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Cinderella, Texas style

Potter children perform a classic ‘prairie-tale’


Teddy, a Texas tenderfoot, has a problem.

He lives with an evil step-family, who insist he wash their clothes, iron their shirts and perform other humbling tasks while they try to catch the eye of the beautiful Miz Cindy Lou.

It’s a miserable and lonely existence.

One day, while tending to the family’s herd of cattle, the kindly (but admittedly unkempt) young man hears a voice. From a field of common anguses…um, angusi…Bovine Americans, his fairy god cow steps forward, promising to clean him up in time for the big hoe down.

Cindy Lou is sure to attend, but there’s a catch—Teddy must return home by midnight, otherwise he reverts to a roughhewn, odiferous ranch hand.

It all plays out on stage Friday, July 19, at Potter’s American Legion Hall.

Potter-Dix’s annual Early Learning Facility fundraiser, now in its sixth year, features 31 young actors ages 4-12. The musical, Teddy the Texas Tenderfoot, directed by Kristin Kasten and Beth Bogert (with customes by Kathy Gorman), is based on the classic tale Cinderella and a children’s book, “Bubba the Cowboy Prince.” The musical is laced with classic tunes like “Back in the Saddle Again”—all performed by kids from pre-school to the age of 12.

“They love the songs,” Kasten observed of her young charges.

Gunnar Oleson plays the role of Teddy with rambunctious zeal. A few years ago he received critical approval as the original Bubba. As a result of this experience, he said, fitting into Teddy’s boots was “a little bit easy.”

Jayden Shoemaker is a natural as Miz Cindy Lou, the apple of every Texan’s eye.

“She’s very funny—I like her a lot,” Shoemaker said of her character.

As for taking part in a summer musical production, the young actress simply shrugged.

“All you have to do is memorize lines and songs,” she explained.

In addition to Oleson and Shoemaker, the cast is comprised of Kyle Lenstrom, Peyton Rasmussen, Hatcher Baxendale, Amy Luke, Amanda Waggoner, Madisson Harris, Jaxon Biesecker, Kaitlynn Nicklas, Evian Barnhart, Kenzie Shoemaker, Deanna Horst, Josh Kasten, Kailey Nicklas, Kendal Nielsen, Dawson Monheiser, Sabrynn Bogert, Karter Wittrock, Mary Kasten, McKynna Deeds, Michaela Rotert, Shawn Waggoner, Hannah Stahl, Reagan Biesecker, Erica Bogert, Zach Rotert, Luke Kasten, Fedalina Schuessler, Landon Gasseling and Jaclyn Worth.

The stellar cast includes first time actors and veterans of several years of the program. And, as prairie tales go, everything works out in the end for the good guy and girl…well, almost.

“It’s good,” Oleson said of his part. “But we have to get married.”


Teddy the Texas Tenderfoot

Friday, July 19 7 p.m. (silent auction at 6 p.m.)

American Legion Hall, Potter


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