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Thunder River Theatre's New Musical Finds Humor In Honky Tonk

Dec 5, 2019

(Left to right) Sonia Meyer, Chris Keener and Patrick Fagan star in the satirical "The Doyle and Debbie Show," opening Friday at Thunder River Theatre.
Credit Kameron Blair / Thunder River Theatre Company

Country music gets satirized in the musical “The Doyle and Debbie Show,” opening Friday at Carbondale’s Thunder River Theatre Company.

The production mimics duets seen on old programs like “The Porter Wagner Show,” where Dolly Parton got her start.



With songs like “Stock Car Love” and “Barefoot and Pregnant,” “The Doyle and Debbie Show” is a send-up of the genre. Director Patrick Holloran says it’s rooted in appreciation.

"It isn’t total satire. You can sense from the writing and the style that the writer of this show still has a unique love for this sort of music," he said.  


In the musical, an old-guard country star, Doyle, trying to regain the spotlight, teams up with Debbie, a young musician who wants to make it in Nashville. Holloran says the R-rated production is a lot of fun. 

Credit Kameron Blair / Thunder River Theatre Company

"A lot of over-the-top songs, a lot of over-the-top dialogue -- I think the audience is going to find it a knee-slapper," he said.

Debbie is played by local actor Sonia Meyer. She’s joined by Denver-based Chris Keener, who had to learn to yodel for his performance as Doyle.

Special post-show talk-backs with the cast will be held Sunday and Thursday, Dec. 19.  

The musical runs through Dec. 21.