The Madams of Central Colorado 2019

From left to right, the stars of 2019's “Madams of Central Colorado” included Evelyn Marshall as Belle Brown, Bonnie Schwam as Lillian Powers, Lisa Wagner as Silverheels Jessie, Renee Graner as Laura Evans, Whitney Tidwell as Laverne and Kathi Perry as Cockeyed Liz. Not pictured is Teresa Roorda as The Professor at the piano.

The madams of the early 1900s return to give their personal stories in “Madams of Central Colorado” on Saturday, Sept. 11, at the Buena Vista Heritage Museum.

The show presents a cast of women, each portraying notable ladies of the evening and some of their employees, gathering together to give accounts of their lives and how they became famous.

The performance is generally consistent with the script written in 2007 by Kathi Perry, who also plays the infamous Cockeyed Liz, but varies depending on the improvisation of the actresses, performed with plenty of personality and humor.

The stories they tell are factual, from how and why they got into the business to how they handled situations like pregnancy and disease, as well as their lesser-known acts of charity.

“Each performer brings a different perspective due to the way they say their lines,” Perry says. “People have commented they remember the historical information because it is presented in an entertaining way.”

The cast includes Renee Graner, Perry, Bonnie Schwam of Larkspur, Whitney Tidwell of Denver, Evelyn Dowd and Lisa Wagner. The latter two joined the troupe in 2019.

“It’s an interesting piece of history, what kind of role the women played in all the history around here,” Dowd says. “It’s fun to be a part of.”

Dowd plays the part of Belle Brown, archrival to Cockeyed Liz. In addition to covering points on Brown’s life and how things were run at her bordello, she covers drug use in that period.

“I love being in this show. I was really glad when I got the message that we could do it again this summer,” Dowd says, adding that she hopes everyone will come out to see them perform again.

“I appreciate the dedication of the cast because they spend a lot of time and money rehearsing, making/buying costumes and purchasing props,” Perry says.

She adds that all proceeds will support the 501(c3) Buena Vista Heritage as well as the renovations on the museum.

The show begins at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with Cec Hogarth as The Professor playing tunes on the piano.

Tickets are $15 and are available at, and at the door. Some tickets will also be available for purchase at Applefest that same day.

While the ladies’ conversations and monologues are tasteful, the content is not suitable for anyone under the age of 13.

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