Gold In The Hills set to wrap 78th season

Published 10:52 am Monday, July 21, 2014

“Fun for the whole family. Sing the old songs! Cheer the hero! Boo the villain.” Showing in Vicksburg in several locations since 1936, Gold in the Hills has a hero with a pure heart, a less than bright heroine, a dreadful villain, beautiful can-can dancers and exaggerated dialogue and gestures that make it a very fun performance to watch. The 78th season of the Guiness World Record holder for “Longest Running Melodrama” is nearing an end. To the actors and actresses participating it has been one of the best ones yet.

Many of the performers participating in the show have done so before. Some of them have been for much longer than others.

“It’s been great and I’ve had a blast. Everyone has enjoyed it,” said second year participant Will Gatewood.

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Another thing that makes Gold unique is it’s always changing in small ways. Each actor or actress learns around three parts. Friday night the actor who played Richard Murgatroyd, the villain, had played the hero John Dalton the week before.

“It’s always changing. The audience is very involved. That’s what keeps bringing people back. It’s a nice way to give something back to the community,” said David Haworth, who has played the role of Hiram Stanley since 1976.

The audience participation is what makes Gold so special as a show. While there were a few who had never seen the show before in the audience, the majority had seen it before. From the boos at the villain, a can-can dancer moving her act to the audience area, to Haworth yelling “I have to, it’s in the script” when the audience protested him hiding his money with the villain watching, the audience was an essential part to the humor of the show.  Even with the lack of peanut throwing, the show was very involved and had the audience roaring with laughter.

John Hesselberg, who has participated in Gold for 10 years and directed for seven, believes this is one of the best seasons the show has had.

“This season has been a little hectic with main stage coming in August. This has been the best and most animated audience we’ve had in years though.”