BWW Reviews: Vintage Theatre Presents High Spirits with BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS!

Vintage Theatre presents THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS playing now through May 5th. This happy go lucky view of small town vice and statewide political side-stepping recounts the good times and the demise of the Chicken Ranch, one of the better pleasure palaces in all of Texas. Governors, senators, and even victorious college football teams frequent Miss Mona's until that puritan nemesis Watchdog focuses his television cameras and his righteous indignation on the institution.

I have to say that this show a complete delight to watch and I want to commend every actor and crew member for such a wonderful show. This production hit every comedic note and tugged at our heartstrings along with some stellar voices and fantastic dancing. While the show ran a little long, the talented and energetic cast kept everyone engaged from beginning to end. My only wish was for a different ending. While I do love a good tragic and dramatic musical, secretly I am a hopeless romantic at heart. I wish that they had changed the ending to reflect the movie whereas Ms. Mona and the Sheriff get together in the end. In this day and age of senseless deaths and violent acts in the real world, I feel the audience needs to leave the theater with their hearts swooning over the love of the Sheriff and the Madame.

While the men were energetic and delightful, this show truly belonged to the women. Full of sarcasm, empathy, and Southern charm, Denver favorite Boni McIntyre enchanted everyone with her stellar portrayal of Ms. Mona. Girl You're a Woman, No Lies (fierce duet with Jewell), and The Bus from Amarillo really drew the audience in and made us all fall in love with Mona and Boni with each sensational note from this stunning songstress. I adorEd Scott Bellot's dynamic performance as the tenderly hard Sheriff Earl Dodd and was pleasantly surprised by his excellent singing voice. Melvin P. Thorpe (hilariously played by Chris Gallegos) was over the top funny and Texas Has a Whorehouse in it and his prayer had the audiences in stitches. Patrick Brownson totally owned his number Sidestep and was so fun to watch as the Governor. Ryan Everett Howard was such a humorous scene stealer as the Bandleader and kept the energy and the comedy flying high from the start with 20 Fans. The talented Shahara Ostrand made her smaller role as Doatsy Mae really stand out with her passionate performance. Lisa Young as the sassy Jewell was simply fabulous with a fierce set of pipes to boot and completed owned her showstopping number, 24 Hours of Lovin'. Rachelle Wood showed wonderful range as the tough yet tender Angel. Audience favorite Lauren Cora Marsh really impressed me with her quirky adorableness and comedic timing as the new girl, Shy. I will definitely have to keep an eye out for this talented actress in other shows. I also have to commend the rest of the talented ensemble on their spirited dancing and keeping the energy high and making these chorus roles uniquely their own.

Deb Flomberg was thoughtful in her casting and direction of exceptional show. While I did have a couple issues with the amount of blackouts that made things a little choppy, the show still flowed and ultimately amused the audience. You could tell that music director Hunter Hall was having fun with this production not only with the stellar singers, but also with his talented band that was front and center and full of vigor. Choreographer Jamie Horban gave these guys a work out with her challenging big dance numbers that enhanced every song. I loved the set by designer Shaun Albrechtsons that showed wear and tear, but ultimately transported the audience to this little Texas town. I especially loved the gazebo and hidden panels for multi-use. Lighting design by Luke Slotwinski simply illuminating every scene. The sound by designer Curt Behm was good, but the sound levels were a little off. I wish that they had taken the band further into consideration and also had mic'ed all of the girls in the chorus as a lot of the one liners and vocal parts were lost or muddled. The costumes were a highlight in the show thanks to the talents of Erin Leonard. She showed great range with so many costumes and gave each part, large or small such distinction while still remaining to the country/trailer theme.
Even with the dreary ending that made my romantic side wanting more, this show is truly a delight and put a smile on everyones faces. I am so happy to see this naughty show back in Denver and hope to see more of this rebirth of the musical theater classics. THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS will be entertaining audiences now through May 5th at Vintage Theater. For tickets or more information, contact the box office at 303-856-7830 or online at Vintage Theatre is located at 1468 Dayton Street in Aurora, CO.

PHOTO CREDIT: DenverMind Media

Scott Bellot as Sheriff Dodd and Boni McIntyre as Ms. Mona

Boni McIntyre as Ms. Mona and company

Chris Gallegos as Melvin P. Thorpe and company

The ladies of the Chicken Ranch

Zoey's Playlist on NBC

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From This Author Michael Mulhern

Michael Mulhern has lived in Denver and been active in it's theater scene for over 10 years. He is originally from Wiesbaden, Germany and graduated (read more...)