Texas Has a Whorehouse in It?! – A Three Notch Theatre Review

Well, did that title grab your attention? I know you’re not used to hearing that word from me on this blog post, but hear me out, it’s a good thing!

The Newtowne Players are performing Best Little Whorehouse in Texas– a raunchy and fun musical that will leave your sides in stitches! This show runs June 28-July 21, 2019.

“This happy-go-lucky view of small-town vice and statewide political side-stepping recounts the good times and the demise of the Chicken Ranch. Its the late 1970s and the institution has been operating outside Gilbert, Texas for more than a century. Governors, senators, mayors and even victorious college football teams frequent Miss Mona’s cozy bordello. 
When crusading television reporter Melvin P. Thorpe focuses his television cameras and his righteous indignation on the institution, political ramifications mean its demise.
Time magazine called the Broadway production “A font of fun and friendliness, engagingly rich in regional nostalgia and spiced with delicate bawdry.’”

SYNOPSIS FROM:  https://www.newtowneplayers.org/best-little-whorehouse-in-tx.html

Melvin P. Thorpe (Paul Rose), right, alerts local television viewers that “Texas Has a Whorehouse In It” in a hilarious song and dance routine. (Photo by Rachael Leissner)
Miss Mona (Megan Rankin Herring) lays down the laws of the Chicken Ranch, teaching the new girls a thing or two about how to keep their profession classy. (Photo by Rachael Leissner)

Miss Mona, a former employee of the “Chicken Ranch” played by Megan Rankin Herring, takes over the ranch when the previous owner passes away. She brings young women under her wing and teaches them about their inner strength, while also making good money. Members of the town all know about what the chicken ranch really is- some find it deplorable while others frequent it! Melvin P. Thorpe, played by Paul Rose, is the hard-hitting television newscaster who is putting pressure on people like the Governor (played by Steve Fogle) and the town sheriff (played by Greg Rumpf), to shut down the whorehouse. This causes much dismay and disappointment to various members of the community but Miss Mona stays strong throughout and teaches the women to be confident with their choices.

There were multiple stand-out performers in this large cast. Rankin Harring stole the show every time she was onstage with her talented acting and vocal abilities. There were other fabulous soloists throughout the production as well. Sarah Pollard (who plays the diner waitress Doatsey Mae) sings about her plain life and how she wishes she had the chance to be different. Kristina Faison as Jewel did a nice job in her first lead in a Newtowne Players production with her soulful voice. Rumpf shows how versatile he is as an actor- one moment, he’s cursing his head off, and the next, he is crooning about Miss Mona. Audience members cracked up every time Rose was onstage with his hilarious facial expressions. Even the ensemble members had great performances and showcased their “triple-threat” (acting, singing, and dancing) abilities! If I mentioned every single performer, this review would be a mile long, so just trust me when I say they all work together to put on a great show!

Since this show is chockful of scantily clad women and men thinking with their “other head” (if you catch my drift), the comfort of the actors is of utmost importance and is crucial to an excellent production. Audience members can tell how well this cast works together and respects each other to put on an entertaining production, which is also thanks to director Dawn Weber, assistant director Stephanie Taubert, and music director Diane Trautman.

Jewel (Kristina Faison) belts out “No Lies” alongside Miss Mona and the ladies of the Chicken Ranch. (Photo by Rachael Leissner)

The behind-the-scenes aspects of the production all helped make this a cannot miss musical- Dave Kyser as the lighting designer, Jay McKulka as the sound designer, Steve Pugh (also in the ensemble, and a hilarious addition at that!) as the set designer, and scenic artist Linda Sanborn. These people helped audience members see inside the whorehouse and how things were run, as well as various other areas around town.

This cast and crew all do an awesome job giving you a glimpse of what it’s like inside the house and making you feel for the workers. Weber and Taubert do a great job keeping this show entertaining with an appropriate amount of raunchiness (there’s a reason they stress this show is for mature audiences, boys and girls! Trust me!)

Everyone involved helped make this production shine! Do yourself a favor and go see this show to be highly entertained, but be sure to leave the kiddies at home!

Kevin Bongiovanni, center, and the men of the local college football team are gearing up to visit Miss Mona and the ladies at the Chicken Ranch. (Photo by Rachael Leissner)
Jewel (Kristina Faison), left, and the ladies sing about her big plans for spending a day off with her husband in “Twenty Four Hours of Lovin’”. (Photo by Rachael Leissner)

The show runs June 28-July 21, 2019 (Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 3:30 PM). Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for students/seniors (65+)/military. If you go on Thursday, tickets are $13 for EVERYONE!

**PLEASE NOTE: There will be NO tickets sold at children’s prices. If a parent decides to bring their child to the show, the child will be charged as an adult. This show is for MATURE AUDIENCES!**

If you are interested in buying tickets and/or to find out more information, go to https://www.newtowneplayers.org/tickets.html!

Let me know in the comments below what you think of the show!

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