'The Wild Wild West' coming to life

By Rhonda Costa-Landers

Appeal Staff Writer

The annual Senior Follies show has been in rehearsal for several weeks now, and the cast is ever so close in bringing the Wild West to the stage of the Carson City Community Center.

Not only has director Norma Conway found her gun-toting, rootin', tootin', boot-scootin' cowgirl in Cathy Swinburg to play Annie Oakley for the 2008 Senior Follies show, but she also has the nostalgic sounds of a harmonica, guitar and ukulele to boot.

"Rehearsals are going excellent," Conway said after completion of Act I rehearsal Wednesday evening. "Act I has really tightened up."

The annual show is a fundraiser for programs at the Carson City Senior Citizens Center, including Meals on Wheels.

Stage Manager Liz Strekal is in her third season working with the show.

"I worked backstage before (this year), both me and my husband, Tom, who is the emcee this year," Strekal said.

"Tom likes to be on stage, I prefer behind the stage."

Strekal noted the production is improving daily.

"We're more on a schedule and it's helped everyone a lot."

Pianist for the production is Bob Reid, who accompanied Swinburg and Floyd B. Smith as they sang "In the Sweet By and By."

Reid also wrote and composed the song which the cast will sing in closing of the show, "A Place in my Heart Called Nevada."

Other songs highlighted through the production include, "Don't Fence Me In," "Nighttime in Nevada," an a capella performance of "Home on the Range," "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," "Oh, You Beautiful Doll," and "I Gotta Be Me."

Most of the cast - 18 men and 18 women - are veterans of the fundraising show.

Performance times and dates are 7 p.m. May 30-31, and 2 p.m. June 1 at the Carson City Community Center. There will also be a 2 p.m. June 8 performance at Piper's Opera House in Virginia City.

"This is the magic of live theater - it will all come together," Conway said.

"The seniors have all been wonderful. I just love them."

Tickets are $20 general admission, $10 seniors and children. For information, call 883-0703.

• Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at rcosta-landers@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1223.

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