Theatre at Tarleton to present Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

Tarleton State University

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

STEPHENVILLE, Texas—The Theatre at Tarleton and the Department of Fine Arts is ready for its latest act. Its production of the acclaimed Broadway musical, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, directed by Carol Stavish, opens Wednesday, Feb. 27.

The energetic and bawdy production, which runs each evening at 7:30 from Feb. 27 to March 2 at the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center auditorium, features a catchy country-western score and recounts the true story of the Chicken Ranch, a Texas brothel frequented by politicians, victorious football teams and the town sheriff.

At the Chicken Ranch, it’s business as usual until Melvin P. Thorpe, an enterprising television anchor, aims his cameras at the house of ill repute. A tale of small town vice versus righteous indignation, this romp will have you pulling on your cowboy boots and stomping along.

In reality, the Melvin Thorpe character was Tarleton alumnus Marvin Zindler, a flamboyant Houston television reporter who in the early 1970s blew the whistle on the rural brothel near La Grange.

Zindler made local and national headlines when he and KTRK-TV reporter Larry Conners descended on the Chicken Ranch in Fayette County, Texas, in 1973. The story was featured in Texas Monthly magazine, two issues of Playboy magazine, and serves as the basis for ZZ Top’s song, La Grange.

Featured performers include Ashely Morrison as Miss Mona Stangley, Charlie Smith as Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd, and Josh Hensley as Melvin P. Thorpe, with appearances by Tarleton faculty members Greg Ball, Iwao Asakura, Mark Holtorf and Betsy Ball. Senior piano major Jeremy Bowen will serve as accompanist for the theatrical production.

Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens, Tarleton faculty and staff (with ID), and $5 for students (with ID). Due to content, this play is intended for mature audiences only.

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is based on the book by Larry L. King and Peter Masterson, with music and lyrics by Carol Hall.

For more information about this and future Department of Fine Arts events, please visit


Tarleton State University
A member of The Texas A&M University System

Contact: Lori LaRue

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Theatre at Tarleton to present Best Little Whorehouse in Texas - Media Relations - Tarleton State University