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Fat Bill’s Roadside Café

In an effort to stay connected and keep entertaining in the midst of Stay-At-Home orders, The Riverfront Playhouse in Aurora, Illinois will begin streaming three different productions of the Fat Bill’s Roadside Cafe series, a show that originally premiered at the Riverfront in 1987 but has seen various incarnations over the last 30 years. Originally written by the late Jack Schultz, Fat Bill’s Roadside Cafe is a country-western musical that tells the stories of an odd group of waitresses, truckers, cowboys, and the like as they go through a normal day in a roadside diner off some stretch of road somewhere in Nowhere, Oklahoma. The show stands out for its near-constant disregard for the fourth wall, making the audience as much a part of the show as any of the actors. The show also makes a point of not really taking itself too seriously while still maintaining a familiar structure to that of any stage musical, which makes it feel wholly original within a traditional musical format. While Fat Bill’s was produced 13 times across 30 years, no two productions were exactly the same, as songs and plots would change from script to script.

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