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home : on stage : on stage April 29, 2016

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3/10/2014 3:14:00 PM
Special Sunday shows at Blazin' M
A Woman's Hand, performed Sunday nights in March, is a celebration of Women's History Month in the Verde Valley.
A Woman's Hand, performed Sunday nights in March, is a celebration of Women's History Month in the Verde Valley.
James Ball accompanies local talent like Tricia Greer, Shondra Jepperson and Michele Lamar Richards.
James Ball accompanies local talent like Tricia Greer, Shondra Jepperson and Michele Lamar Richards.

A Special Show on Sunday Nights at The Blazin' M Ranch

Celebrating its 20th anniversary and in honor of Women's History Month, the Blazin' M Ranch is offering up an hour of music, laughter, tears, and a whole lot of pioneer women's soul in "A Woman's Hand," a play written by author Dev Ross. Audiences have two more opportunities to experience this fun, fast paced, and often poignant historical show on Sundays, March 16 and 23. Along with the Blazin' M's signature chuck wagon dinner, pre-dinner activities and attractions, guests will engage with colorful interactive Old West living history characters who showcase the hard work, challenges, triumphs and everyday hardships of women in the 1800s.

The Blazin' M Ranch spent weeks preparing detailed living history sets that guests are sure to enjoy. Pioneer women iron, wash clothes, pour coffee for guests as well as lead sing-a-longs in the saloon with a pianist. This addition takes place in the ranch's courtyard and is historically based so guests will get a taste of life here in the Verde Valley during the 1880s.

Author Dev Ross's show features women who were integral to weaving the rich history of Sedona, Flagstaff and the Verde Valley. Audiences will enjoy hearing directly from historical personages who come alive on stage such as the first African-American woman to own a business in Jerome, a saloon hall Soiled Dove from Flagstaff, a Chinese singsong girl, Latina Apolonia Chavez and Sedona Schnebly.

The cast consists of some of the finest professional actors in the Verde Valley as well as in Hollywood. Tricia Greer, a Sedona favorite, has been cast in leading roles in Shifting Gears, Lion in Winter, Glass Menagerie, Proof and 37 Postcards in Sedona and has an extensive theatre resume of lead roles in theatres throughout California. Her acting credits include leads in the plays On Golden Pond, A Street Car Named Desire, Painting Churches and Agnes of God. Greer also has a long list of film, commercial and television credits.

Shondra Jepperson, who is largely known as half of the popular entertainment duo, Tom & Shondra is an Alumni of the Juilliard School of Dramatic Arts and Sedona audiences have enjoyed her in leading roles in Nunsense I & II, Suds, Maybe Baby It's You and Business of Murder to name a few. She is currently the music director at the Center for Positive Living Sedona, founder of the In the Living Room Music Series at CPL and one of the three Sedona Dynamite Divas. She is also a published BMI songwriter, recording artist with two of her own CDs available on iTunes. She and Dev Ross are co-producers of this show.

Movie fans are familiar with stage and film actress Michele Lamar Richards, known for her role as Whitney Houston's sister in Kevin Costner's, The Bodyguard. Her theatre career has spanned over two decades internationally as well as domestically. Richards is also a writer, producer, director and professional acting coach for studios with credits that include winning a prestigious Dramalogue Award for her Direction of Lone Wolf Rhapsody. Michele is currently working on her film short Bar Room Babies shot entirely in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Besides having penned this play, Dev Ross has won two Emmys and has written for ABC, FOX, Universal, Mattel, and PBS as well as having authored over a dozen children's books for the We Both Read series. Dev has just completed work on Tumble Leaf a new kids' show for Amazon Studios and is currently writing for an upcoming Disney show. Ross's acting resume includes lead roles in Yentl and Hair in Los Angeles and Sedona audiences have enjoyed her in leads in Nunsense I & II, Suburbia, and Steel Magnolias.

Accompanist James Ball is enjoying his seventh year teaching Choir, Music Theory, and Theatre at Mingus Union High School and is getting ready to produce the musical Guys and Dolls at the high school which opens April 25 and runs through May 4. He graduated cum laude from Illinois Wesleyan University with a degree in Voice and a minor in Piano and has performed across the nation.

John Reynolds is the director of the show who, besides his directing resume, has an extensive background as a special effects lighting director for major motion pictures including E.T., Twilight Zone, and Towering Inferno. He has worked on hundreds of television shows, commercials and films. John last directed the Benjamin Briton opera, The Little Sweep in Buson, South Korea. His Sedona directing credits include Up the Trail, Pump boys and Dinettes, The Anastasia Files and Rounding Third and he is currently the director on the web series, The Rocks.

Sponsored by National Processing Solutions, Inc., the last two performances for this historical production is March 16 and 23. For dinner and show reservations call (928) 634-0334 or book on-line at Gates open at 5 p.m for pre-show activities and actor/audience interactions. Dinner is served at 6:30 p.m. The hour-long show starts at 7:30 p.m. Adults: $35.95+tax, Seniors: $32.95+tax, Children (3-12). $19.95+tax.

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