Melodrama returns to the Golden Chain Theatre June 5, 6 and 7 with the with the opening of “Bertha The Beautiful Typewriter Girl.”
Filled with the raging conflict between “good” and “evil,” this hilarious melodrama follows bank owner Desperate Daniel Desmond (played by Bill Green) and his vile attempts to betray Bertha, the beautiful typewriter girl (played by Alli Ruiz).
“The Golden Chain Theatre is excited to be continuing the tradition of a summer melodrama by delivering the upcoming production,” said Director Jennifer Varner. “This is a fun show that is sure to delight all ages. Bring the entire family to this “G” rated show, and enjoy booing at the villain, cheering for the hero, and sighing for the lovely heroine in this fun 1940s style melodrama.”
Rumor has it that there is going to be a run on the Security National Farmers’ and Merchants’ Loan, Mercantile Trust and Exchange Bank. The head of the bank, Daniel Desmond (Bill Green) is worried that he will lose everything.
The story takes a turn when Desmond receives a letter from Boswell Bancroft (Lee Hulbert) promising a deposit of jewels worth $200,000 to be trusted to the bank for safe keeping.
To permanently secure his interest in the bank and solve all his problems, Daniel orders his loyal teller Glenwood Garfield (Erik Hurtado) to do away with poor Boswell Bancroft. Meanwhile, Boswell’s daughter, Bertha, comes to Daniel Desmond looking for shelter and employment where she eventually meets hero David Desmond (Matt Van De Wal), and the two quickly fall in love.
Desmond’s affection for Bertha sparks an inferno of jealousy in rich, sarcastic Clarice Claybourne (Miranda Simonich) who has always had her heart set on Desmond as well as in several of the male characters who have had their eye on Bertha. How will this melodramatic story unfold? Will the Security National Farmers’ and Merchants’ Loan, Mercantile Trust and Exchange Bank have to close its’ doors? Will Desmond get away with his treachery? And who will win the heart of Bertha Bancroft?
The production also has 1940s songs and dances between acts.
Ruiz, 14, who is completing her freshman year at Yosemite High School, began performing at GCT at the age of three, playing a munchkin in Patti Law’s performance of The Wizard of Oz. She has continued to act and dance with GCT and Community Dance and Theatre.
The last two summers she has performed in musicals in Santa Cruz with All About Theatre.
She is enjoying the challenge of playing a lead adult role for the first time.
“I have learned so much from Jennifer (Varner), and I’m looking forward to performing on the Golden Chain stage during the month of June,” Ruiz said.
Van De Wall plays the wealthy, dashing hero David Desmond. He began his acting experience at the Golden Chain playing the role of Tumbleweed in last summer’s melodrama “A Golden Fleecing.”
In addition to the Golden Chain, Van De Wall performed in the musical “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and most recently “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Bang” at Sierra Pines Church.
Green performed in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” last fall as billionaire Sir Robert Salt, his first stage appearance since high school.
“I feel honored being given the opportunity to direct this summers melodrama,” Varner said. “It has been an amazing journey and the cast has been working so hard. It is such a joy to laugh every night working together and I look forward to hearing laughter fill the theatre.
Details: Bertha plays at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, with 2 p.m. Sunday matinees from June 5 - June 28. Tickets available online at goldenchaintheatre.org, or call (559) 683-7112 for more information.