“Royal Buckskin” revives an Old West tourist trap

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“I am a real, authentic, frontier cowboy… dishwasher.”

What does it mean to miss something that wasn’t real in the first place?

Royal Buckskin was an “authentic” Old West town a few miles outside Canon City. Featuring gunfights and daily hangings, it appealed to tourists and 1950s moviemakers alike.

Jim Jackson worked as a 9-year-old dishwasher at the Buckskin saloon. Over one memorable summer, he made friends with gun-slingin’ actors, saw a ghost and got hanged twice.

Jackson’s thoughtfully composed one-man show avoids the usual nostalgia traps. He nails a child’s perspective, sincere yet imaginative. His stories, full of heart and humor, paint a vivid picture of a place where the bullets were fake but the fights were very real.

We particularly enjoyed the show’s hunger for authenticity. Young Jim thinks hand-me-down boots and “real” Army surplus gear make him a genuine cowboy. The town itself is a Theseus paradox, further muddled by folk tales and choreographed murder.

Yet the memories remain.

Additional Notes:

If you see the words Royal Buckskin and think, “Wait, wasn’t it called _____?” then this is definitely the show for you.

Jackson reworked the script from 12 years ago. Since then, the Old West town’s story has taken a surprise turn. Don’t look it up; hear it live.

“Royal Buckskin” includes salty language and a curious slice of state history.

Millibo Art Theatre
1626 S Tejon St
Box Office: (719) 465-6321

Playing March 8 – 25, 2018 (buy tickets)
Admission: $25 general; $18 Thursday
Running Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

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