Summer melodrama brings lots of laughter

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  • Photos by Jeff Green/ Sam Shovel (Brady Bourgard) thinks hard about his next case, before downing another shot of whiskey during the Sixth Street Melodrama and Theatre’s summer melodrama Sam Shovel, Private Eye, and the Case of the Maltese Pigeon -or- Hard Boiled...With a Side of Hash.

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    Sam Shovel’s stand-in, expertly played by Eli Bourgard, steals a kiss from Jesaray Harpel’s Mona Lisa Capistrano, the heroine of the play.

  • Photos by Jeff Green/ Sam Shovel (Brady Bourgard) thinks hard about his next case, before downing another shot of whiskey during the Sixth Street Melodrama and Theatre’s summer melodrama Sam Shovel, Private Eye, and the Case of the Maltese Pigeon -or- Hard Boiled...With a Side of Hash.

  • 1

    Sam Shovel’s stand-in, expertly played by Eli Bourgard, steals a kiss from Jesaray Harpel’s Mona Lisa Capistrano, the heroine of the play.

WALLACE — The game’s afoot, or something like that …

The Sixth Street Melodrama and Theatre in Wallace is excited to announce its summer melodrama, “Sam Shovel, Private Eye, and the Case of the Maltese Pigeon -or- Hard Boiled ... With a Side of Hash.”

Written by twin brothers and Sixth Street veterans Eli and Brady Bourgard, the play follows a down-on-his-luck detective who gets saddled with the responsibility of solving a high profile case centered around a beautiful dame, a kidnapped father, and a statue most fowl.

The hijinks ensue throughout as Sam Shovel, played hilariously by Brady Bourgard (with some help from a stand-in), works his way through the case, through his own thoughts, and maybe a fight or two with a two-bit thug.

It’s a throwback to a somewhat lost genre, expertly blending noir crime thriller with some slapstick, tongue-in-cheek humor.

For Brady, the play was tied to many different inspirations and he and his brother hoped to resurrect a style that current generations may never have experienced.

“My brother and I were both fans of the hard-boiled detective genre of books and film. The title of the show is of course a parody of Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon, but we were also inspired by the novels of Raymond Chandler, Mickey Spillane, and the Tracer Bullet character from Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes,” Brady said. “We thought it would be interesting to do a melodrama that was set in the 1930s, in ‘black and white,’ and with sarcastic voiceover work allowing the audience to hear the detective’s thoughts throughout the show. Hopefully what we've written rings true to fans of the genre, while still entertaining those who are unfamiliar with it.”

The show runs roughly an hour and 45 minutes (including a 15 minute intermission), and includes both the melodrama and a musical revue.

“Sam Shovel, Private Eye, and the Case of the Maltese Pigeon -or- Hard Boiled ... With a Side of Hash” will have a theatrical run of July 3 through July 28, with showings Wednesday through Saturday nightly at 7 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $10, available at the door or online at www.sixthstreetmelodrama.com.

Author's note: This play was absolutely hilarious. My daughter and I went and we spent the entire time laughing until our sides hurt.

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