Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Things To Do

May 10, 2012

Cowboys! returns to Playhouse

CROSSVILLE — The hilarious Western swing musical Cowboys! has returned to the Playhouse stage for the first time in over 30 years… and it’s better — and funnier — than ever! CCP’s 1981 world premiere production played to uproarious laughter and sellout houses, and now Cowboys! is back to delight a whole new generation of audiences, prior to its national release!

Snake oil salesman Phinnius Phalstaff (Jim Crabtree, reprising the role he created in 1981) and the bungling members of his traveling medicine show (Playhouse favorites Greg and Lindy Pendzick, Daniel Black, Michael Ruff, Weslie Webster, Emily Woods and Lauren Marshall) perform an epic western musical extravaganza that’s equal parts vaudeville and Blazing Saddles. All of the iconic characters from the “singing cowboy” movies of Roy Rogers and Gene Autry are represented as director/writer John Briggs once again spoofs the American cowboy myth. Music director Annie Crabtree has assembled a talented six-piece onstage country band to play a tuneful score inspired by the sounds of Riders of the Purple Sage and the Sons of the Pioneers, as the audience meets the play’s cast of characters: dastardly villains, scheming siblings, scurrilous politicians, a resolute heroine and a dashing but dim hero.

The nonstop slapstick laughs all culminate in a hilarious chase on horseback — through the audience and all the way to the Canadian border! You won’t want to miss this riotous musical farce that brings back the “good old days” of cowboy musical movies. The belly laughs continue on the mainstage through July 20 and are sponsored by The Beef & Barrel, The Blind Zebra and Red’s Ale House.

Currently in the Adventure Theater: Driving Miss Daisy (rated G, sponsored by Dr. Stanley Bise, MD) held over through May 26 and The Moving of Lilla Barton (rated PG) through May 25.  On the Mainstage through May 12 is All Shook Up! (rated PG, sponsored by The Conference Center at Fairfield Glade) and the world premiere of Walking On Water, starring Broadway and Hollywood star Bob Gunton opens on May 18. Tickets for all CCP shows and select performances at Crossville’s Palace Theatre may be purchased online at or by calling (931) 484-5000. All CCP productions are made possible through sponsor support, with additional support provided by the Tennessee Arts Commission.

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