Melodrama opens Friday night |

Melodrama opens Friday night

Rehearsing a scene from Grandma's Gold Mine or the Lady with the Silver Dollar Hair are from left, Bill Sweeney, Linda Diego, Dee Bauer, Pat Cardinal and Cory Baird.
Jim Grant | The Record-Courier

if you go

Friday night

Doors Open 6 p.m.

Performance at 7 p.m.

Show Only

No host bar

$15 Douglas County Historical Society Members, $20 general public,

Saturday Night

Doors Open: 6 p.m.

Performance at 7 p.m.

Complimentary Hors D’oeuvers

No Host Bar

$25 Douglas County Historical Society Members, / $30 general public

Sunday Matinee

Doors Open: 1 p.m.

Performance at 2 p.m.

Buffet Lunch

No Host Bar

$25 Douglas County Historical Society Members / $30 general public

Tickets might be as scarce as historical accuracy for this weekend’s performance of “Grandma’s Gold Mine” or “The Lady With the Silver Dollar Hair,” presented by the Douglas County Historical Society.

Historical Society President Dennis Little said the melodrama, which opens tonight at the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center, is almost sold out, though there are a few tickets left.

“We’re having way too much fun,” he said. “We feel like we put the melodrama on for ourselves, and if the audience enjoys it then so much the better.”

The story focuses on the efforts of villains William and Asa to make some quick money by stealing grandma’s gold mine.

Meanwhile, heroes Miss Kitty and Lucky Bill are trying to thwart their scheme.

“Set in the beautiful Carson Valley in the year eighteen aught-aught, villains conspire to steal Grandma’s gold mine,” Little said describing the action. “Will the heroes be able to save the day?”

Little said half of the main cast was lynched at some point or another.

Lucky Bill Thorington was hanged in Clear Creek in the early days of Carson Valley, while William Combs and Asa Smith lost their lives in Placerville.

“Of course we refer to it as Over The Hill City,” he said.

A subplot to the melodrama is how the three unfortunates in life dodge their fate in the production.

“We have a very plausible subplot as to how they escaped their fates,” he said. “We thought we’d have some fun, after all does anybody really stay dead in Hollywood?”

The Historical Society’s melodrama series began at the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center in 2006 under the guidance of John and Sue Smith.

Limited to three performances the melodrama starts tonight and wraps up with a matinee on Sunday.

The museum accommodates 60-70 spectators per show, which is one of the society’s top five fundraisers.

“We usually do save tickets at the door,” he said. “We have ticket holders who mysteriously don’t show up. We’re sorry they miss the performance but delighted to have has many people as we can.”

“And it’s billed as an outrageous old-time melodrama that’s neither politically, historically nor chronologically correct,” Little said.

Ticket information and details are available by contacting the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center, 1477 U.S. Highway 395 N, Gardnerville or by phone at 775-782-2555.