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Pecos Bill and the Ghost Stampede

a Children's Theater
by Eric Coble

COMPANY : Theatre in the Square [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Theatre In The Square:Alley Stage [WEBSITE]
ID# 2351

SHOWING : July 16, 2007 - August 04, 2007



By the same author as last summer’s sassy Cinderella Confidential, this tall tale about a huge herd of cattle that is transformed into ghosts is sure to fire imaginations of young and old. What with Missy Cougar-Wildcat and the world’s largest prairie dog in on the action it’s a whirlwind of fast-paced whimsical action. Great fun for theatergoers from 4-11 years old.

Tickets are $7 for children and $10 for adults.
Monday through Friday at 10 a.m. and Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Director Clint Thornton
props designer Elisabeth Cooper
Ma Kara Cantrell
Pa Rial Ellsworth
Pecos Bill Chad Martin
Missy Marisa Weatherly
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


Bigger Than Life
by Dedalus
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Hi! I’m Julia Rudy. I’m going to be 6 ¾ tomorrow and I really want to tell you about this awesome play my Mommy and Daddy took me to see that my friend Mr. Rial was in. I like Mr. Rial because he lets me kiss his bald head even when it’s all sweaty like after a play like this. Anyway, Mr. Rial was “Pa” who was having a problem with there being no rain sorta like when my Daddy complains about it raining everywhere except in our yard. Pa’s girl Missy was upset because she was afraid there wouldn’t be enough water for her cow whose name I can’t say because I can’t remember it but it made the grown-ups laugh and they said it sounded like an Egyptian Princess so I guess I liked it too because I like Princesses. This man named Pecos Bill came with lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of cows and they drank up Pa’s little tiny puddle and Pecos Bill made Ma faint (Mommy didn’t want to explain that to me), so Pecos Bill took his lasso and roped a tomato like the one that took Dorothy to the Munchkins and the tomato (which looked like Mr. Rial) drilled into the ground for more water but instead it struck oil which got deeper and deeper and deeper until Pecos Bill made a Prairie Dog (which I don’t know what it is but it looked like Mr. Rial) dig a ditch to the ocean and it carried the oil away but it also carried away the cows and they drowned and became ghosts and Missy jumped on a Road Runner (who also looked like Mr. Rial) and ran to catch up with Pecos Bill who was running away from the ghost cows and they planted cactuseses that grew really fast so Pecos Bill had to let his rattlesnake eat them but the rattlesnake got bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger until Missy had the idea to ride the cows into the sky and they were able to get back down by sliding on lightning that made them shoot sparks at everyone they touched but it was okay because the cows in the sky made it rain and everybody was happy because Missy was finally bigger than life just like Pecos Bill and Mr. Rial.

I hope you understand all that because I don’t think I can say it again. Anyway, I really really really really liked this play (except for spitting, that was gross) and all the other kids who saw it liked it too because they were laughing all through it and bouncing up and down when Missy and Pecos Bill were riding on the ghost cows, and they all came up to Mr. Rial when we went for pizza after the play so he would sign their programs, but I didn’t need Mr. Rial to sign my program because I would rather kiss his bald head (even when it’s sweaty). My favorite part of the play was the tomato.
-- Julia Rudy

Daddy’s Notes: Of course, Julia means “tornado,” not “tomato.” When she described it to me like that, I knew I had to include it in her “review.” Amazing things kids – Julia understands when she turns 6 ¾ (to the day), but has trouble remembering the word “tornado.” Anyway, like she said, all the kids at the performance we saw were havin’ a rip-snortin’ good time. Grown-ups may find the tale a little too tall and the goings-on a little too silly, but, like all Clint Thornton-directed stuff, it’s fast-paced and short. Marisa Weatherly is outstanding as Missy, who, more or less, centers the story and makes all the crazy goings-on seem less like tall tale and more like high adventure. Chad Martin is a nicely loud and “Bigger than Life” Pecos Bill, and Kara Cantrell and Rial Ellsworth have a lot of fun as Ma and Pa and all the other assorted critters (and weather phenomena) Missy and Bill encounter. I thought Rial was especially on point as the hind end of Encephalitis (the cow). The sets and costumes and puppets are deliberately cheesy (like the best-remembered worst-produced Westerns we Baby-Boomers grew up with), and a bigger-than-life time was had by all. It was especially fun watching Rial trying to stay humble as a thousand little girls descended on him in the pizza shop for his autograph. You rock, fella!
-- Brad Rudy (



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