Aaron Budihas, Patrick Jager, and Nan Johnson Strauss exchange hostile glances as the web of mysteries is slowly uncovered. Photo by Jake Leif
By Jake Leif
The first melodrama for the 2014 summer season to hit the Mantorville Opera House is entitled "Blazing Guns at Roaring Gulch" or "The Perfumed Badge," written by Shubert Fendrich and directed by Melisa J. Ferris. Whichever title you call it by, the story is undoubtedly a tale that you won't soon forget.
As you sit in the theater you'll find yourself transported into the late 1890s in the lobby of the Roaring Gulch Hotel. The more that you watch the story unfold, the more you'll find yourself wrapped up in the humor, mystery and lies. Colorful characters such as Widow Black, played by Nan Johnson Strauss, and her good-natured step-son Barney, played by Patrick Jager, make you feel welcomed into the old saloon. You can only feel welcomed for so long, though, for soon the fact is uncovered that an evil desperado by the name of Snipe Vermin, played by Aaron Budihas, could very well be headed into the usually peaceful town. Evil ensues, and the story pulls you deeper and deeper into its grasp. You can't keep your eyes off of it until the characters have taken their final bows.
A show is nothing without a well versed and organized cast. The performance was nowhere near lacking in talent. Ben Peters, who played Bill Filbert, explained that the cast was what made this show special.
"The cast has knit together throughout the rehearsals of this show," Peters said.
Aaron Budihas, who had the skill and expertise to play two characters, voiced similar ideas about how this show was made special by the people who were part of it. Surprisingly, everyone who voiced their opinions seemed to say the same thing. No matter how many shows they'd acted in, this one was special because of the relationships they developed between themselves.
A great show is only great if the actors and actresses are enjoying themselves, and you can bet your bottom dollar that they have and will continue to do for one more weekend only.
Catch the show this Friday or Saturday at 7:30 p.m. or at 2 p.m. on Sunday. If you're looking for a show filled with laughs, hijinks, and crime, you won't want to miss "Blazing Guns at Roaring Gulch" or "The Perfumed Badge!"