Medora Musical: New cast and variety acts highlight this year’s changesThings will be slightly different this year at the Medora Musical but visitors can still expect a great show, according to Randy Hatzenbuhler, president of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
Things will be slightly different this year at the Medora Musical but visitors can still expect a great show, according to Randy Hatzenbuhler, president of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation.
“If you ask 10 people what they liked best about the show you’ll probably get seven or eight different answers,” Hatzenbuhler said.
The show will feature the same singing and dancing with variety acts, but the cast is virtually all new with only three members returning west this year.
The plot line will be based on Theodore Roosevelt and his formative time in Medora. He spent a year and a half in the area in 1886.
This year the show also looks to honor Harold Schafer, who would have turned 100 this year. Schafer founded the Gold Seal Company, the original maker of Mr. Bubble bubble bath. He also invested his time and money into Medora and the musical.
“This show will honor the great dreamers of North Dakota, the people that really had dreams and big visions and made them come true,” Hatzenbuhler said.
By the time the show opens on June 8 the professional cast will have had about three weeks of rehearsals.
At 1 p.m. today the cast will be in Fargo at West Acres Mall. On Friday at 1 p.m. it will be at Kirkwood Mall in Bismarck. Both days the goal is to let people know the musical season is starting and give those interested a sample of the music.
“The biggest thing people will notice is we have a very fresh cast,” Hatzenbuhler said. “…Talent is most important, but if we can have new talent, that’s also really good.”
This year two cast members have ties to North Dakota: Misti Koop of Grand Forks and Parish Mechling, who lives in Bismarck.
Emily Walter also returns as the Queen of the West, otherwise known as the show host. Walter got her start 19 years ago as a Burning Hills singer.
Some variety acts return this year as well, but most are new.
From June 8-30, Breaksk8, a hip hop roller skating dance crew, will perform. From July 1-28, comedian George Casey returns. Etta May, a character comedian, will be in Medora from July 29-Aug. 18 and illusionist Sammy Cortino rounds out the variety acts from Aug. 19-Sept. 8.
“It’s almost always a surprise to people that this is high-quality, professional show,” Hatzenbuhler said.
Plus the venue, the Burning Hills Ampitheater, has left many breathless with the Badlands exposed in the background, he said.
“There is nothing like the natural setting, you can’t paint that,” Hatzenbuhler said. “The set opens up for the Badlands which are exposed to the 2,852-seat auditorium.”
The show runs seven days a week from June 8 to Sept. 8. Hatzenbuhler encourages people to plan ahead and take advantage of family deals as children are get in free on Sundays and Wednesdays.
This year Medora also features the world’s largest inflatable water slide as part of the new Family Fun Center.
Tickets for the Medora musical are $35 for adults and $16 for students. Tickets can be reserved online at Medora.com or over the phone at 1-800-MEDORA 1.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at email@example.com