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The Veggie Villain, Or… He Had A Steak In It

As Living In The News looks back at memories from our past 10 years, this is a recent memory, because someone asked to see this show on their home TV. So we are posting the whole show on our new YouTube Channel. Would you like to see more Onion Skin Shows?

The Illustrious Onion Skin Players At The Historic Star Theater, March 2023. The Veggie Villain, Or… He Had A Steak In It.

The Illustrious Onion Skin Players perform an 1890’s-style melodrama the first three full weekends of March every year.

This magical show makes you laugh so hard you will cry. Old-fashioned family entertainment complete with olio’s and Can-Can girls. Performing since 1985, the Illustrious Onion Skin Players have been delighting audiences by taking them back to the old and often wild west with a sense of flare all their own. If you have yet to see a show, you are missing out.

The Star Theater in Weiser Idaho has celebrated 84 years of memories for at least 4 generations of local residents who recall Saturday cowboy matinees, the smell and flavor of greasy popcorn and holding hands in the dark. The ‘show house,’ a landmark at the corner of South State Street and East Idaho Streets continues to be a gathering place for local families. Built in about 1917 by A.C. Gordon, the ‘Star’ was originally know as the ‘Wheaton Theater’, a small forum for traveling dramatic troupes. Gordon put a movie screen in and changed the name to the ‘Star Theater’ when he purchased the building. Gordon kept the stage and the dressing rooms located in the basement area of the theater intact, it was the silent movies with a piano player that brought the crowds in.

Gordon eventually built a second theater, ‘The Mayfair’. Gordon said during the Great Depression era of the 1930’s they would have Keno and Penowin game nights in the theater, giving away dishes and the likes.

Roy Rogers made personal appearances in Weiser, barnstorming and promoting his movies. Rogers was a close friend of the Gordon’s. The ‘Star’ was also used for Vaudeville shows in the evening. Will Rogers gave one of his great performances on the stage of the ‘Star’. In 1939 Bruce Gordon son of Howard and wife Velma, who had sold the theater to their son, renovated the Star Theater. The 1939 grand re-opening of the ‘Star’ was one of Bruce’s most vivid memories. His parents had undertaken a large-scale renovation of the theater, approximately $40,000.00, adding such expensive items as tapestry wall coverings and a marquee, both of which are still in use today.

One of the first shows after the grand re-opening was for the premier of ‘Gone With the Wind,’ and it was a sellout overflow crowd. Bruce’s father, Howard, died in 1942, leaving Bruce and mother Velma to carry on with the family theater. The beauty of this historic building comes with its challenges.

The Illustrious Onion Skin Players are privileged to call The Star Theater our home and work to take care of it. With generous donations from our community, friends, and sponsors, the Onion Skin Players have kept up the building and continue to work to update it. Our most recent update…theater seating. We appreciated the vintage theater chairs that have served us well. However, we also appreciate that our audience’s need to be comfortable. Come feel the comfort of our new to us seating.

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