Theater

From Texas Standard.

Texas has a state bird, a state flower — even a state insect. What most Texans don’t know, however, is that the state also has an official play, and this year marks its 50th anniversary. And, though millions around the world have seen the musical, many Texans have yet to experience it.

It happens six nights a week for three months every summer. Crowds gather at an outdoor amphitheater at Palo Duro Canyon State Park outside of Amarillo, as they have for the past 50 years. They come to see a musical they won’t see anywhere else.

It’s called ‘Texas.’ It’s kind of like the more-famous ‘Oklahoma,’ except it’s about, well, Texas.

Siggi Ragnar

The latest Playhouse production isn’t a Broadway song-andn-dance type of show. I spoke to one of its stars to get an idea of what to expect.

"The theme is drug abuse and people in recovery. It’s about family, obviously dysfunctional family…really dysfunctional family."

 Gypsy Pantoja describes the setting for Water By The Spoonful. "My character Odessa, who is the mother recovering from crack addiction, and has basically estranged herself completely from her family, especially her son."

 I noted that that’s got to be a kind of tough part to play.

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Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Broadway has been having a boom. The past year has brought record attendance and the best ticket sales ever. That provided a nice backdrop for the Tony Awards last night. Reporter Jeff Lunden brings us all the big winners.

Siggi Ragnar

The Playhouse is staging an unusual production. I was able to speak to one of its actors to find out what’s so different. She’s Corina Zars, and here she explains the regular part of what happens.

“The Mystery of Edwin Drood is basically a play within a play. It is a group of Victorian-era actors from the Royal Music Halls in London, and they are putting on the play Edwin Drood.”

But this is where the production jumps the rails just a bit.

Deen van Meer

Another Broadway hit has come to the Alamo City and I got to speak to a pair of its actors. It’s called Newsies, and here’s Steve Blanchard with a snapshot of its plot.

“It’s basically tracing the 1899 Newsboy strike.  My character, Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst both colluded to reduce the Newsboy salary by raising their price. It’s the ultimate David VS Goliath; it’s pretty fun.”

During my interview, a shrill, baby-like sound broke through. Steve's wife Meredith Inglesby explained.

“This is Wren. She’s our little two year-old girl.”

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