Taproot Theatre Company Presents CHAPS!, Now thru 8/11


Taproot Theatre continues its 36th season with the musical Chaps! Ever wonder what would happen if Monty Python met Roy Rogers? It's 1944 and America's favorite singing cowboys are saddled up to take the British airwaves by storm. There's just one problem: the crooners are no-shows. What's the BBC to do? These blokes must convince the whole of England that they're a band of guitar pickin' American singing cowboys.

Pull on your boots, loosen your tie, and get ready for a summer musical that'll rope you in and leave you in stitches. Directed by Associate Artistic Director Karen Lund, with musical direction by Edd Key, Chaps! opens tonight, July 13 and runs through August 11.

During World War II, BBC radio became a lifeline for countless listeners in the UK and around the world providing not only reliable journalism, but entertainment and distraction. The cowboy is known all around the world as a symbol of heroism and the singing cowboy gained popularity as actors like Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Tex Ritter and Gene Autry graced the silver screen. This musical takes British humor and the Hollywood cowboy stereotype, creating a mash-up with the classic mantra: the show must go on.

Musical director, Edd Key celebrates his 20 year anniversary with Taproot Theatre Company, leading the band in classic tunes like I'm An Old Cowhand, Jingle Jangle Jingle and Ragtime Cowboy Joe. With appeal that spans generations, your whole family can come together in laughter and song, perhaps even leaving the theatre humming in happy harmony.

Chaps! was written by Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner with vocal arrangements by Malcolm Hillgartner and Chip Duford. This production features a talented cast of Solomon Davis, William Hamer, Ian Lindsay, Caitlin Macy-Beckwith, Simon Pringle and Sam Vance. The production team includes scenic designer Richard Lorig, costume designer Sarah Burch Gordon, lighting designer Brian Engel, sound designer Mark Lund and dialect coach Gin Hammond. Kristi Matthews serves as stage manager and Tina Polzin as dramaturg.

Following Chaps!, Taproot Theatre concludes its 36th season with Gaudy Night, based on the book by Dorothy L. Sayers, which runs September 21 through October 20.

Chaps! features book by Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner, vocal Arrangements by Malcolm Hillgartner and Chip Duford. This production is directed by Karen Lund with musical direction by Edd Key, and runs July 11- August 11 (Wednesday-Thursday, 7:30 pm; Friday-Saturday, 8 pm; Saturday matinees, 2 pm), with previews on July 11 & 12, 7:30 pm, opening night on July 13, 8 pm, and Pay What You Can night set for July 18, 7:30 pm. Post-play discussions take place Wednesday evenings, excluding previews.

Taproot Theatre Company is located at 204 North 85th Street, Seattle, Wash. Tickets are available online at www.taproottheatre.org/buy-tickets/ and through Taproot Theatre's box office, in person or by phone at 206.781.9707. Tickets range from $22-37, depending on the performance. Taproot offers a $5 senior/student discount off regular priced tickets (excludes previews). $15 tickets are available for ages 25 and under. Tickets for the senior matinee are $20. Discounts are available for parties of 8 or more through Group Sales; call 206.781.9708. Tickets for the pay-what-you-can performance are available day of show at the box office window; contact the box office for details.

Photo credit: Erik Stuhaug

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