I’ve always had a soft spot for Reedley’s River City Theatre Company, which under the hard-working direction of Mark Norwood has become a staple of theater life in the South Valley. Norwood and his creative partner Darrell Devaurs have penned almost two dozen original musicals together, and since 2005 they’ve included a signature character common to them all: the larger than life Fanny Feastyoureyes.
The newest incarnation of Fanny — played from the start by town pharmacist Matt Wiebe — appears in “A Royal Fanny,” a musical comedy set in Elizabethan England that Norwood describes as “Queen meets Dr. Seuss meets Elton John meets ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show.’ ” It opens today and continues through March 11 at the historic Reedley Opera House. I write about the show and the past lives of Fanny in Friday’s 7 cover story.
Norwood hopes he can draw theater fans from outside Reedley to this show, and in doing so he’s courting more the “Avenue Q”/”RENT” crowd than “Oklahoma” fans. A tip of the hat to him for that.