A more elaborate return of ‘Cathouse Afternoon’ | NevadaAppeal.com

A more elaborate return of ‘Cathouse Afternoon’

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
Cathylee James as Widow Edna, Vickie Clarke as Widow Emma, Gemma Shulte as Bella in Cathouse Afternoon.
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Will Rose, the writer and director of “Cathouse Afternoon,” a musical which will begin its second season at Piper’s Opera House on Friday night, spent his week concentrating on the set.

He had heard that last year’s set was a bit simple ,and hoped to add a more elaborate background. More storefronts were added as well as more props, including a naked posterior in stained glass.

“I’m just stoked because the set is better, and this is just a great place to do a show,” Rose said.

He has been working in show business for almost 40 years and wrote original music for the play. He came up with the idea while driving from Las Vegas to Northern Nevada and seeing all the brothels.

The play, set in 1879, is based in the fictional Esmeralda’s brothel, named after Esmeralda County. The cast of 20 includes Will’s wife, Sheree, who plays Esmeralda, and includes songs like “Me and My Girls” and “Cathouse Afternoon.”

“It’s a look at the life of the madam and the brothel,” said Sheree Rose. “It shows the people on both sides, from the girls working there to those opposed to it. It has a lot of comedy and sadness about life in the cathouse.”

The music is written for a four-piece band including a banjo, mandolin, bass and fiddle with a modern twist.

“It makes use of instrumentation from the 1870s, with a reggae feel. It’s modern rhythm with the old-style instruments,” Will Rose said.

Sheree Rose said the show looks to engage the audience without embarrassing them.

“We try to get the people involved so the cast starts in the audience, interacting with them before they take the stage,” Sheree Rose said.

She cautions that even though the show is a musical, parents should be wary of bringing young children because of the subject matter.

“It is a mature show. It’s about brothels and all the things that go on there,” she said.

During the first weekend, the show will also do a Saturday matinee. After that, the only Saturday matinee will be the children’s musical “Old Plumb Bottom.” The show, also written by Rose, uses hip-hop music to tell the story of a monster that lives in the mines around Silver City.

Rose said the musical is designed to teach children about mine safety.

“Cathouse Afternoon” runs at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday; and 7 p.m. June 23-24, 30, July 1, 7-8. Tickets are $25 for reserved seating, $20 for general seating and $18 for seniors and students.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at jshipley@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.

If you go

What: “Cathouse Afternoon,” a Will Rose Production

When: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday; June 23-24, 30; July 1, 7-8. A Saturday matinee will be held at 2 p.m. this week only

Where: Piper’s Opera House, 12 N. B St., Virginia City

Cost: $25 for reserved seating, $20 for general seating and $18 for seniors and students

Call: 847-0433