The Pickleville Playhouse in Garden City premiered the original musical melodrama “Becoming a Bona Fide Bad Guy” over the Memorial Day weekend. Pictured here are cast members (from left) Blake Brundy, Jordan Todd Brown and Kenzie Davis.

GARDEN CITY – The local summer theater season kicked off over Memorial Day weekend with another triumph by the talented Davis clan at the Pickleville Playhouse.

The original musical melodrama “Becoming a Bona Fide Bad Guy” is bright, breezy and a ton of fun.

The show was greeted by enthusiastic capacity audiences at the rustic theater on the shores of Bear Lake, without a single face covering in sight.

The cast of “Becoming a Bona Fide Bad Guy” is headed by Pickleville veteran Jordan Todd Brown. As usual, Brown demonstrates comedic and musical talents far exceeding his diminutive stature while playing Carl, a hapless convenience store clerk who gets the chance to change his life by becoming “the baddest bad guy ever.”

Brown is talented enough to carry the melodrama on his own, but didn’t need to thanks to a small but brilliant ensemble of fellow performers.

Blake Brundy, an actor familiar to Utah State University audiences, appears as Carl’s dim bulb sidekick Dusty, who wants to be the first “Wyoming-based white rapper.” To say that Brundy’s hilarious performance is both over-the-top and wildly uninhabited would be a total understatement.

The light of Carl’s mostly imaginary love life is the winsome Katelyn Walsh, a New York University theater student returning for her second season at Pickleville Playhouse. Ms. Walsh delivers lovely solo vocal performances and joins Brown in a charming duet to open the show’s second act.

Spencer Watson helps to keep the melodrama moving by appearing in several humorous character roles and also tears a page out of Brown’s usual playbook by engaging in some improv with the audience.

Finally, Shealyn Kelley and Riley Thad Young round out the cast by singing and dancing up a storm in the show’s production numbers.

Director and playwright Derek Davis provides “Becoming a Bona Fide Bad Guy” with another of his clever scripts, featuring some good-natured wise cracks about Utah, Idaho and now-waning coronavirus pandemic. The score by TJ Davis is lively as always, including a surprising amount of G-Rated rap music.

Musical accompaniment is provided by the nimble-fingered Logan Kelley on piano.

In every way, “Becoming a Bona Fide Bad Guy” is well worth the long trek up Logan Canyon to the Pickleville Playhouse.

The musical melodrama will continue to be performed through Sept. 6, alternating with presentations of the beloved 1954 Broadway show “Peter Pan.”

“Peter Pan” is slated to run at the Pickleville Playhouse from June 22 until Aug. 28.


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