Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Marvelous Medora Musical

When we pulled into our campsite Sunday afternoon, our next-door neighbor told us we must attend the Medora Musical.  "People come from miles around to see it," he said,  "In fact, it is the biggest show in all North Dakota."  With a rave revenue like that, how could we resist?

As its web site asserts, it was the rootin'-toutinest, boot-scootinest show in all the west.

Arriving at the Burning Hills Amphitheater with plenty of time to spare before the 7:30 p.m. show began gave me a chance to meet Theodore Roosevelt and his second wife Edith.  

That's not true!  Actually, I met Joe Wiegand, his impersonator, whose likeness and mannerisms were enough like the real Teddy to fool me. 

There was also time to duck into the gift shop for a look at the rows of Teddy Bears dressed in Rough Rider uniforms and wearing spectacles like those worn by the real Teddy. 

Then it was time to make our way down the steps of the outdoor amphitheater to our seats. 

There we watched the shadows grow as the sun slipped behind the hills. 

Dominating a nearby bluff overlooking the amphitheater were two live elk.  Corralled in a small pen, their silhouettes stood out in sharp relief against the darkening sky. 

Anticipation built; then, startled by the appearance of a stagecoach whose horses pulled to a stop in center stage, we settled back to enjoy the show.  The mistress of ceremonies climbed out of the coach and launched into the opening number.  And from there, the show only got better as the troupe of singers/dancers tripped the light fantastic. 

To put icing on the cake, the full moon rose in the eastern sky during the intermission and, for a few minutes, hung perfectly posed between the buildings of the set.  Cameras and iPhones flashed as the audience tried to capture the sight. 

Soon the singers returned for a Rough Rider tribute to Theodore Roosevelt before concluding with the song, Proud To Be An American. 

Two cowboys whose figures were lit with spotlights rode up to the summit of the bluff.  Fireworks burst in the sky as the spotlights dimmed; then, faded away, leaving the hillside illuminated by the Medora Musical logo. 

It was a grand finale to a marvelous show. 


  1. Chris and I should make sure to see this if we are ever in that area.

    1. Definitely! It was a highlight of our visit.