‘Dirty Laundry’ is Good, Clean Fun

Hot Dog Melodrama Theater returns to The Lindsay Community Theater with this year’s presentation, San Juan’s Dirty Laundry, starting at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan 25. Other show dates are at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27 and7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan 31 and Friday, Feb. 1 and Saturday, Feb. 2. Tickets are $10 and are available only at the door. And of course, hot dogs are served at every performance.

As the Narrator (Jan Owens) explains at the very beginning, San Juan’s Dirty Laundry is based upon a “mostly true” story of railroads, big money, lost love, found love, the power of the press, and the power of finding your one, true love. He also promises an ample supply of twists and turns, schemers and scoundrels, mayhem and misdirection and 90 minutes of mystery, frivolity and authentic old-time melodramatic music.

The story begins when Modesta Villa (Nancy Wills) and her daughter Rosa (Kaitlin Husted) are busy at their laundry business in San Juan Capistrano when the Judge (Jim Kliegl) arrives with two letters. These letters announce that the railroad, which had laid tracks through their back yard, was refusing to pay them for the right of way, and also that the railroad had purchased their mortgage and was foreclosing on their property.

The Judge promises to investigate the situation and arrives at the local inn run by Mother Meddlesome (Judy Luecke). He also sees Trudy Lite (Merilee Robinson) and Molly (Joanna Elling). Molly is the girl that the Judge is secretly smitten with, and he plans to ask for her hand in marriage. The Judge is just about to ask Molly for her hand in marriage when in comes Barry Meddlesome (Nelson Guiza), who has been away for two years as a foreign correspondent for a local newspaper. He steals Molly’s heart and leaves the Judge broken-hearted. When this happens, the entire audience says “aaaah” prompted by Paige Turner (Molly Patterson) who holds up appropriate audience-reaction signs throughout the play.

Then, in talking to the local Sheriff (Dick Jameson), the Judge learns of a stranger in town, Tiberius Mack, the Professor (Chris Shepherd) and his two assistants Scantilly Clad (Kathrynne Wills) and May Whee (Jenna Wall). The Professor turns out to be an officer of the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe Railroad, the very man who is trying to foreclose on Modesta’s home.

Will the railroad steal Modesta’s home leaving her and her daughter destitute? Will the Judge ever find true love? These burning questions and many more will be answered as the story of San Juan’s Dirty Laundry unfolds.

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