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THEATRE

Black Box Theatre opens 20th season in 'Colorado'

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Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Main St. downtown, celebrates the beginning of its 20th season with a new play, “The Mrs. Wheatland Pageant,” written by Lisa Wagner Erickson and directed by theatre co-owner Ceil Herman.

Performances are 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, Sept. 6-7, 13-14 and 20-21, 2: 30 p.m. Sundays, Sept. 8, 15 and 22, and 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19.

In the farce, “June Cleveland thinks creating sitcom scenes from different decades with her husband Jim is a fun way to pass the time in the small town of Wheatland, Colorado,” according to newplayexchange.org. “But when Millie, the very fertile school secretary, proclaims that women in Wheatland are only fertile in their 20s, June becomes desperate to become pregnant before her impending 30th birthday.

“Meanwhile, Jim grows wary of June’s new obsession and the increasingly bizarre fertility treatments prescribed by Millie’s herbalist. To regain Jim’s affections and prove her ability to be an ideal wife and mother, June decides to win a local beauty pageant. But problems arise when the friends June has enlisted for help, Barb and Vivian, each have their own agenda for the pageant. Vivian is on a quest to regain her preacher husband’s affections by looking hot for Jesus, and Barb wants to use the pageant as a feminist protest. Then June discovers that Jim likes to bake wearing heels. Sitcom fantasies, small-town reality and gender norms collide in this raucous comedy about one woman’s search for certainty in an ever-changing world.”

The cast includes Bobby Senecal, Gina DeMondo, Karen Buerdsell and Ashley Dahl.

Erickson, based in Denver, is the founder and creative director of Theater 29, where “The Mrs. Wheatland Pageant” premiered in February.

Tickets are $15 regular admission, $12 students and seniors over 65. Tickets for Thursday night performances only are $10. Regular season tickets are $85 and $70 for seniors and students.

For reservations, call 575-523-1223. Visit www.no-strings.org.

Mike Cook may be contacted at mike@lascrucesbulletin.com.

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