The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas tells the true story of the high-profile closing of a 130 year-old brothel outside the small town of La Grange, Texas in 1973.
“Whorehouse isn’t really about sex any more than Fiddler on the Roof is about violins” says URI Theatre chair Paula McGlasson, the play’s director. “At its most basic, Whorehouse is about how putting life on TV changes it, and how the TV camera impacts that which it records. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is about how lives are ruined by “reality TV. The play’s about people in glass houses throwing lots of stones, about one group of people imposing their version of morality on others, about Texas politics and America’s pre-occupation with sex.”
The play is adapted from the book by Larry L. King and Peter Masterson, with music and lyrics by Carol Hall.
URI’s musical direction is by Lila Kane; costume design by David T. Howard, choreography by Angelica Cardente-Vassella; scenic design by URI Theatre alumna Cheryl deWardener; lighting design by Christian Wittwer; and sound design by guest artist Michael Martineau.
The Sunday, Dec. 3 performance at 3 p.m. is dedicated to the memory of Thomas R. Pezzullo, a former vice president for university relations at URI and frequent actor who died in 1992 at the age of 49. All proceeds from that performance will go directly to the Thomas R. Pezzullo Memorial Scholarship Fund. A MATChat, short for matinee chat, with the director, cast, designers and crew will follow the performance. The interactive chat will give audience members an opportunity to ask questions.
Members of the cast, their characters and hometowns follow:
Actor, Character, Hometown
Benjamin Rose, Dogette/Thorpe Singer, Charlestown , R.I.
Kyle Blanchette, Aggie & Cowboy, Coventry , R.I.
Kate Ferdinandi, Eloise, Coventry, R.I.
Nile Hawver, Dogette/Thorpe Singer, Coventry , R.I.
Melanie Kane, Miss Wolla Jean, Exeter , R.I.
David DeAlmo, Dogette/Thorpe Singer, Hope Valley ., R.I.
John Messere, Senator Wingwoah, Kingston , R.I.
Patrick Bosworth, Melvin P. Thorpe, Narragansett , R.I.
Jamie DuFault, Mayor Rufus, Narragansett , R.I.
Andrew Holder, Aggie/Cowboy, Narragansett , R.I.
James Joseph, Scruggs, Narragansett, R.I.
Max Panticelli, Aggie & Cowboy, Narragansett , R.I.
Patrick Cullen, Governor, Narragansett ., R.I.
Virginia Rexroad, Shy, North Kingstown, R.I.
Benjamin Grills, Aggie & Cowboy, North Kingstown , R.I.
Dan DaCunha, Sheriff Ed Earl Dood, Pawtucket ., R.I.
JonPaul Rainville, Aggie & Cowboy, Richmond, R.I.
Meg Kane, Dogette/Thorpe Singer, Smithfield , R.I.
Amanda Ruggiero, Dawn, Smithfield, R.I.
Josh Short, Edsel Mackey, Wakefield , R.I.
Erin Condry, Ginger, Warwick, R.I.
Micah Tougas, Dogette/Thorpe Singer, West Kingston , R.I.
Lara Maynard, Linda Lou, West Warwick , R.I.
Leah Kolb, Mona Stangley, Sacramento, Calif.
Sarah Chaet, Jewel, Avon, Conn.
Nevan Richard, Aggie & Cowboy, Cheshire, Conn.
Kira Arnold, Beatrice, Fairfield, Conn.
Joe Kidawski, Aggie/Cowboy, Framingham, Mass.
Autumn Gillette, Taddy Jo, Manchester, Mass.
Dana Merson, Angel, West Orange, N. J.
Stephanie Sherman, Rudy Rae, Marlboro, N.J.
Michael Pignatelli, Aggie & Cowboy, Oakland, N.J.
Elyssa Baldassarri, Doatsey Mae, Holmes, N.Y.
Jessica Kody, Dogette/Thorpe Singer, Dublin, Ohio
University of Rhode Island students star (back row, l-r) Max Ponticelli of Narragansett, Dan DaCunha of Pawtucket, Kyle Blanchette of Coventry, (front row l-r) Erin Condry of Warwick, Leah Kolb of Sacramento, Calif., and Lara Maynard of West Warwick in URI’s Theatre production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. URI Theatre photo by Randy Osga.