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Warner Robins Little Theatre opens 50th season with “The Robber Bridegroom”

WARNER ROBINS -- “The Robber Bridegroom,” the first show of Warner Robins Little Theatre’s 50th season, opens this weekend.

As part of the opening night festivities Friday, the theater will host a green room where attendees can enjoy refreshments while meeting the cast, crew and director Fred Hardin.

The musical was written by Alfred Uhry and is based on the novella by Eudora Welty, both winners of the Pulitzer Prize. Set in 18th century Mississippi, “The Robber Bridegroom” tells the story of Rosamund, the only child of the richest man in the county, and her courting by Jamie, a Robin Hood-type bandit. Throw in a wicked stepmother, a clueless henchman and a murder plot, and you have all the makings for a Southern version of a Brothers Grimm-like fairy tale.

“This show has a really good pedigree,” Hardin said. “You know that it is quality literature and quality writing.”

Hardin said Welty, who was inspired by the Grimm fairy tale of “The Robber Bridegroom,” adapted the story to the Natchez Trace and based some of the characters on real murderers from the area.

Because of the Mississippi setting, the score has a distinctly bluegrass feel.

Hardin called upon Peggy and Vic Dunston, both of whom have long ties to musical theater in Warner Robins, to direct the on-stage band. Vic Dunston also will play the drums in the band with Peggy Dunston on keyboards. Joining them will be Abram Ridgway on the violin and Grant Lockwood on the bass.

“This particular musical is rare because it has a country music sound,” Hardin said. “The audience will see the band because they are on the stage, but they don’t take front stage.”

Hardin said “The Robber Bridegroom” is interesting because of the amount of music in the show.

“The music, dance, dialogue are all intertwined,” Hardin said. “A lot of musicals are mostly dialogue, but this one is probably about 90 percent music and dance.”

“The Robber Bridegroom” has some adult language and themes.

Contact Alline Kent at 396-2467 or allinekent@cox.net.

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