“Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned Melodrama?” asks seasoned director Pamela Lambert as she presents her sensational original production of “Sweet Nell in Distress” at the Footlighters outdoor stage and music hall.

With some assistance from colleague Robert Thurmond, the two have managed to conjure up some rewrites in order to make the production COVID-compliant for both actors and audiences.

In order to ensure that the actors onstage remain safe, there will be a character called the “COVID Compliance Officer.”

The evening’s festivities will commence with some alluring opening acts such as: Katherine and Fiona Pyne soaring through the air as the Pyne Risley Acrobatics mother/daughter team; Véronique Poutrè as the Scintillating Songbird playing the ukulele; Ian Laskey as the Funny Man; and last but certainly not least is Haley Rubin’s clowning around in Verve’s Animal Antics.

Véronique Poutré says, “the Scintillating Songbird is just waiting for the moment she can be free.”

The main attraction is “Sweet Nell in Distress,” a comedic melodrama featuring a stereotypical damsel in distress who is saved from a nefarious villain by a valiant hero.

“It requires audience participation in booing, cheering and sobbing,” states director Pamela Lambert.

When asked what inspired her to write the show, she explained that the show originally came from the need for material for her theatre located in the Calico Ghost Town, Calikage Playhouse. “Necessity is the mother of invention, right?”

The cast consists of Alexis Rafter as Sweet Nell, Robert Thurmond as Jack Whiplash, Phillip Gabriel as Dear Ray, Pamela Lambert as Old Mother, James Muro as COVID Compliance Officer and Patrick Doran-Sheeran as the MC and Piano Accompanist.

The performances will take place Aug. 7 and 8 at 8:15 p.m. in the Footlighters parking lot on an outdoor stage.

Tickets will be $15 and kids 12 and under will be admitted for free.

This is a socially-distanced approved event and masks are required for entrance.

Be sure to bring your own chair as well.

Head on over to the Footlighters website at redlandsfootlighters.org to purchase your tickets or make arrangements to “pay at the door.”

Don’t miss out as Footlighters makes their much anticipated return in presenting the Inland Empire with a quality live theatre production under the stars.


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Toti’s Art Studio’s young artists continue on with their art projects while trying to make sense of no school and sheltering in place.

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