Reviews of shows from the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts and other local venues published by the Los Cerritos Community News. The writer and paper are in their twentieth year of covering these events.

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Location: Fear City, Ca., United States

"My name is Addison DeWitt. My native habitat is the theater. In it I toil not, neither do I spin. I am a critic and commentator. I am essential to the theatre - as ants to a picnic, as the boll weevil to a cotton field." George Sanders in "All About Eve"

Monday, February 25, 2008

Riders in the Sky February 24, 2008

Riders in the Sky Radio Theater: A Star Is Born

By Glen Creason

The Riders in the Sky electrified the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts stage on Sunday afternoon bringing to life old time radio done “the cowboy way.” The normal hi-jinks of Too Slim, Ranger Doug, Woody Paul and Joey Kane along with sound effects by Professor Zeno and dulcet announcing tones from Texas Bix Bender made for a fast and fun-filled matinee mixing music, moos and Machiavellian comeuppance. However, it was the debut of a local ingénue, playing Miss Marm that brought the Cerritos faithful to their feet repeatedly on this afternoon. Despite the stage manager leaving the script closed at her lectern in act one of “Biscuits, Bullets and the Federal Emergency Management Administration,” Gloria Kappe gracefully regained her composure and place in the show then performing like a seasoned professional. As a matter of fact, in act two she was able to reach emotive heights, hitting the flirtatious Too Slim repeatedly with a wet salmon to repulse his galootish advances when she had her sights on Ranger Doug. Many left the theater asking what is next for Mrs. Kappe in the thespian arena. The Riders are no strangers to the big hall and indeed refer to it as “the most glorious place we get to play” and they seemed to get juiced by the big crowd. They played cowboy music like “Back In the Saddle Again,” “Cool Water,” “Rawhide,” “Blue Shadows on the Trail,” and “Happy Trails” well enough to make you forget this is a comedy show. Very fine work was heard on the sweet lullaby “Lie Still Little Doggies,” the lovely love ballad “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You,” and a sizzling “Orange Blossom Special” featuring Woody Paul’s flying fiddle. However, the hilarious radio show and other tongue in cheek wonders like “That’s How the Yodel Was Born,” “I Cooked Everything” modeled after “I’ve Been Everywhere,” “F.E.M.A. (from YMCA,) “Dead Man’s Curve” and the doo wop of “There’s a Moon Out Tonight” showed they can step outside their spurs and shine. Of course, the Riders are real pros and they know how to get a laugh and to yodel but on this day the spotlight really shone on the former Cerritos mayor and her return to the boards after a few decades hiatus. As a local wag was heard to say out in the lobby “once she got going, she was really good!”


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