In Play Reviews

If you find yourself deep in mid-winter with a hankering for some good old country music, Broadway Rose Theatre Company has the show for you.

Emily Cadiz in Honky Tonk Laundry. Sam Ortega photo.

Honky Tonk Laundry, written by Roger Bean with music arrangements by Jon Newton is now onstage at Broadway Rose’s New Stage in Tigard.

This is a “jukebox musical“, a show written around already existing popular songs–in this case country and western. It provides an opportunity for two talented singers to do what they do best. Jessica Brandes is Katie Lane Murphy, a young woman who hates her job and is beginning to dislike her boyfriend. When she stumbles into the Wishy Washy Washeteria she encounters Lana Mae Hopkins (Emily Cadiz), the laundry’s owner, who is fed up with her husband Earl, Earl’s ailing mother, and life in general. Her only employee is in jail and she is in desperate need of help to keep her business running.

She and Katie hit it off and begin working together. And singing. From here on out, the plot is a classic country song, minus prison, the old dog, and the train. It’s a simple plot designed to let the singers shine. And shine they do through such favorites as “These Boots Were Made For Walkin”, “Long Time Gone”, “Fall To Pieces”, and “Cleopatra, Queen of Denial”.

Jessica Brandes in Honky Tonk Laundry. Sam Ortega photo.

Honky Tonk Laundry is directed by Broadway Rose artistic director Sharon Maroney, with choreography by Broadway Rose managing director Dan Murphy. Music direction is by Mak Kastelic, with scenic design by Sean O’Skea; costume design, Kimberly Hergert; lighting design, Carl Faber; sound design, Brian Karl Moen; hair design, Jane Holmes; properties design, James Sharinghousen. Jeff Duncan is production manager; Jessica Junor, stage manager; Phil Mc Beth, technical director.

The musical runs through February 20 at the Broadway Rose New Stage, 12850 SW Grant Avenue, Tigard. All Covid safety protocols are in place. Masks, proof of vaccine, and photo ID are required for entrance. Tickets are available here.

Jessica Brandes and Emily Cadiz. Sam Ortega photo.

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