first, Wanda colludes with Darkdeeds, but in the end she chooses good over evil."
Musician and composer Bob Milrad
revised the script for the Jacksonville Jubilee melodrama.
"Milrad is originally from New York City," says Wesner-Becker. "He worked in Los Angeles, too. He did film, and he worked with Sondheim. He's now based in Medford."
Milrad lends his experience to this melodrama by adding musical highlights that include music by Richard Rogers and Cole Porter.
"We'll all be singing," Leines-Pine says. "There are solos and duets for every character in the show, except the widow. Milrad will provide keyboard accompaniment and Dominick helped us choreograph the steps for our musical numbers."
Jeff Tabler, director of the Oregon Conservatory of the Performing Arts, directs "Good Enough for Me."
During the shows, audiences will be encouraged to participate with loud boos, hisses and cheers.
The show is the first public event to be held in the Bigham Knoll ballroom, a renovated gymnasium that was part of the old Cascade Christian High School.
General admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors 55 and older and children 13 and younger. Call 541-899-8118 for information.