Panhandle Slim, Jeff Daniels' Western Comedy With Songs, Begins at MI's Purple Rose

News   Panhandle Slim, Jeff Daniels' Western Comedy With Songs, Begins at MI's Purple Rose The Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea, MI, launches the world premiere of Jeff Daniels' play-with-music, Panhandle Slim & The Oklahoma Kid, June 19 for a run through Aug. 30.

Stage and film actor and playwright Daniels, who founded the Equity Purple Rose company in his hometown, has enjoyed great success there as a playwright. This is his 11th play at Purple Rose, and some of his other titles (Thy Kingdom's Coming, Escanaba in da Moonlight) have found success around the country and are published.

PRTC artistic director Guy Sanville directs. Opening is June 28.

The cast of Panhandle Slim & The Oklahoma Kid includes former PRTC apprentice Jessica Garrett (Sea of Fools), PRTC resident artist Phil Powers (Vino Veritas, When The Lights Come On), PRTC associate artist John Seibert (Sea of Fools, The Mystery of Irma Vep) and PRTC associate artist Tom Whalen (Honus And Me, The Glass Menagerie).

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According to Purple Rose, "Daniels introduces his first Western. This winsome comedy tells the fateful tale of a prairie showdown between a vagrant outlaw and a singing cowboy. Thrown together by unfortunate circumstances, Panhandle Slim and The Oklahoma Kid argue the virtues of mayhem, music and the meaning of life." This production features original songs "as well as scoundrels, six-guns and a horse named Buttermilk."

"I have probably written no less than six versions over the past ten years," Daniels said in a statement. "In this play, my characters led the way. They spoke to each other, fed me information, held things back, stopped me when I veered off ... They took me to my ending and before I knew it, had showed me what it was I had been trying to write for the past ten years."

This production includes set design by Dennis G. Crawley, prop design by Danna Segrest, costume design by Christianne Myers, lighting design by Reid G. Johnson and sound design by Quintessa Gallinat. Michelle DiDomenico stage manages with Stephanie Buck as assistant stage manager.

Daniels' plays for PRTC include Shoe Man, The Tropical Pickle, The Vast Difference, Thy Kingdom's Coming, Escanaba in da Moonlight, Apartment 3A, Boom Town, Across The Way (2002 American Theatre Critics Association Best New Play Finalist), Norma & Wanda, Guest Artist (2006 American Theatre Critics Association Best New Play Runner-Up) and Escanaba In Love.

All performances are held at The Purple Rose Theatre Company's home at 137 Park Street, Chelsea, MI.

For information call (734) 433-ROSE or visit purplerosetheatre.org.

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