PLEASANT GROVE Parley may be a stereotypical sidekick kind of cowboy but he's still amusing.
He's also a big part of the Old West Dinner Adventure entertainment at Showtime Utah! playing three nights a week.
Parley otherwise known as Drew Keddington, the show's producer gets in the way, cracks corny jokes, and even tries to sing with the band.
All the while, he's stumbling and talking out of the side of his mouth in a sing-song Western way.
Miss Ruby, played by Kristine Bethers on some of the nights (Miss Abby is played by Sarah Peterson and Miss Molley is played by Jennifer Cook) is the friendly grande dame of the "bar" trying to keep Parley out of trouble and run a respectable establishment at the same time.
She's gracious, funny and busy.
She can sing pretty well too!
Parley and Ruby are part of the fare at the newest effort to keep a business going at the old Alhambra/Little London/Grove theater.
Joan Peterson has taken the place over and is making a pretty good attempt.
"I spent the summer in Spain working on a project called "Play for Good" which was a $4 million fundraiser with talent such as Paris Hilton, Eva Longoria, Goldie Hawn, Fran Drescher and more. I've been in the entertainment business for years in casting and live events. After Spain I decided I wanted to stay home more and began pondering what to do for my next project," Peterson said. "The thoughts came flooding one day and Showtime! Utah was created, a culmination of years of talking, wishing, dreaming and finishing my father's dream."
Peterson's grandfather was one of the "few true cowboys left in Arizona," Peterson said. She and her dad talked about putting together a western-theatrical place for years. Four years ago her father opened a theater in an old train station in Fillmore but a year into the project, he died from a stroke. She views Showtime Utah! as a way to bring her dad's dream to fruition.
"After looking with a real estate agent for months for a location, I found the Grove Event Center on the Internet and it seemed like a good match. The age of the theater (1926), the ambiance, and the hometownhome town location fit nicely with the goal of the Old West Theme. The Old West Show was the dream, and it's become a wonderful reality."
Peterson said she's been pleasantly amazed at the positive response.
"After just a few weeks we have had many return customers bringing back friends and relatives with them. One older gentleman said "Wow, I don't have to go to Jackson Hole anymore to see the Bar J Wranglers."
Peterson's formula works: The food is simple but good, chicken and/or pulled pork and beans served buffet style into tin plates and cups. Dessert consists of a brownie and ice cream or a root beer float.
The Mama's Boys band keeps the evening hopping as they sing and play a whole host of Western hits including "Mariah" and "Orange Blossom Special."
The Mama's Boys are from Pleasant Grove, Scott Shumway and his five sons. Jon, Spencer, Nate, Matt and 11-year-old Taylor. They play blue grass, western, rock and barbershop.
"Our most difficult task is not confusing people with all the things we have going on at the theater. We truly are a variety entertainment theater, giving both the entertainer and those who want to be entertained a place to call theirs," Peterson said.
"We have more talent here per capita than any other state and very rarely is there a place for them to perform in a professional but friendly atmosphere. Our Family Night Live show, hosted by the amazing Alex Boye', allows the singer, dancer, juggler, etc.etcetera to perform their talents in an environment that teaches them not only to perform, but to entertain."Our late-night shows are just plain fun. Comedy, open mike, karaoke, and music. There aren't a lot of places you can go at 10 p.m. (for us night owls) other than a bar for entertainment except a movie. We've changed that."