Having attended the recent premier of “The Ballad of Coley Cain,” I cannot remember when I've seen a more enjoyable piece of live theater. Mr. Boyd's article on Dec. 31, 2016, in the Times-News (I still have it) is what brought us to the performance. We got a lot more than we expected. Two of my seatmates grew up in Burlington, and the pre-performance film footage of days gone by was a great trip down memory lane for them as well as for newcomers like myself.

Dialogue, accents, set changes were all spot on. Costumes — thank you, Ms. Leonard — were perfectly tuned to the era: Where did you find those ladies' hats? Amazing!

Not one spoken line seemed out of place, either in the writing or the delivery. The few possibly flubbed lines were so expertly handled they seemed deliberately written in.

Days later, I still see that smug grin on Coley's face as he pulls yet another con. Coley, his sidekicks, Bill and that smug preacher’s wife, keep popping into my memory because they all delivered such memorable performances.

The music is another thing that sets the play apart and lingers, along with Billy’s engaging and sometimes sober grin. I kept hoping Myrna would choose him, especially after he serenaded her.

And finally, the “working girl” who knew how to control a scene with her sashaying walk, her arrogant gum chewing and her nail file should be starring in an Alamance Repertory Theater Company production.

I look forward to “The Murder of Frank Matthews” and any other original theater this highly talented and supremely creative group wishes to present.

Perhaps one day, we will be treated to a trilogy of plays about Burlington’s fascinating past — just think, all in one season nothing but Burlington. My thanks to this wonderful introduction to Burlington theater. I promise we’ll be back for more.

Bonnie Montgomery

Whitsett