Wild Roses try blossoming with comedy act

Some women in Chloride are making a mark that is different from the trademark gunfights between men of the Old West.

The Wild Roses of Chloride is a group that put on its first performance Dec.

8 in the recreated Old West town of Cyanide Springs.

John McNeely, owner of Sheps of Chloride, founded the group, according to Mimi Russell, who portrays the character of Montana Mimi.

"We do comedy routines, not re-enactments," Russell said.

"We do a lot of improvisation with a few regular skits and try to mix it up."

The Wild Roses of Chloride has about 12 members and is expected to grow, Russell said.

The group does a comedy routine at Cyanide Springs at noon the second and fourth Saturday of each month.

There is no admission charge, but a hat is passed after the performance to offset the cost of ammunition and other props.

"Ours is a town of all women," Russell said.

"The men folk took off for the gold rush, have died, or are away fighting Indians or wars.

"There's no better way to save a town than for the women to take over."

Chloride already is home base to the Immortal Gunfighters of Chloride, a group of men who conduct re-enactments of Old West shootouts.

They perform at Cyanide Springs the first and third Saturday of each month, so there now is live entertainment for visitors and residents every Saturday in the community.

The Wild Roses include a variety of characters in addition to Montana Mimi.

There's a dancehall floozy named Jersey Lil (Mary White), Prudence the town gossip (Lorry Unwin), Calamity Annie (Nancy Young), Sagebrush Joan (Joan Killmer), Dakota Destiny (Destiny Stillwagon), Ma Russell (Linda King), an Indian maiden (Krista Wright), and a townswoman (Bonnie McNeely).

Mistress Mac and a screaming bank teller add to the mix.

There is one man in the group.

Lyn Hopkins plays a male-order groom named Gus.

While the Wild Roses of Chloride perform only in Cyanide Springs at present, Russell said the group, like the Immortal Gunfighters, will travel to give performances if invited

"We're getting good crowds and the people love what we're doing," Russell said.