- Last Updated on 02:10 PM 06/03/12
- BY Greg Donner/Special to The Gazette
In the musical “Chicago,” the heroine Roxie Hart decides that the way to success is to “get me a whole bunch of boys.”
Velda, the central figure in Halifax County Little Theatre’s latest production of “Velda: Girl Detective,” doesn’t have to go looking for boys. They seem to find her. Being a vivacious former stripper with a reputation doesn’t hurt, of course. Created by artist Ron Miller, two new Velda plays will receive their stage premiere at South Boston’s Constitution Square beginning on Friday, June 8, with an encore presentation on Saturday, June 9.
Velda is a typical noir heroine whose smart-talking manner keeps foes off balance and even friends at arm’s length. Whether as a stage performer or as a gumshoe, she seems to attract a variety of men who create interesting and exciting situations.
HCLT has enlisted the services of a number of actors who fill the positions of thugs, police, victims, and assorted ne’er-do-wells. The ensemble should keep the audiences in suspense with their odd behaviors and in stitches with their comic antics.
The male ensemble of actors involves six players who create over 15 characters. Collectively, the group has credits in numerous HCLT productions. Ricky Brogden, Michael Freshour, Berkley Priest, Chris Long, Andy Rice, and Richard Reeves all have multiple productions on the local stage and are well recognized by HCLT patrons.
The players as a group are pleased to work together and all have experience with others in previous productions. In just the past two years, some of the group have had parts in such plays as “To Kill A Mockingbird,” “Dreamgirls,” “Almost Maine,” and “A Christmas Carol.” The familiarity helps in creating a pleasant working environment for the whole cast.
This group has come together to support each other and their fellow cast members to make the comic books come alive. Director Miller is pleased to have such an experienced group and praises their dedication to making his vision come alive on stage.
By day they hold jobs as varied as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney (Freshour), a desk agent at Berry Hill Resort (Long), auto service businessman (Rice), stock room manager (Brogden), state park interpreter (Reeves), to the leader of a band called Cata9tails (Priest). One thing they all share is a love of theatre and the shared joy of bringing someone’s story to life on stage. Brogden sums it up best as he says he has been in love with the Velda stories since he saw his first comic last year, and now he is making it real for a whole new group of fans.
Join Velda and her “boys” Friday or Saturday nights. Admission is free, and refreshments will be available for purchase, or just bring a blanket and picnic with family or friends. Gates open at 5:00 and the play should be under way around 8:30. HCLT provides this outing as a gift to the community. Make plans now to enjoy a wonderful evening of entertainment with your friends and family.