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Milesville Community Theater's villain versus heroine western melodrama

Wallet full of MONEY ... Villainous Jim Stangle picks the pocket of a scorpion-bit miner, as businesswoman Lori Quinn, heroine Dusti Berry and lusciously evil Jodi Parsons get blackmailed into sharing in the take. The Milesville melodrama will call for boos, cat calls, groans, cheers and laughter from the audience.

This year the audience will be encouraged, within reason, to get involved in the Milesville Community Theater's stage performance.

The audience will want to boo and hiss at the villain, played by Jim Stangle. His Snidely Whiplash type of dastardly character includes the traditional black cape, black hat and handlebar moustache. He will scheme, cheat, lie and deceive to get what he wants, and then he can get really despicable.

The full-length comedy "Here Come the Cows ... or Never Say Moo in Mesa" calls for overacting, corny jokes and stock characters. Directed by Nina Pekron, the play's action is geared for rowdy audience appeal. This is not high drama. Despite attempts at singing and a howling good chalkboard serenade, this is not a musical play. This is not a stuffy performance for intellectual discussion afterward. This play is just fun.

The audience will want to sigh aaah and root for the heroine, played by Dusti Berry. Though a little more cowgirl than traditional, she is still the damsel in distress. Kindhearted and somewhat less than very smart, this orphan girl's one dream is to marry her hero. There are no railroad tracks, but she does get tied up in her part.

Cat calls and wolf whistles should come from the audience every time the villain's partner struts on stage. Jodi Parsons plays the vamp, the fallen dove, who is a card shark, a deadly dancer and a distraction for the male characters on stage.

Cheers and applause should accompany the hero, played by Allen Piroutek. He is a true cowboy, whatever that means. The often repeated word "moo" takes on many meanings in this play, but for the hero "smart" is not one of them.

Other characters includes Lori Quinn's mother character who is trying to keep her Soup Shack and Trading Post from being sold to a dentist. Rachel Parsons plays the landlord who must sell the business or lose everything due to a dry spell, sand storm, extreme prohibitions and a heat wave. "How hot is it? It's so hot that ..." Those anti-gambling, anti-dancing, anti-everything prohibitions are the result of actresses Donna Staben and Bailey Anders, who represent the Nuisance Abatement Gals Society, the N.A.G.S. They drag the John Wayne wanna-be sheriff, played by Del Bartels, into confronting the villain, but the sheriff is lucky to just not be confused.

Kelly Blair plays the wealthy cattle buyer who could save the day, or be the next patsy to the villains schemes. The hero's sidekick, who believes he is a sharp card player but is better off mooing at the cows, is played by Ed Morrison. The most vile, disgusting, cantankerous, dirty and slurpy character is played by ... well, you will have to see the play to find out.

The play's assistant director is Allison Pekron and the stage manager is Tina Staben.

Performances will be at 7:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 4 and 5, and at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, March 6, at the Milesville Community Hall.