Taproot Theatre’s newest production, “Chaps!”, takes the old cowboy musical and gives it a British humor twist.
Chaps opens Friday night (previews are tonight and Thursday night). It’s directed by Associate Artistic Director Karen Lund, with musical direction by Edd Key.
Simon Pringle, Sam Vance and Caitlin Macy-Beckwith in “Chaps!” Photo by Erik Stuhaug.
Ever wonder what would happen if Monty Python met Roy Rogers? It’s 1944 and America’s favorite singing cowboys are saddled up to take the British airwaves by storm. There’s just one problem: the crooners are no-shows. What’s the BBC to do? These blokes must convince the whole of England that they’re a band of guitar pickin’ American singing cowboys.
During World War II, BBC radio became a lifeline for countless listeners in the UK and around the world providing not only reliable journalism, but entertainment and distraction. The cowboy is known all around the world as a symbol of heroism and the singing cowboy gained popularity as actors like Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Tex Ritter and Gene Autry graced the silver screen. This musical takes British humor and the Hollywood cowboy stereotype, creating a mash-up with the classic mantra: the show must go on!
Chaps! was written by Johnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner with vocal arrangements by Malcolm Hillgartner and Chip Duford. This production features a talented cast of Solomon Davis, William Hamer, Ian Lindsay, Caitlin Macy-Beckwith, Simon Pringle and Sam Vance. The production team includes scenic designer Richard Lorig, costume designer Sarah Burch Gordon, lighting designer Brian Engel, sound designer Mark Lund and dialect coach Gin Hammond. Kristi Matthews serves as stage manager and Tina Polzin as dramaturg.