Charlotte’s Web & Main Street Players to present Night Riders

Charlotte’s Web & Main Street Players to present Night Riders


Charlotte’s Web of Rockford and Main Street Players of Boone County have announced the opening dates and the cast of their new collaboration, a musical comedy production called Night Riders. This will the Midwest premiere of the show, with only three previous productions, all on the East Coast.

Night Riders is a charming and engaging, conversation-style view of the world of over-the-road truck drivers. Based on original interviews with dozens of drivers, their wives, and the truck stop waitresses they meet along the way, the play shows the very appealing human qualities of these fascinating American workers. Through their open and honest dialogue (most of it shared directly to and with the audience), they reveal the whole truth about their work, their histories, the hilarious events on the road, and their innermost feelings about their personal lives and relationships. Night Riders offers an intimate real-life picture of this very special part of our everyday world.

But the special charm of this production lies in the delightful music. Upbeat Country-Western in style, but including a good bit of “rock” and “pop” and a couple of beautiful ballads, this original score requires the cast of four men and two women to handle 11 brand-new musical numbers, including solos, duets and close-harmony group numbers. There is literally “something for everyone.”

The Night Riders cast and staff includes a diverse group of Rockford, Roscoe, Belvidere and other stateline performers. The roles of the four truck drivers are played by William Avila, Phil Blair, Dan Masterson and Paul Vander Vennett, with Jennifer Thompson and Amber Lynn Sterud as the wife and the waitress, respectively. The country band is directed by Dick Burgess on pedal steel guitar, assisted by Steve Nece of Kingston, Ill. on keyboard, and includes Greg Clough on drums and Dave Cox on guitar. The production is being directed by Bill Beard.

Opening weekend at the Boone County Community Center in Belvidere is at 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, November 8-9, and Sunday matinee, 2 p.m. on November 10. The same schedule and location will be the following weekend, November 15, 16, 17; and then Karen Howard’s Charlotte’s Web will move the show to Rockford’s Mendelssohn Club for November 22, 23 and 24.

Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door, $8 for students and seniors. Tickets will be available at: Rockford Area Arts Council, The Tin Whistle, Postal Shoppe (at Edgebrook) and Community Building Complex of Boone County. For more information, call Charlotte’s Web at (815) 964-2238.

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