Grand Lake Melodrama a classic tale of good vs. evil |

Grand Lake Melodrama a classic tale of good vs. evil

Cathy Walton-Smith
Grand Arts Council
Courtesy of Cathy Walton-Smith

Whether you have too much melodrama in your life … or not so much … the Grand Arts Council holiday melodrama will bring a smile to your face. And, of course, the good guys always win.

Tickets are on sale for “Peril at Pumpernickel Pass.” This annual Grand Arts Council Production will be held once again at the Grand Lake Community House theater at 8 p.m. nightly, Dec. 26 through New Year’s Eve.

This promises to be one of the best shows ever. Tickets are available at Never Summer Mountain Products and online through PayPal at

In the tradition of all melodramas, the audience needs to participate by encouraging the villain, Waldo Weasel (played by David Heil), and the landlady Mattiwalda Cribbs (payed by Arabrab Snerha) – with loud and boisterous booing, and encouraging the hero, Sheriff Siegfried (played by Robert Canon), and the sweet young thing, Buttercup O’Shay (played by Lisa Tarr) – with lots of cheers.

This production is made up entirely of community volunteers, including director Barbara Ahrens and producer Linda Carlson. Other cast members are, Pearl Ruby Diamond – Allaura Cox, Minnie – Katie Gailey, Widow Begley – Katie Gailey, Snipper Pantene – Carolyn Alcorn, Stella Dimdome – Ashley North, Gentleman Dan – Jim Cervenka, Buffalo Benny – Mark Knight, and Annie Oatmeal – Sydney Tarr.

“Peril at Pumpernickle Pass” is, in true melodrama form, a classic tale of good and evil. Buttercup O’Shay’s general store and lending library in Pumpernickle Pass in 1890 is the setting for our story.

As the show opens the “wicked, snippy” Pearl Ruby Diamond is picking on Minnie, as usual. Minnie calls for help from our heroine, Miss Buttercup O’Shay. Buttercup, who is in love with Sheriff Siegfried, is down on her luck and is out of tea, coffee, and sugar. Enter Waldo Weasel, villain extraordinaire, who has purchased a gold map in Lulu City. Weasel is determined to find gold, so he strikes a deal with Buttercup for the supplies that he will need: she will get the leftovers, and he, of course, gets the rest. The sheriff arrives carrying bad news for Buttercup; there’s not enough crime in Pumpernickle Pass, so he is being let go.

Their marriage will have to be postponed. Buttercup and Widow Begley, the local society columnist, are devastated by the news. To add to Buttercup’s woes, her landlady shows up to tell her that she has sold the general store to the railroad. Cousin Stella Dimdome tries to comfort Buttercup with news of an old document she found in the attic.

With the arrival of Gentleman Dan, touting Buffalo Benny’s Wild West Show, the townspeople focus on the excitement of a traveling show in town. Meanwhile, Waldo has discovered what he believes to be the “richest vein of silver in Colorado,” which he refuses to share with Buttercup. To cover his tracks, Waldo invents an evil twin brother.

As Act II opens, Snipper Pantene, the local barber and dentist, reveals the source of Waldo’s silver strike and ministers to his dental needs. With the silver strike out of his reach, Waldo devises another plan to gain unlimited riches and buys Pearl’s cooperation. Poor confused Stella will be his next victim. Meanwhile, Gentleman Dan, Buffalo Benny, and Annie Oatmeal are trying to lure the townspeople to a free performance.

As our drama races to its exciting end, pressing questions will be answered. Will the citizens of Colorado have to pay rent to Buttercup? Will Siegfried marry money or good? Will Baby Colonel Tom Thumb save the day? Will Waldo be whipped? Will Minnie and Stella take their act on the road? You’ll have to be there to find out.

Don’t miss Peril at Pumpernickle Pass, and your chance to boo at the bad guys and cheer for the good guys.

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