The story in the musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is almost 3,000 years old, but the songs, dances and attitudes are pure mid 20th century.
The show plays Jan. 8 through Feb. 21 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre.
"We're doing the old movie version," said Matthew McGee, the Show Palace artistic director who cast the more than two dozen singers and dancers in the lighthearted, colorful, song- and dance-filled production.
The 1954 MGM movie is based on the Stephen Vincent Benet short story, The Sobbin' Women, which itself is based on the ancient Roman legend, The Rape of the Sabine Women — back when "rape" meant abduction and had no violent sexual meaning.
All three stories are basically alike: a bunch of lonely, isolated men without women decide to carry off and marry women from a neighboring village.
In ancient Rome, the abductions led to war. In Benet's parody of that story, they led to laughs; and in the musical, they lead to lots of singing and high-energy dancing.
In it, 1850s Oregon mountain man Adam Pontipee (Christopher Sanders) puts on his best manners and goes to town to find himself a bride. He meets Milly (Sarah Arikian), a local waitress, quickly marries her and takes her back to his mountain home.
Once home, Adam reverts to being the inconsiderate slob that he has always been. Not only is Milly expected to cook and clean for Adam, she's also expected to play housemaid for his six rude, disorderly brothers.
Milly decides to reform the brothers, teach them some manners and dancing skills and take them to town, where they meet some beautiful girls and decide that they, too, want a wife.
The problem is, all six of the girls already have very jealous boyfriends, who fight off the Pontipee boys and send them back to the mountains.
Once home, Adam reads them the story of the Sobbin' Women, and they decide to abduct the lovely ladies just as the men did in those tales.
The situation gets complicated after the Pontipee men grab the women, hightail it back to the cabin, then start an avalanche that blocks the angry boyfriends from a rescue and keeps the women from getting back to town.
Milly refuses to let the rowdy brothers stay in the house with the chaste women and bans them to the barn for the rest of the winter, even as the townspeople and the Preacher (Rick Kistner) protest from the other side of the snow mound.
It all makes for a long, long winter, though spring eventually comes, along with rekindled love and lots of marrying.
The 25-member cast includes several Show Palace newcomers as well as many Show Palace veterans.