Adam Dooley plays Clayton Monroe in History Boy Theatre Co.’s production of “Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge.”

Panorama grad starring in local bluegrass musical

History Boy show continues this weekend in Jefferson

Guthrie County Vedette

Adam Dooley of Panora is playing the lead role in the History Boy Theatre Company’s production of “Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge,” a bluegrass musical set in 1930s Appalachia.

Dooley, a Panorama High School graduate, plays young fugitive Clayton Monroe.

“I am the Golden Boy,” Dooley said. “It’s a comedy, but it has some love relationship with a twist ending.”

Friday and Saturday’s performances in Jefferson will be at 7 p.m., with a Sunday afternoon matinee at 2.

Tickets are $12.50 and can be purchased by calling 515-370-4306 or by stopping at RVP-1875, 115 S. Wilson Ave.

In the show, Monroe arrives one night at the cabin of moonshiner J.M. McFarland.

When Clayton says he’s killed his father, locals are enthralled.

Held up as a hero, the shy Clayton begins to transform, gaining confidence and winning the attentions of his host’s daughter, Maggie. Maggie’s fiance, the craven Luther Coffey, enlists the aid of a crafty widow, Hazel Grubbs, to try to get rid of his new rival.

Just as Clayton is coming into his own, his father shows up, hellbent on revenge.

“There’s a lot of funny parts,” Dooley said of the joyously tuneful tale. “It’s bluegrass and very upbeat, but then there are a few scenes that are more serious and romantic.”

his is Dooley’s second performance at the Jefferson theater under directors Robby and Angie Pedersen.

Robby Pedersen said the difficult part of organizing this year’s comedy was finding bluegrass musicians to play live at the performances.

“We started a year ago looking for bluegrass bands to try to hire,” Pedersen said. “The problem with a bluegrass musical is that they wrote it like a musical. So what we’ve ended up doing is having to put together instead of a bluegrass band, we’ve had to find four individual musicians that can handle the score and bring them together.”

Dooley, who will be a sophomore at Drake University, where he is a musical theater major, auditioned for the musical in March. He began rehearsals in April as he made trips from Des Moines to Jefferson on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays.

“There’s not a whole lot of opportunity for art in this area, so I encourage people to take advantage of it when they can,” Dooley said.

Following his performance as the Golden Boy, Dooley will begin rehearsal for a production of “Spring Awakening” this summer in Des Moines, where he will play guitar.

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