by Jeanette Menter
The Palace Theatre (formerly Coachlight Theatre) offers an amazing experience from the moment visitors walk through the door. The player piano and an old-fashioned “Love-Tester” are just a few of the unusual attractions in the turn of the century arcade-inspired lobby.
The inside of the theater has been given a facelift, including new lighting and sound systems topped off with a beautiful chandelier and two replicas of cherub statues from Brussels. The combination of eclectic and classic touches make The Palace—a name chosen as a tongue-in-cheek salute to the grand theaters of days gone by—a bawdy mixture of fun and top-notch professional talent.
Audiences are treated to unique musicals such as Forever Vegas, Platinum Girls, Cowboy Sweethearts, It’s Only Temporary, Tumbleweed, and of course, Brown County Christmas.
Any performance at The Palace Theatre of Brown County is destined to be unforgettable. That’s because every act is an original, written and produced by the owners.
In April, Forever Vegas, an evening of parody and music based on the memories of the legends of Sin City, opened without a hitch. When the velvet curtains parted, four men dressed in glittering costumes belted out tunes from the iconic movie “Viva Las Vegas,” while shaking and twitching in dramatic comical fashion.
The tempo was Vaudevillian. Moment to moment each actor disappeared behind one of the glittering mylar curtains only to reappear in a completely different costume (each one handmade by owner Julie Powers) performing a whole new act—all relating to the golden era of Las Vegas.
The actors did bits paying homage to Tom Jones, Dean Martin, Milton Berle, Elvis, and more. The music was professionally executed and performed with a sense of whimsy and bawdy humor. In between the harmonic sets and touching solos, the audience was treated to an unexpected magic show, interaction with clowns, short snippets of famous female singers such as Cher and Celine Dion—all done with hilarious and impeccable timing by the same four, incredibly talented and versatile performers.
Although it may appear that actors improvise from time to time, the fact is every aspect of their performances is carefully planned and professionally executed. These carefully chosen actors are paid professionals and have acting, singing or theatre backgrounds. Even though the atmosphere is lighthearted, there is nothing amateurish about the level of performances.
Delivering original, quality entertainment in a seemingly effortless manner is the goal of the owners Russell Moss, Brad Zumwalt, and Julie Powers. Each show is written and produced by them as well. No prepackaged acts are used, so don’t expect to see the classics here. Do plan on being delightfully surprised.
In addition, new venues include the talents of Robert Shaw and the Lonely Street Band from the Red Barn Jamboree offering unforgettable tributes to Johnny Cash and Elvis on par with anything being done around the country.
The owners of The Palace also operate the successful Boggstown Cabaret Supper Club. Their commitment to providing an extraordinary evening of entertainment for their audiences there has made it a destination point for fifteen years. For over two years, they’ve extended that knowledge and passion into making The Palace equally in demand.
If you’re tired of bad movies, amateur live performances, or expensive big productions that are too far away anyway, look in your own back yard. There is a treasure there and it’s called The Palace Theatre.
Visit their website <www.palacetheatreobc.com> or call (812) 988-2101 to get all the details. Your loved ones will thank you.