‘Gold in the Hills’ will continue its historic streak
The Guinness Book of World Records’ longest-running show is not letting the COVID-19 pandemic interfere with its historic run.
“Gold in the Hills” will be performed this weekend at the Parkside Playhouse Theatre.
Spring performances of the melodrama were canceled due to the pandemic, but a decision was made by the Vicksburg Theatre Guild board Wednesday night to offer two performances out of their 2020 July schedule.
“We made the decision because of the tradition of the show,” VTG president Sarah Goss said. “It has been a challenging task. Nothing is normal right now, but this seemed like a good way to provide a bit of normalcy for Vicksburg.”
In an effort to provide a safe environment during the performances, Goss said, a strict COVID-19 policy was adopted that included using family groups for the cast to make social distancing easier.
There will also be limited access to the backstage area, assigned seating, temperature checks, a mask requirement for both audience members and performers and seating will be limited to just half of the auditorium’s capacity.
“It’s going to be tough,” Goss said, referring to acting with a mask. “Masks are hot. They feel confining. They make it hard to hear people, so we are going to have to remind ourselves constantly to project. I’m mostly concerned for the singers and dancers. However, it’s just one of those things we have to do. We are going to do our absolute best to mitigate those problems as much as we can.”
While these performances of “Gold in the Hills” will not have all the nuances of a typical performance, like the funny facial expressions used by some of the cast members, Goss said, she was excited to be back on stage.
“’Gold’ is like one big family. It’s nice to see people I haven’t seen in a while. To be back doing something I truly love,” she said.
“Gold in the Hills” was first performed in 1936. The melodrama is set in the New York Bowery and the cast of characters includes a relentless hero, a winsome heroine, a ruthless villain, and can-can dancers.
Performances will be offered Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $12 and $6 for ages 12 and younger.
The Parkside Playhouse Theatre is located at 101 Iowa Ave.