Ruidoso Audiences in for the Ride of a Lifetime
ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL’S PLAY
A RIDE WITH BOB:
THE BOB WILLS MUSICAL
El Paso Native and TV Anchor
Goes from Newscast to Theatre Cast
August 25-27, 2011
“…crisp and rousing.”
The Washington Post
Spencer Theater is proud to present Asleep at the Wheel in A Ride with Bob: The Bob Wills Musical. This first-ever musical drama about the legendary Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys is back by popular demand for a limited engagement of four performances August 25-27, 2011.
Joining the cast for this run is El Paso’s own and former KTSM-TV news anchor Michelle Valles. The 13-year broadcast veteran says that the quick pace of television prepared her for the lightning fast costume and set changes that happen in the theater.
“I play a flapper in a Bonnie and Clyde scene, a hoochie coochie girl in a medicine show, a backup country singer, a 1930s mother, and a Hollywood Director’s assistant, just to name a few,” says Michelle. “I’m enjoying every minute of it and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work with the best in the business.”
And, the best in the business are Asleep at the Wheel. For more than 40 years, Asleep at the Wheel front man Ray Benson has been showcasing his brand of Western Swing, has racked up 9- Grammy®-awards, has been named the 2011 “Texan of the Year” and a recipient of Texas Medal of the Arts 2011. But even with all the success and accolades, Ray Benson believes “Bob Will is still the king!”
In 1973 after the release of the band’s first album (which paid tribute to the music of Bob Wills), Benson was invited by his idol to Dallas for a meeting. Upon his arrival, he learned Wills was not feeling well and the meeting was postponed for the next morning. That same night Wills had a stroke and went into a life-ending coma. In A Ride with Bob, Benson finally gets to have his conversation with the Spirit of Bob, who visits him on the Asleep at the Wheel bus late one night. The fascinating and sometimes outrageous stories of Wills’ career, his contribution to American music, and his raucous personal life unfold. The drama includes performances of Wills’ most famous songs, including “San Antonio Rose,” “Faded Love,” “Cherokee Maiden,” “Take Me Back to Tulsa,” and many more.
This two-act play features Ray Benson (as himself), Asleep at the Wheel members including fiddler Jason Roberts (as Young Bob Wills), and actor Marco Perella (as Spirit of Bob Wills). The play was co-written by Benson and Hollywood screenwriter
Anne Rapp (Cookie’s Fortune and Dr. T & the Women). Production credits also include Robert Tolaro (Production Stage Manager), Christopher McCollum (Set Designer) and Bill Peeler (Lighting Designer).
Michelle has been honing her acting craft. She will be seen this Christmas in the feature film When Angels Sing based on Turk Pipkin’s classic novel starring Harry Connick Jr., Connie Britton, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson. Michelle was also featured nationally in May 2011 on HBO Latino for a series called “Habla Texas.” She made her stage debut at the The Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston, TX in July.
“It’s been a thrill ride,” adds Michelle. “And, I’m looking forward to doing it again at the Spencer Theater.”
A Ride with Bob debuted with six sold-out shows at the State Theater in Austin, Texas as a commemoration of Bob Wills’ 100th birthday in 2005. It was an instant hit with audiences and critics, garnering several nominations from Austin Circle of Theaters Awards and fueled a four-city tour of Texas and Oklahoma that fall. In 2006, the show rode high into San Antonio, Ft. Worth, San Francisco, CA and Washington, DC where President and Mrs. Bush were in attendance at the renowned Kennedy Center. Since then, the play has continued to introduce many to the legend of Bob Wills as well as
remind others of a bygone era. Response to the play has been glowing. Liz Smith calls A Ride with Bob, “The most entertaining night in Texas.” And John Wooley of the Tulsa World wrote that the play is “…as raucous, spirited and joyous as the music that inspired it.”
A Ride with Bob: The Bob Wills Musical
Spencer Theater, Ruidoso, NM
Thursday, August 25 at 8PM
Friday, August 26 at 8PM
Saturday, August 27 at 2PM and 8PM
Patch Canada, 703-727-4439, firstname.lastname@example.org