GARDEN CITY – The summer theater season officially opens in Bear Lake with the premier of the musical melodrama New Sheriff in Town at the Pickleville Playhouse on Friday.
As usual, the play is written and directed by Derek Davis with original music and lyrics by his brother, TJ Davis.
That’s the same creative team that brought us Becoming a Bona Fide Bad Guy, a melodrama that played to sell-out audiences during the 2021 season.
Tickets for the premier performance at 8 p.m. on Friday evening are going fast, according to Derek Davis. The performance on Saturday evening is nearly sold-out, but the director added that good seats are still available for a matinee on Memorial Day.
New Sheriff in Town will play through Sept. 5, in repertory with Beauty and the Beast. The Disney musical, directed by Kenzie Davis, will debut on June 21 and run through Aug. 19.
Derek Davis calls New Sheriff in Town a “rip-roaring, modern musical melodrama.”
When the local sheriff passes away, the director explains, Deputy Will Bailey assumes he’s next in line for the job. Much to Will’s surprise, state officials send in Roy Wrangler, a hot-shot, fast-talking, out-of-town sheriff to fill the position.
“Chaos ensues with a robbery at the Wet Whistle Saloon,” he says. “The plot thickens as we follow our unlikely law enforcement duo down a winding whodunit, filled with loads of fresh music, a barrel of belly laughs and a plot-twist that will leave you gasping for days!”
Derek Davis says he has an “insanely talented” cast of Pickleville veterans and newcomers bringing New Sheriff in Town to life.
That veteran line-up starts with Kenzie Davis, playing Tina. Nobody quite remembers how long Kenzie has been performing at the rustic playhouse; she simply grew up on stage there. Most recently, she played Wednesday Addams in productions of The Addams Family in 2019 and 2020 and starred in the Davis clan’s 2021 holiday offering of Once Upon a North Pole Christmas.
Playing that same role is Abby Huff; the Pickleville Playhouse usually double-casts roles in its long-running productions. Abby will graduate from the splendid music program at Southern Utah University next spring and is now in her third season at Pickleville Playhouse.
A recent graduate of Ball State University in Indiana, Jake Mickel will play the disappointed deputy Will in New Sheriff in Town. He’s in his second season at Pickleville.
A clown college drop-out, Nathan Kremin is now in his fourth season at Pickleville. He’s cast in the title role as Roy, the new sheriff.
A native of Cedar City who trained in acting at SUU, Taylor Seth Hall will appear as Stinky Ned. Taylor is in his second season at Pickleville.
Troy Boone is also in his second season, having performed previously in Ready, Fire, Aim at the Pickleville Playhouse. He’s cast as Tony.
The newcomers to the Pickleville stage will include Adam Morrison, Betsy Sandifer, Matthew Wangemann, Natalie Stahl and Ryan Sammonds.
On a side note, love must be in bloom at the Pickleville Playhouse this summer, according to Derek Davis.
Jake Mickel is engaged to Betsy Sandifer; they will share the stage in New Sheriff in Town.
Kenzie Davis is engaged to Nathan Kremin; they will be playing Belle and the Beast in Beauty and the Beast.
Taylor Seth Hall and Eliza Kay Hall (Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast) are married. They’re living a bohemian lifestyle in a recreational vehicle with a herd of pets.
We’ll see how it all turns out.