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click to enlarge Jim Jackson challenges you to see Royal Buckskin - .
  • Jim Jackson challenges you to see Royal Buckskin .

Long before Jane Fonda became a fitness maven, and even before she was accused of betraying Vietnam POWs, she was slinging guns as the title character in a Western spoof called Cat Ballou.

It's a different kind of gay cowboy movie than the one currently gracing theatres. More lighthearted, Cat Ballou skewers the reliable Western genre with a feminist twist. What you may not know is that the film was shot right in Cañon City, local theater virtuoso Jim Jackson's hometown.

The Manitou Art Theater's inimitably talented Jackson is behind Royal Buckskin, the premiere of what the theater's calling a "multimedia melodrama" based on the filming of the 1965 Academy Award-winning movie.

At the ripe age of 9, Jackson got to personally experience life on the set (and violate some child labor laws, no doubt), working behind the scenes as a dishwasher. In Buckskin, he draws on that experience to satirize the myth of the Old West.

Royal Buckskin is Part Two of a trilogy Jackson has been writing about growing up in Cañon City. Part One, Stick Guns, was lauded by the PAPAAs (Peak Area Performances and Artists Awards) and voted Best Theater by the Indy in 2003.

-- Bettina Swigger

capsule

Royal Buckskin

Venue 515, 515 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs

Jan. 19-21 and 26-28, 8 p.m.

Tickets: $14 general admission; call 685-4729 or check themat.org for more.

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