Jesse James and his gang are coming to Wetaskiwin

Wetaskiwin has a chance to learn about a famous Old West legend. - Submitted
Wetaskiwin has a chance to learn about a famous Old West legend.
— image credit: Submitted

Welcome to the Wild West; where an outlaw train robber or a saloon musical is just another day on the frontier.

Most will know the name Jesse James, the infamous outlaw gunslinger, but fans of live theatre may not be that familiar with the Jesse James the Wetaskiwin Water Works Players are introducing to the community.

Diamond Studs: The Life of Jesse James will be performed by the Wetaskiwin Water Works Players at the Manluk Theatre on April 28, 29 and 30, and May 5, 6 and 7.

“It’s loosely based on his life. It’s more of a comedy satire on his life,” said Marlene Schoonmaker, artistic director.

“Even though he was a bad man he has some soft spots,” she added.

Schoonmaker says Jesse James and his gang are viewed differently from the other outlaw gangs of that time because they largely stole from wealthy establishments, rather than individual people.

“I think that’s why he became a legend,” said Schoonmaker.

With a cast of approximately 25, and a full band boasting a piano, banjo, guitar, bass, and drums, Schoonmaker says the performers of the show are “top notch.”

“It’s a toe-tapping, entertaining musical with county, blues, bluegrass and gospel,” said Schoonmaker.

While the play does portray an aspect of the life of Jesse James and his band of thieves, the Water Works Players are creating a piece that will be fun for the whole family.

Friday and Saturday show times are at 8 p.m., with Sunday matinees starting at 2 p.m.


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