Miners Alley Playhouse


      Poof! A Play with Magic by Walter L. Newton. Premiered at Miners Alley

                                            Playhouse on Sept. 12th, 2003.

                                          Production rights now available


















                                                                                                                                   For information contact

                                                                                                                                     Walter L. Newton

Script                                                                                                                        (email for mailing address)
Request a perusal copy (Microsoft WORD document)                                                Colorado


Poof!, is a charming, funny little piece that honestly earns its applause. Billed as "a play with magic," Poof! transports us back to an anonymous East Coast city in the 1930s. A wizened old lady (Suzanne Gagnon) sells apples to passersby. People curse Hoover for not getting the country back on its feet. Flatfoots walk the beat rousting street vendors who lack the appropriate permits. One such unlucky fellow is Chester Love (Jeff Haas) who uses his powers of prestidigitation to hawk the all-in-one solution to every household need. Perhaps due to his lack of success as a salesman, or more likely due to an all-consuming desire to become a professional magician, Chester approaches Louie (Wade P. Wood), the proprietor of the Paradise Theatre and asks for a job.

Fortunately for Chester, Louie is in dire need of a solid, moneymaking act because he’s into a local mobster, Shelton (Rick Bernstein), for some serious greenbacks. Shelton owns the building that houses the Paradise Theatre, and he and his associate, Tarpy (Walter L. Newton), have given Louie just one week to get them their money. After that, Louie gets the boot and the Paradise Theatre goes the way of the dodo. In order to ensure that their plan does not fail, Shelton sends his moll, Sissy Scott (Nikki Davis), to work things from the inside. Before you can say "abracadabra," Sissy has become Chester’s assistant. As all the men are virtually hypnotized by Sissy’s beauty, the only person that suspects her true loyalties is Louie’s mousy secretary, Melody (Terry Ann Watts). True to the spirit of the Saturday matinee serial, I leave you with the questions: Will Louie and Chester succeed in saving the theatre? Will Chester’s act gain him the fame he seeks?

There’s only one way to find out, and if you are looking for a breezy, escapist night out, you can do so by taking in a performance of Poof! From the costuming to the caricature-like characters, Poof! delivers on the promise of being wholesome, old-fashioned fun. At times, the play struck such an authentic note with its antique tone that I could easily imagine it as a radio show. In this, writer Walter L. Newton and Director Paige Lynn Larson attain their goal of creating a play typifying an entire genre of wacky, slapsticky comedy. Shades of Abbot & Costello, for example, heavily color Poof!

More than just a comedy, however, Poof! is also a magic show. A grab bag of classic tricks find their way into the production. Among many, many other tricks and sleights of hand, the audience oohs at the dancing handkerchief and ahhs at the famous Houdini escape from a locked trunk. The fact that Poof! is performed by the Miners Alley Playhouse company–a company of actors, not magicians–makes the credibility of the magic that much more remarkable. I don’t mean to oversell, the tricks are for the most part fairly basic and you may well have seen most, if not all, of them before, but that doesn’t make them any easier to perform well, and the actors in Poof! never fail to pull the rabbit out of the hat.” (Gary ZiednerBoulder Weekly)