Catch two plays in the Valley this weekend

This weekend there is not just one, but two theatrical performances taking place in Carson Valley - the Douglas County Historical Society's "Curse of the Hanging Tree" and the Dakota Organization's "Lips Together, Teeth Apart."

The two plays should be different enough for people to be able to enjoy both of them in one weekend if they have a mind to. They both start Friday night, "Curse" with two evening performances Friday and three evening performances Saturday, and "Lips" with one Friday night performance, matinee and evening performances on Saturday and a matinee on Sunday.

"Lips Together, Teeth Apart"

"Lips Together, Teeth Apart," is a comedy about the prejudices people harbor against homosexuals. The New York Times called it "a comedy that hurts." Written by Terrence McNally, who has been producing plays on Broadway since 1964 and has won four Tony Awards, the play delves into the lives of two married couples who happen to be spending the Fourth of July weekend at a summer house on Fire Island that has been willed to one of the actors by her brother who has just died of AIDS. The play is produced, directed and performed by Carson Valley folks, including actors Teri Lynn, Julie Franklin, Dave Anderson and Rod Hearn. The director Daniel Rosenblatt is the executive director for The Lear Theater in Reno, and has directed in Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles. The producer, Diana R. Jones, is new to Carson Valley. She has produced and acted in numerous other plays in California.

"Lips Together, Teeth Apart" will open at the CVIC Hall, 1604 Esmeralda Ave. in Minden at 7 p.m. Friday, with additional performances 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The cost is $15 for adults and $10 for seniors 65 or older. A portion of the proceeds are donated to the Alzheimer's Association. For tickets, call 450-1186.

"The Curse of the Hanging Tree"

The comedy-melodrama "The Curse of the Hanging Tree" is a spoof based on one of the most infamous lynchings in Nevada history. The play moves from location to location in the historic town of Genoa. The audience will walk to some of the actual sites where the historic event took place in 1897. There are four acts in "Curse," with the climax an "actual" hanging to take place in front of the Genoa Court House Museum. The play begins with a scene in Millerville Saloon (Genoa Town Hall), moves to Genoa Community Church for a funeral scene that actually took place at the Methodist Episcopal Church in Genoa, then play-goers will go to the Genoa Court House Museum for a hearing, then outdoors for the "hanging."

Many of the actors are former or current elected officials and others are hopeful political candidates. Some "celebrity" actors will, in essence, be playing themselves, with Douglas County deputy district attorney and district attorney-elect Mark Jackson portraying district attorney Nagel, and local criminal defense attorney Nathan Tod Young portraying defense attorney Alfred Chartz. Other actors in the courtroom scene include local attorney and candidate for justice court judge Kelly Chase as Judge Mack, historical society member Gary Weidner as Sheriff Brockliss and Douglas County Commissioner Kelly Kite as Constable Gray. Dr. Michael Fischer, John and Sue Smith, Richard and Greg Kudrna, Denise Walsh Beronio, Jenny Fulstone Hemsath, Richard Smith, Stephanie Fulstone, Janet Fischer, Donnis Thran, Laurie Hickey, Mike Mahoney, Keith Ford, Tonja Dressler, Pat Maebe, Laura Etherly and Shannon Hickey are also acting in the play. Program producer for Douglas County Community Access Television and candidate for Douglas County Commissioner in District Two Lloyd Higuera is going to read "The Curse."

"The Curse Of The Hanging Tree" will return to Genoa after a long hiatus on July 14 at 6:30 and 7:15 p.m. and July 15 at 6, 6:30 and 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person and are on sale at the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center at 1477 Highway 395 in Gardnerville. Advanced tickets are highly recommended as seating is limited. For information call 782-2893 or 782-2555. The play is a major fundraiser that supports both Douglas County museums - the Genoa Court House Museum and Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center.

n Jo Rafferty is the People Editor at The Record-Courier. To reach her, call 782-5121 or e-mail


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