VICKSBURG, Miss. (WJTV) – It’s on with the show- and the show must go on- as it has for over 80 years. Tourism was on the rise in Mississippi in the 1930’s. Roads were becoming drivable all over the country. Natchez had started Pilgrimage and Vicksburg was looking for an attraction of its own. Why not put on a play? And a play with everything- pretty girls, heroes, heroines, villains, and a happy ending. But it takes a while to get you to the happy ending. With lots of entertainment till you find out who gets the girl in the end.
For decades the play was performed on the old Mississippi River Sternwheeler, The Sprague. The Sprague was the biggest boat on the river. It hauled oil and coal mostly. It ferried 20,000 refugees from Greenville to Vicksburg to escape the water during the 1927 Flood.
After the boat was retired, Vicksburg bought it for a dollar. The play among other things had a home there. But them in 1974 the Sprague burned. But the show went on. It never skipped a beat. It’s at the Parkside Playhouse, now.
Entire families have acted in the play. Kids grow up through the children’s parts and become the hero or the villain. Or one of the people in the Bowery hall. And some the people in the show can point out photographs of their parents and grandparents who were some of the original cast members.
It’s corny. The audience gets to boo and hiss the villain and swoon over the heroine. And this weekend- after no spring performances last year- Gold is once again in the hills in Vicksburg.
Gold in the Hills will take place Friday, March 12 and Saturday, March 13 at the Parkside Playhouse in Vicksburg. It will run through March 27.