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Wrinkles of Washington Logo. Please click on logo to return to home page. Photo of the dancers from the Fall 1996 show

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When Gin Was Sin, Logo for the Fall 1996 show

WOW Fall 1996 Production

. . . turned up nose, turned down hose, flapper yes sir, one of those. . .   The 20’s - an era that was one of the richest lodes in American music and dance.  It was a natural - costumes, dances, songs, and, yes, Prohibition!  The battle of the bottle rages on stage, with Mayor Charlie Gladhand (Bob Freested) running for re-election and walking tightropes between the local speakeasy and the Ladies Temperance Union.  This show features flappers, bathtub gin, Second Hand Rosie’s Pawn Shop, which also houses the local "milk" bar (ah, yes, gin is mother’s milk to all but a few), a fabulous Charleston, and black bottom dances identified with the roaringest decade in American history.

The show opens to a rousing dance - "Chicago", and the choreography throughout is nothing short of sensational.  Such exciting numbers as "Crazy Rhythm", "Million Dollar Baby", and "Oh, You Beautiful Doll" are just a few of the outstanding dance numbers. Dancers close the show with yet another spectacular - Chris Brewis-Roberts swingin' a baton to "Stars and Stripes Forever", followed by a superb routine to "Happy Days are Here Again", as the end of Prohibition is announced.

Between dances, music (and gin fumes) fill the air.  Chris Brewis-Roberts as Trixie, the Mayor’s bimbo secretary, makes noises fingernails on a blackboard would envy as she warbles "I Wanna be Loved by You, boop-boop-a-doop."  Choral spectaculars include "Sweet Georgia Brown", "Baby Face", and "Rockabye Your Baby."  Leonard Vickerstaff, the chief of police owned by the Mayor, reminds his Keystone style cops that "A Policeman’s Lot is Not a Happy One."  Two show stoppers that come to mind are a wondrous jazz number by Joanie Roper ("Le Jazz Hot"), and "Me and My Shadow", performed by Mary Margaret McFarland and Lyle Russell, a twosome who would become regulars in WOW productions.

. . . We never eat cookies because they have yeast, and one little bite turns a man to a beast - can you imagine a sadder disgrace than a man in the gutter with crumbs on his face?  Ah, yes.  ’Tis indeed the "Song of the Temperance Union", led by Beulah F. Budwizer (Phyllis Dinsmore).  This lively group, whose motto is "Up with Skirts and Down with Pants", succeeds in persuading speakeasy owner Rosie Seegrums (Mary Petzold) to run for mayor on a reform ticket against her paramour - none other than Charlie Gladhand!  The vote ends in a tie - 1111 to 1111, but Rosie casts the deciding ballot, opting for Charlie and wedlock as prohibition ends and happy days are restored.

One note in passing.  Don Hancock, a WOW pioneer, is cast as newspaper reporter Clark Kant.  One might suspect that his subsequent appearance as Kent Clark-Snooperman in "The Case of the Vanishing Wrinkles" was just a bit of type-casting.

This was the first of four consecutive years in which WOW was the subject of official gubernatorial proclamations.  Official notice of the State of Washington was accorded a group of talented and energetic seniors performing an "exciting and magical show of music, comedy and dance," and noting further that "rehearsing for a stage show is a wonderful way to rekindle a waning, life-long fantasy of public performance, rejuvenate through exercise and dance, and rediscover the pleasure of singing."  Governor Lowry then declared WOW Weekend to coincide with the presentation of "When Gin Was Sin."  Similar declarations accompanied "How the West was Wrinkled", "Play it Again", and "Once Upon a Wrinkle."  Right on, Governors Lowry and Locke!!!!

You may "click" on the photos to see a larger one.

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