Review: Lee Street theatre does some ‘Sneaking Around’

Published 12:10 am Friday, July 5, 2024

SALISBURY — “Texas has a whorehouse in it…”

So goes the anthem of the lusty and entertaining story of a brothel named the “Chicken Ranch,” its owner Mona Stangley, and a sheriff caught between his heart and his job named Ed Earl Dodd.

Lee Street theatre’s musical production opening July 5, “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” will entertain and delight audiences as they enjoy songs from the Larry L. King, Peter Masterson and Carol Church’s musical including “Texas has a Whorehouse in It,” “24 Hours of Lovin’,” “Sneaking Around,” and “I Will Always Love You.” The musical, made famous by the movie starring Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds, runs this month at Lee Street and is not to be missed.

“It’s raucous. It’s bawdy. It’s sexy,” said Nicholas Fuqua, the director and musical director. “We aim to captivate our audience and honor the world’s oldest profession, while skillfully highlighting society’s hypocritical tendencies.  This show, though set in the past, carries a message that remains as relevant today as it was fifty years ago. Women are perpetually fighting an uphill battle, and this production resonates with heart and compassion as it portrays a struggling chicken ranch facing the hypocrisy of society, all while attempting to host a good old-fashioned hoedown. After all ‘There’s Nothing Dirty Goin’ On.'”

“The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” centers around the happy-go-lucky view of small-town vice and statewide political side-stepping, which recounts the good times and the demise of the Chicken Ranch, known since the 1850s as one of the better pleasure palaces in all of Texas. Governors, senators, mayors and even victorious college football teams frequent Miss Mona’s cozy bordello until that Puritan nemesis, “WATCHDOG,” focuses his television cameras and his righteous indignation on the institution.

The musical includes the regional powerhouse voices and talents of Christie Lee Wolf, John Colby Britt, Shar Marlin, Lindsey Litka-Montes, Grayce Pittman, Matt Carlson, Andrew Williams, Caeley Mayo, Jessica Jax, Kiera Whittemore, Tori Carpenter, Shelby Annas, Kaitlyn Williams, Grey Carr, Zezette Pflaum, Sarah Deutsch, Matt Ensley, Garrett Jennings, Mason Livers, Evan Moreno, Raquel Oden, Alana Williamson, Marcella Rosko, Mackenzie Rosko, Andrew Monroe and Peter Bentley.

The production is directed and music directed by Nicholas Fuqua, and features choreography by Alana Williamson and production design & technical direction by Kelly Sandoval. The scenic charge artist is Caitlyn Brown. Ada Rosaldo Valdez manages the stage, while Madison Awlran mixes sound. The assistant stage manager is Eve Rich.

Performances of Lee Street Theatre’s production of “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” are July 5 – 20, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee on Sunday July 14 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are selling fast so you are encouraged to visit to get them while they last. This performance does include the use of adult language and situations and attire appropriate to the context of the show.