By Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal
Special to The Village News 

'Chaps' or Get Along Little Doggie


Last updated 3/14/2019 at 7:24pm

Ken Jacques Photo

Cast of "Monty Python's 'Chaps'" sings "Come 'n Get It."

While still a week away from opening night, the cast at Lamb's Players Theatre performed at 100 percent at last Friday night's preview, March 8. Because it is not "officially open," it is not ready for the official review.

However, I can say, whether ready for prime time or not, I do expect this production to be a runaway hit show for Lamb's Players Theatre. It is hilarious. Terrific music sung by a talented cast of characters.

Directed by Robert Smyth, this refreshed production of Monty Python's "Chaps" is hysterical as performed with perfect comedic-timing by an outstanding cast of pros.

The actors are Charles Evans Jr., Manny Fernandes, Steve Gouveia, Caitie Grady, Ross Hellwig and Arusi Santi. They play guitar, bass and mandolin while singing and performing madcap choreography.

Set in London's BBC radio studio at the height of World War II the much-publicized broadcast featuring Tex Riley and his American cowboy band is due to go on air any minute.

The BBC staff is ready to get started. Producer Miles Shadwell, played by Charles Evans Jr. is frantically pacing while announcer Briggs Stratton, played by Ross Hellwig, is backstage getting sloshed.

Sound engineer Archie Leitch, played by Steve Gouveia, is waiting to test the mics while Foley artist Stan, played by Arusi Santi, is setting up his apparatuses for the background sound. Stan coordinates with the station's commercial actor Clive Cooper, played by Manny Fernandes, while he practices the sponsor's commercial "Salty's Fish 'n' Chips."

Meanwhile Tex's road manager Mabel Halliday, played by Caitie Grady, arrives with a trunk full of costumes expecting to find the cowboy singers tuning up their instruments for the live broadcast.

It seems everybody is ready except Tex Riley's cowboy band. Where could they be?

With thousands of troops waiting for the broadcast, the producer laments that if something doesn't happen soon, they will all be fired.

Reminiscent of an old Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland black and white movie, Mabel pulls out the radio script just in time for the show to air. She saves the day. In the spirit of "the show must go on," Mabel organizes the motley crew of misfits just in time to air live from London.

Most of the songs are familiar tunes from the early days of singing cowboys, but the real heart pull is when Mabel performs the "White Cliffs of Dover" in a duo with the boys.

"Chaps" contains some iconic cowboy songs like "I'm An Old Cowhand," "Cattle Call," "Cool, Clear Water" and "Ragtime Cowboy Joe" plus lots more.

Keep in mind, this production is like a live radio show where the audience is in the middle of the action. It is witty, musically brilliant and outrageously choreographed by Deborah Gilmore Smyth.

A musical masterpiece, there are lots of surprises in what feels like a spontaneous production with the audience a part of it.

Great fun to be had for ages 12 and up. It is a good time to rustle up friends and family and head on down the trail.

Book now because you'll have a jolly good time on the road to "Chaps" at Lamb's Players Theatre in the heart of Coronado until April 20. Lots of free street parking although harder to find on weekends. Contact the box office at (619) 437-6000 or They offer senior discounts.

Up next is "Babette's Feast," the West Coast premiere, opening May 3. Book early, and savings can be had by seeing the preview shows.

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal can be reached at


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