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Medora Musical season opens June 3

Randy Hatzenbuhler, president of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, has announced that the 45th edition of the award-winning Medora Musical will open Wednesday, June 3. The show will run nightly at 8:30 p.m. (MDT) through Sunday, Sept. 6.

Rehearsals for the Medora Musical started last week in Minneapolis, Minn.

"We have a great cast this year with a mixture of new and returning talent including a crowd favorite and nationally recognized Job Christensen of Grand Forks," said Curt Wollan, musical producer. "Job is one of the finest singers and dancers North Dakota has ever produced. He has an incredible soaring tenor voice."

Wollan said the theme of the musical this year honors the spirit of accomplishment.

"We used some famous North Dakotans as inspiration, but we want to send the message that everyone can accomplish big things if they try," he said.

Dale Given returns for his fourth season as "Buffalo Dale," host of the Medora Musical. Originally from Sidney, Ohio, Given has performed in a wide array of shows throughout the U.S. The Burning Hills Singers and Medora Coal Diggers come from across the U.S. to perform in the Medora Musical. The names and hometowns of cast members are listed below: Burning Hills Singers are Alexis Wollan, St. Anthony, Minn., Brittany Everitt: Shorewood, Minn., Candice Lively: Strawberry Plains, Tenn., Alicia Reynolds: Palm Beach, Fla., Jessica Kaufman, Cheshire, Conn., Ken Quiricone, Stratford, Conn., Chet Wollan, St. Anthony, Minn., Joey Ford, Custer, S.D., Justin Droegemueller, Morris, Minn., Natalie Carroll, Jordan, Minn., and Johnny Estling, Fridley, Minn.

Medora Coal Diggers are DJ Phillips (guitar), Beaver Creek, Ohio, Andy Carroll (bass), Park Rapids, Minn., Mark Baczinski (fiddle/ mandolin), Nashville, Tenn., Marcus Bohn (drums), St. Paul, Minn., Roger Rettig (pedal steel guitar), London, Chad Willow (keyboards), Minneapolis.

Characters in the musical are Job Christenson, Grand Forks, Given and Jim France, (Theodore Roosevelt), Asheville, N.C.

Fred Smith, the original producer of the Medora Musical, has been involved in the production since 1965. He continues to serve as a consultant to Wollan. This season's variety acts are:

June 3 - July 5, The Peking Acrobats

July 6 - July 23, Project Dynamite

July 24 - Aug. 2, Patrick Hanifin

Aug. 3 - Sept. 6, second showing of The Peking Acrobats

The recently added Medora Musical Welcome Center hosts an interpretive center that tells the history of the Medora Musical and the outdoor venue. The Welcome Center also serves as a gift shop and box office for the musical. Visitors have the option of adding the behind the scenes tour to their theater experience.

"This guided tour goes backstage, notes what it takes to produce a professional show, and explains the colorful history of more than 50 years of shows at the Burning Hills Amphitheatre," said Kinley Slauter, manager of the Burning Hills Amphitheatre.

Throughout the summer Tuesdays and Wednesdays offer special savings. Each Tuesday is Seniors Day, so everyone ages 55 and older receives 15 percent off their musical ticket. They also receive 15 percent off their Pitchfork Fondue ticket and lodging at TRMF properties (Badlands Motel, The Bunkhouse and the Rough Riders Hotel). Wednesdays are Kids Day all season. Kids, entering grades 2 through 12, can see the musical for free when accompanied by their parent or grandparent.

A new special is also being offered to visitors. The "Family Fun-Day Sunday" special is available from Jun 7 through Aug. 30. Families can enjoy the "Medora Musical" for $69 (limit of five people / two adults). Requests for information, along with online reservations can be made at for Medora Musical tickets, the Pitchfork Fondue, tee times at Bully Pulpit, and lodging or by calling 1-800-MEDORA-1 (1-800-633-6721).