Monday , July 21, 2014 - 12:00 AM
Rowdy boys misbehave, and girls swoon and plan June weddings, in the musical “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.”
Heather Gleason said this is her third time directing this production since 2008 at Old Barn Community Theatre in Collinston.
“It is such a good ticket seller that we are going to do it again,” said Gleason, of North Logan.
The theater’s location, in an old barn that has been converted to an in-the-round performance space, is the perfect backdrop for a frontier tale that takes place in Oregon in the late 1800s, Gleason said.
The story begins with Adam Pontipee traveling to town in search of a wife. He is looking for a gal with heavenly eyes who is just the right size and, of course, she has to be an exceptional cook.
He finds the woman of his dreams when he meets Milly, a waitress who lost her parents while crossing the Plains. When Adam tastes her stew and hears her declare that she is the best cook west of the Rockies, he knows he is in love.
Although his proposal is sudden, Milly dreams of a quiet family life with Adam living in solitude, so she says yes and they are married later that day.
Adam and Milly are played by husband and wife Matt and Devery Jeppesen, of Logan.
After a brief honeymoon, Milly gets a big surprise when she arrives at her new home to discover that Adam is the oldest of seven rambunctious brothers living under one roof.
The young men are especially ill-mannered because of their isolation from society. Milly feels like she is back to waiting tables for a gang of brutes, but resolves that she is not a quitter.
The show includes lots of dancing, a barn-raising social and a brawl.
“It’s really lively,” Gleason said. “There is a lot of complicated choreography that they have been working really hard on since April.” Katherine Newman, of North Logan, is the choreographer.
Milly gets to work turning the brothers into gentlemen so she can see them married and moved out of the house. But she and Adam don’t always see eye to eye. Their differing philosophies are reflected in the song “Love Never Goes Away,” in which Milly declares her devotion to only Adam while Adam sings that one girl is as good as another and “love comes and goes away.”
Their differences eventually drive Adam to spend the winter at his hunting cabin while Milly holds things together at home.
“There is a large cast with lots of dancing,” Gleason said. “It’s a good escape for people to get away and forget about their problems and think of something happy for a few hours.”
Despite the initial marital strain between Adam and Milly, things find a way of working out.
“There are happy endings for everybody,” said Gleason, who adds that she tries to improve on the show each time she directs it.
“Traditionally, the girls come out in their gingham dresses and the men have their matching shirts,” she said. “This year, I have a wonderful seamstress who made period shirts for the men.”
There is also live guitar accompaniment during the number “Glad That You Were Born.” Angela Peterson, of North Logan, is the music director.
Gleason said she hopes audiences will enjoy the performance enough to come back again and again.
“During the barn social, it is so involved that the audience has a hard time seeing everything that is going on at one time,” she said. “But that is good, so they can come back and see all of the tricks and dance moves.”
A special preview performance on July 24 includes a Dutch oven dinner of chicken, pork, potatoes and dessert. The ticket price is higher, to cover the cost.
“It’s really fun and you get the traditional pioneer feel, too,” Gleason said. “It is a great activity for the 24th.”
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