Albright presents classic melodrama ‘Rails’

Carlotta Cortez (Grace Brockway) and Simon Darkway (R. Scott Purdy) star in Albright’s “Love Rides the Rails.”  |  Submitted
Carlotta Cortez (Grace Brockway) and Simon Darkway (R. Scott Purdy) star in Albright’s “Love Rides the Rails.” | Submitted

How can a gang of would-be heroes with great names go wrong?

The classic camp melodrama “Love Rides the Rails (or Will the Mail Train Run Tonight?)” by Morland Cary closes out the Albright Theatre’s 2013-14 season. Show times are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays through June 28.

“Love Rides the Rails” features a villain named Simon Darkway, who seeks to control the Walker Valley, Pine Bush and Pacific Railroad for his own vile purposes. He’s got a slithering sidekick named Dirk Sneath and a sultry siren named Carlotta Cortez along for the ride.

This dastardly trio find their plans thwarted by our heroes, the team of Truman Pendennis, Prudence Hopewell, her mother the Widow Hopewell and Harold Standfast.

It is directed by Jeannine Franklin.

“You’ve got you hero, your heroine and your villain, and they are way over the top,” she said. “I have a very creative and imaginative cast, so they are totally, totally into this.”

The very basic storyline is it’s about a train that delivers the mail. The villain, who already has a train, wants to own this train so he can have trains going across the country. If the train doesn’t run for 24 hours, it is out of business.

He tries to buy the train from Mrs. Hopewell, but she isn’t selling. He and his sneaky cohort hatch a plan to smash the train tracks and that will stop the train from running.

The B story has the hero tricked into drinking alcohol, with unfortunate consequences.

“There’s not a lot to the plot. Basically, the train needs to keep running, and how do we keep it running? I don’t want to give away what happens at the end (but) the villain and his cohort really do smash the tracks, and they actually tie the hero to the train tracks. It really is a fun show and I think our audiences will really enjoy it.”

The cast of 12 is “doing great” with the material, she said. She’s thrilled to be directing the show with her cast and production team, she said.

“Audiences are going to really enjoy this one,” she said. “There are going to be people who have never heard of the play. People who don’t know it but go to the Albright’s web site (will say) ‘this sounds interesting.’ It’s a very interesting, fun show.”

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