An Evening with Heroes, Heroines & Villains of the Old West
Saturday, June 8th, 2002
The Gaslighter Theatre in Old Town, Campbell

A Night of Old Tyme Melodrama with a Maiden to be Rescued From A Fate Worse Than Death, a Dastardly Villain (hisssss!) attempting to steal the Maiden's Gold Mine and Inflect Said Fate Worse Than Death and (finally ...) a Handsome Hero (yeahhhh!) Coming to the Rescue. Whew! It was quite a Night.

On Saturday, June 8th, assorted ruffians and ladies gathered in Old Town Campbell at Benjamin O. Curry's 'Grower's National Bank Building', built in 1919. The imposing bank building, with its ornamental columns and gilt interior, has lent an air of prosperity to the historic downtown area ever since its construction. The building has been housing various film and live productions since the 1930's. That night, however, it was not serious historical pursuits that drew them in - but rather the latest incarnation of the building as the home of the Campbell Melodrama. 

Entering the lobby of the Gaslighter Theater is like taking a step back to the 1890s, when vaudeville was the entertainment for the masses. GBACG folks were greeted by the performers themselves and shown to their front and center seats for an Italian dinner with plenty of time to gossip and pose on stage. 

Our desperadoes bellied up to the bar for a drink. David and Bill Solomon looked over the old upright piano. Jessica Koeppel in a daring  black gown was the local temptress trying to lead every good man to do wrong (they were lining up!).

Lisa VandenBerghe, Lorraine Carson, Frannie Germeshausen , Sally Norton, and Paula Christ formed a row as chorus girls to show off their bustle gowns.

The show was a interactive event of the finest sort, with a last minute emergency cast change that left the audience happily supplying lines (when forgotten by cast members) and substituting alternate verbiage (whether called for or not.) Laughs from cast, crew and audience were plentiful and the supply of throwing pop-corn was endless. Yes, Mike, it was for throwing --- not hoarding to munch on your get-away trip! 

After the melodrama, the most highly qualified and adept proponents of the vocal and terpsichorean arts gathered to sing, dance and showcase the versatility of the cast. The ensuing Vaudeville Review featured everything from torch songs to sing alongs, with a number of very naughty ditties for good measure. After the tender ministrations by the leading chanteuse in the middle of a smokey love ballad, Jeff Anderson swore he'd never wash that part of his head again. 

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