The Valley Theater Company is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
To mark that milestone, the company will present The Marvelous Wonderettes musical, opening April 29 at the Princess Theatre in downtown Prosser.
The show promises to revive the good old days of the 1950s and '60s when life was simpler and the music was unforgettable, said director Candace Andrews.
"Originally, Valley Theater Company planned to present My Fair Lady this spring. However, we did not have enough men audition or respond to begging," she joked. "I recommended The Marvelous Wonderettes as a replacement because it takes advantage of the abundance of talent we have. And it fits perfectly with VTC's 50th anniversary."
The show is chock full of songs most people remember from their youth, Andrews added.
Songs from the '50s include: Mr. Sandman, Lollipop, Sugartime, Dream Lover, Stupid Cupid, Lipstick on Your Collar, Goodnight Sweetheart and Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me. Songs from the '60s include: RESPECT, Heatwave, You Don't Own Me, It's My Party, Leader of the Pack and Rescue Me.
The first act starts in 1958 with four high school girls, who call themselves The Wonderettes, as they entertain their classmates at the prom with their songs. The second act takes place a decade later when the girls attend their 10-year reunion and start singing a whole new batch of songs.
Portraying The Wonderettes are Courtney Eggert of Pasco as Cindy Lou, Traci Honeycutt of Grandview as Missy, Stephanie Schell of Grandview as Suzy and Cat Warwick of Sunnyside as Betty Jean.
An onstage combo, made up of Pat Schlotfelt on keyboard, Tom Anderson on percussion and Dave Schell on bass will back up the singers.
The Valley Theater Company has come a long way in 50 years, Andrews said.
"During a birthday celebration in September 1960 in Sunnyside, the conversation wandered among topics," she said. "Then someone suggested forming an amateur theater troupe to engage local thespians and entertain area residents."
That led to creation of the Lower Valley Musical Comedy Company by Eileen Holmason and Bev Pfouts. Throughout the 1960s and into the late '90s, the troupe continued to present one large-scale musical comedy a year.
As the years passed, the musical comedies branched out to include nonmusical dramatic productions, and that led to renaming the organization The Valley Theater Company in 2000.
In 2007, the theater company was invited to perform for the grand re-opening of the Princess Theatre in downtown Prosser, Andrews said.
The company is overseeing management of the Princess, with hopes of purchasing it for a permanent home, she added.
"Valley Theater Company's mission is to nurture, promote and showcase quality theatrical and cultural events, to provide a venue for community-based activities and to stimulate, educate, encourage and inspire Valley residents of all ages," Andrews said.
The Marvelous Wonderettes will have four performances on April 29-30 and May 6-7. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. The Princess Theatre is at 1228 Meade Ave. in downtown Prosser.
Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students and are available at the door or in advance from the Sixth Street Art Gallery in Prosser, Safeway store in Grandview, Guerra's Coffee in Sunnyside or Adventures Underground bookstore in Richland.
*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org