May 15, 2003
"Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" on Southampton College's Avram Stage
Musical Adaptation of Notorious Bordello Ends Players' Season
(631) 287 8313
Fax: (631) 283 4081
The Southampton Players are winding up another successful theater season with their version of the true story of the notorious bordello in "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas." The musical performances will kick-off the College's summer activities and presentations.
"The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" began as an article in Playboy magazine by Larry L. King. Later, Peter Masterson joined King to co-write the story of the legendary Texas brothel known as the Chicken Ranch that operated quietly and successfully from the 1830s to 1973 when it was finally shuttered by the efforts of a crusading Houston radio commentator and his conservative constituents.
Although many of the state's politicians were known to have been customers of the house of ill-repute, they were eager to preserve their political careers and loudly denounced the Chicken Ranch and its inhabitants. Despite the protection of the local sheriff, Edna Milton, the proprietress of the Chicken Ranch, is forced to pack her belongings and the Texas institution was closed.
"Many people feel that 'Whorehouse's is demeaning to and for women," said Players Director Michael Disher. "On the contrary, these women chose to control their bodies and their destinies. It was, in fact, one of the first few successfully female-run and managed establishments. These women were pioneers, entrepreneurs. They found solidarity amongst themselves and relied on their own combined strengths."
Disher has once again assembled a magnificent cast of more than 30 actors, including past Players' favorites Abby Flynn, Ted Lapides, Vince Doty, Lisa McCluskey, Victoria Blumberg, Bobby Shortle, Ericka Winne and Jeff Schaffer. Mark Strecker is cast as the Sheriff and Suzanne Nicoletti will play Miss Mona. Disher also designed the production along with Ben Miller, and Carol Hall's delightful country-western score is being handled by musical director and award-winning pianist Dan Koontz.
"The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" was originally produced at the Actor's Studio in New York City in 1977 and was Tommy Tune's first choreographed work on Broadway. Less than a year later, the musical moved to the 46th Street Theatre on Broadway, where it ran 1584 performances before closing in 1982. A 1982 film version featured Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds.
The Southampton Players have gained recognition as one of Long Island's most widely-known theater troupes, regularly selling out shows and performing a wide variety of productions, from locally-written comedies to boisterous, full-scale musicals. They've had major successes with past summer musicals including "Cabaret" and "A Chorus Line."
Performance times are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 5 p.m. on Sundays June 6-8, 13-15 and 20-22 in the Avram Theater. Reservations are highly recommended, as Southampton Players have packed the house in the past with their popular musicals. Tickets are $15/$10 students and seniors. Call The Southampton Players Box Office at 631-287-8899.