Take a walk on the Wild West side | VailDaily.com

Take a walk on the Wild West side

Dan Davis

There’s a new sheriff in town, and he’s the long arm of the law up at Piney River Ranch near Vail.The sheriff (Bryce Jackman), along with his trusty side-kick Ol’ Stinky Pete (Peter Bernard) and arch nemesis Dirty Dog (J.C. Jackman), can be found every Wednesday night this summer battling it out Old West-style at the ranch.”We provide Old West fun not just for kids, but the whole family,” says Bryce Jackman. “We got stunts, gun play, horse chases and lots of audience participation.”After the audience enjoys a traditional all-you-can-eat BBQ dinner of chicken and ribs with all the fixin’s, the show starts.The outdoor dining area erupts as cowboys gallop by on horseback, locked in a fierce gun battle. As soon as the initial action slows down, the audience is introduced to the eclectic threesome of characters who provide a comic rendition of the wild west show genre, complete with a few new twists.The sheriff and his nemesis, Dirty Dog, get thrown into a battle of bravery to win the heart of one of the female audience members. Their contest includes everything from a comic western gun duel that ends in anything but a traditional manner to tests of bravery such as juggling everything from sharp knifes and axes to super balls.All the action is accompanied by a constant stream of western humor that causes kids and adults alike to break out into a squall of laughter.The Jackman brothers pride themselves on initiating audience participation. People watching the show are used as characters and even props. As the trepidation of the audience drops, the whole show becomes an interaction not just of actors and observers, but a fun playhouse atmosphere develops in which the actors and the audience are feeding off of each other and creating a friendly and contagious energy.”We provide rootin’ tootin’ family fun, Old West-style,” says J.C. Jackman. “And we encourage audience input and participation.”The performers keep the lighthearted western entertainment rolling. All the way down to a fierce shootout in which the actors borrow a page from the movie, The Matrix, and morph themselves around incoming bullets. If an actor catches a bullet and goes down, the PG rating remains intact as he is brought back to life by counting to 10 and saying, “I’m back in the game.”The show is capped off by a hilarious scene in which the sheriff breathes fire after imbibing from an unmarked bottle of firewater.After the performance, the cast hangs around and chats with the audience members as a huge bonfire is lit near the shore of Piney Lake.”The show was great! I liked the comedy and thought it was funnier than other acts I’ve seen,” says Austin Webber, 11, of Houston. “The fire-breathing sheriff at the end was the best.”The s’mores are then served up around the campfire as guests recap the show and lick sticky marshmallows from their fingertips.What: Wild West ShowWhere: Piney River RanchWhen: Wednesday nights. Dinner starts at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.Cost: $29 for adults; $25 for children (includes dinner)Phone: (970) 477-1171 or 866-44-PINEYWeb: http://www.pineyriverranch.net

Support Local Journalism