Facebook/Jeremy Buechner

'The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas' will make it's debut at the Saratoga Arts Center on July 13, 2013. The Local Actors Guild of Saratoga invites you to join the fun and sing a long with some rip-roarin' honky tonk music.

JJ Buechner, Artistic Director and Founder of the Local Actors Guild of Saratoga, recently answered some questions about the southern style dixieland production.

Why is this story still funny and entertaining after all these years?
The story of the Chicken Ranch is just a good old fashioned story. I think it has stood the test of time due to score by Carol Hall. The book for the show is a little dated, but I feel people will laugh because it has so many references to the time period (the late 1970’s). I think another reason people still find this show entertaining is because it’s based on a true story and really has “real” characters that people can relate to. Not that I’m saying prostitutes are relatable to many people, but you get pulled in and realize these people could be your next door neighbor. I also think a big reason people find it entertaining is that it is a tame show, they come to the show expecting a really dirty piece of theater and they leave really loving the characters. Not that I’m saying this show promotes prostitution, it really doesn’t, but it shows the females as strong independent women who make their own choices in their lives. We recently came under fire from a woman who said our show promotes the bad side of prostitution and I guarantee anyone who sees this show will beg to differ.

For people who haven’t seen the musical, does it include some of the Dolly Parton songs that she wrote for the movie version?
The stage musical came first so the songs that Dolly wrote are not in the musical but the songs she sang that she didn’t write are. The familiar songs in the stage musical are “Little Bitty Pissant Country Place,” “Texas has a Whorehouse in it,” “20 Fans,” “The Sidestep,” & “Hard Candy Christmas.” There are also some wonderful songs that were not including in the movie, including “Doatsy Mae” sung by the other love interest of Sheriff Ed Earl and “Bus to Amarillo,” which would have been a no.1 hit for Dolly if she had recorded it at the time- it falls into the same spot in the stage show as her hit “I Will Always Love You” falls in the movie.

Who plays the character Miss Mona, made popular by Dolly Parton in the film?
The actress playing Miss Mona is Ann Miliken. Ann appeared in the very first show with our group “Nunsense” and has been seen numerous times onstage with us including playing the role of Lin in “Great American Trailer Park Musical.” Ann is originally from Elmira, NY where she works in numerous productions before moving to Saratoga to raise her family. Like Miss Mona, Ann has a biting sense of humor and a real soft side. When we started we talked about the movie version. Dolly Parton was great, but we wanted to stay as far away from that as possible and let Ann make the role her own, which she does.

What is your favorite scene in the musical? 
I can’t lie, my favorite scene is “Texas Has a Whorehouse in it.” Mostly because I’m playing Melvin P. Thorpe, the character made famous by Dom Delouise. It really is just a fun song to sing and perform. I told my cast that the scene should play like a scene from the Lawrence Welk show and they took that idea and ran with it. Besides my own scenes there are so many fun moments in this show, it would be hard to pick one.

On average, how long does a main performer rehearse to prepare for a show like this?
Usually groups rehearse on average at least 3 months, our first rehearsal was May 28th. Some people thought I was crazy for having such a short rehearsal period but I was lucky enough to have such an amazing cast that gives 110% every night and truly enjoys what they are doing. That’s a rarity in the theater, we have a cast of 22 and we spent the entire time dancing, singing and laughing. 

Show dates July 13 & 20 - 2pm & 8pm July 14 & 21 – 2pm
The Saratoga Arts Center, 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Tickets - $20 – General Admission
For reservations call 518-393-3496
*Show is recommended for ages 15 & up