Walt Willey (Jackson, ALL MY CHILDREN) is paying tribute to his childhood hero -- and fellow Ilinoisan -- James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok with a new play he wrote himself! Wild Bill! An Evening With James Butler Hickok will run for four days in Marco Island, FL, from Thursday, March 22, through Sunday, March 25. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and there will be a matinee show at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.
"I was traveling to Mendota, IL, to pick up my family at the train station there. And on the way, there's this sign: 'Troy Grove, Birthplace of James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok.' I had no idea we were born in the same county, forty miles apart!" says Willey, who had been looking for a one-man show to take on tour.
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Willey began researching Hickok's life and was surprised with what he learned. "This is a man who was, in his lifetime, a farmer, a plowman, a teamster, a scout, a spy, a marshal, a sheriff, a gunfighter, and actor and a gambler -- and a legend in his own time. And he died at 39!" he marvels. "In Western movies, when we see gunfighters step into the street for a showdown, it's because Wild Bill did!"
Wild Bill! is presented in monologue form, with Hickok addressing the audience. "Essentially, it's Hickok's life story from his own mouth," shares Willey. "The sources I've used are the ones that lean on provable truth. Whether Hickok could separate his truth from legend... Well, that's the journey."
For tickets and more information, visit www.theateronmarco.com. And, audience members are invited to stay for a question and answer session and meet Willey after the performance!