Branson style show
Special to Reflector-Chronicle
If you like toe tapping, foot stomping, fiddle playing Country Western music with dancing in the isles, great banjo playing and hillbilly music with side splitting comedy, you’re invited to the Great Plains Theatre for the world premiere of the Branson style family variety show, “Hillbilly HotSpot.”
BDS Productions and Great Plains Theatre of Abilene announce the world premier of “Hillbilly HotSpot” will be held in Abilene May 10 through May 19.
In addition to fun and familiar music, the show also features 11 originals, including the theme song ”Hillbilly HotSpot,” written by Country Western performer/songwriter Darlene Austin of Nashville, TN. Darlene was raised near Bennington. She’s performed on multiple Syndicated TV shows and entertained in concerts internationally throughout her career. Darlene is the owner of Vine Creek Music based in Nashville. Her songs have been performed by many Country Western stars. Within the past year, she’s had a top 3 chart song in Europe and Scandinavia, “Jesus Can.”
“Hillbilly HotSpot” is owned by BDS Productions, a Kansas LLC with corporate offices at the Kansas Auto Racing Museum in Chapman. “Hillbilly HotSpot” was developed by siblings Doug Thompson, Roger Thompson and Lynda Lowry.
Rehearsals for the show began April 25 at Great Plains Theatre with the world premiere to be held at GPT on Friday night, May 10.
“We wanted to fully develop the script in our area so we could work with professional actors in a professional setting,” said BDS Productions President Doug Thompson stated. “Great Plains Theatre is the perfect setting for the development of Hillbilly HotSpot. The talent base is tremendous for this show.”
The show cast features Kelsea Victoria McLean from Kansas City, Kelsea has appeared in Something’s Afoot, Run for Your Wife, Man of LaMancha. She has worked around theaters throughout the Midwest.
Marcus Mull, a native of Great Bend and a graduate of Sterling College has appeared in such shows as Man of LaMancha, Run for Your Wife, God’s Favorite, and The Buddy Holly Story.
Scott Nelson is making his “out of California” debut with the cast of Hillbilly HotSpot. He recently appeared in Buddy: the Buddy Holly Story at Sierra Repertory Theatre. Other credits include Jinx in Plaid Tidings, Aladdin, Oklahoma, Westside Story, and Pirate of Penzance.
Nicholas Cirillo is a Shenandoah Conservatory Graduate. He is excited to be back for Hillbilly HotSpot. He has appeared in All Shook Up, Oklahoma! and Guys & Dolls. He now lives in NYC and has had much success auditioning for Broadway. He has been on TV shows such as NBC’s Deception, and is a singer/musician featured around the city.
Steven G. Taylor is a native of Bowling Green, KY and a graduate of Western Kentucky University. He has worked at theaters in Virginia, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota and New York. He has appeared in 42nd Street, Violet, A Man of No Importance and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.
Molliann McCulley will be a hillbilly with the cast. She has appeared in NYC: Bound for Broadway, Cranky Cabaret, NY Film Mad About the Boy, Lover’s Game, Oklahoma, All Shook Up, Guys and Dolls and many other productions.
Homegrown talent Nathan Dibben will be part of the Hillbilly HotSpot cast. Nathan is well known to audiences throughout the area. Most recently he was Florizel in the Winter’s Tale with the Stolen Shakespeare Guild and the Interpreter in All’s Well That Ends Well at Great River Shakespeare Festival.
M.J. Jurgensen rounds out an all-star cast. MJ just finished a contract at the Sierra Repertory Theater in Northern California performing as “Vi Petty” in Buddy: the Buddy Holly Story. Other regional credits for MJ include: Know Theatre of Cincinnati, The National Theatre for Children, MadCap Puppetry, Shawnee Theatre, Oklahoma, Shakespeare in the Park and many more.
“Hillbilly HotSpot is a Branson style family show, said Executive Producer, Roger Thompson. “The talent appearing at GPT in this show is second to none. We are delighted to have Doug Nuttelman serve as artistic director. The script is excellent and the music written by Darlene Austin is absolutely fantastic.”
The show will be at the Great Plains Theatre May 10th through May 19th. Thereafter, the script will be licensed to other theaters across the nation. The show will travel to several locations and be at a theater on the strip at Branson, Missouri in the summer.
“This is a chance for all of Central Kansas to come to the world premiere of a brand new show,” Lynda Lowry of BDS Productions said. “Guests have the chance to go on vacation to see one of the best new shows in the nation without leaving the area.”
Everybody has a little bit of hillbilly in them. Everyone will know someone just like one of the hillbillies in the show.
When the fiddle plays and the banjo kicks in, you will not be able to keep your feet from tapping.
Tickets to the show can be obtained through Great Plains Theatre. Contact the theatre at 785-263-4574.
“Y’All Come Back Now, Y’Hear”