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July - August '09 Issue Features content from the July and August 2009 edition of Steppin' Out

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London Frontier Theatre Brings Aging Outlaws to Magdalena

London Frontier Theatre presents new multi-media play about old west

Actors Donna Todd, Ruth Ryan, Frank Howard, Donald Wiltshire, & Bennie Zamora
Actors Donna Todd, Ruth Ryan, Frank Howard, Donald Wiltshire, & Bennie Zamora

Magdalena – Two aging outlaws return to No Springs, NM, the roaring cowtown they remember from their heyday in the 1890's, only to find it’s now – 1920 – a dusty remnant of its rowdy past. But Babe and Beau have almost 30 years of living to make up, and neither law nor time has “tamed and tidied” the larger-than-life, dare-anything pair.

The Ballad of Babe & Beau takes a humorous and penetrating look at what creates legends (“what we wanted to be – or do – and weren’t, or didn’t”) and the truth about aging. A mock holdup of an automobile by a mounted bandit is to be part of the town’s first annual “Outlaw Days” cel¬ebration. But complexities of modern life and a yen for a “last hurrah” tempt even the dour local sheriff to attempt something more “authentic.”

Video of timeless Western scenery, as well as photos of long-gone people and places, interweave with stage action, carrying audiences on a journey back to a time when life and landscape seemed to stretch endlessly in an epic adventure.

Nostalgic period music – including the theme, “I’m Just as Young as I Used to Be – is performed by Mont L. Laster (author’s grandfather) and Friends, recorded from live radio shows (circa 1955) in Clarksville, Arkansas. Banjo, fiddle, piano, guitar and vocals shift the mood from lively to sentimental, country/folk to ragtime to waltz.

Babe & Beau is a rollicking “Romance of the Old West”, a story of the deathless love of life, adventure and each other that we all yearn for and a few “outlaws” seek to create.

Actors in Babe & Beau are Frank Howard, Ruth Ryan, Donna Todd, Donald Wiltshire, and Bennie Zamora. Set and lighting design/construction are by Donald Wiltshire, LFTC tech¬nical director, and Ron Thornton; Ron also runs lights and sound, with Terry Stone as video projectionist. Video and scenic presentations in the show were filmed and edited by Michael Mideke, LFTC videographer, who was also consultant on script development. Additional video is by Nan Weber. Donna Todd is author and director. House manager is Thelma Reynolds.

Performances are Friday, July 10 and Saturday, July 11, both at 7pm with a matinee on Sunday, July 12 at 2pm; Saturday, July 18 , 7pm, and Sunday, July 19, 2pm, at Magdalena’s historic WPA Theatre, Main at Fourth. Tickets are $3.50 for adults, $2.00 for children, available at the door one hour before performance, and by Reservation (advised) at (575)-854-2519, or londonfrontier@gilanet. com; further information at

London Frontier, now in its historic WPA venue and 14th season in Magdalena, continues to present a wide variety of plays – including the popular “Lost Wife Creek’ series – incorporating our vivid multi-cul¬tural history in exciting, entertaining theatre.

This project funded in part by LFTC’s “Friends of the Theatre.”



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