Ms. Marta Becket captured my attention when I was a teenager. I vowed then to make a visit to see her dance live on her pink wrapped toes across the stage of her very own Amargosa Opera House theater at Death Valley Junction California. It was not the ballet that intrigued me. For me it was the sense that she knew what she wanted and from what I could tell, it seemed she had found it.
Life detoured me around the world a bit before I got to California, but of course I eventually arrived. January 1996 I rode horseback in the desert and did photography by day, and finally to be enchanted by Marta Becket and Tom Willet on stage at night. I have heard Marta called the Georgia O’Keeffe of California. Both women are/were visionaries who followed their own hearts.
Meet multi-talented Marta Becket: artist, dancer, entertainer, protector of wild horses and burros, independent woman. Do not delay your travel opportunity to Death Valley Junction. As of this writing Marta is still performing, but the only thing in life that is predictable is change itself . . . so a road trip is in order asap.
The touching music in this first video is by Randy Miller and the score is from the film “Dream Rider”. I understand this song is out of print and wonder who may have it.
Have you ever wanted to just get off the bus and follow your heart? That is precisely how Marta Becket ended up at Death Valley Junction California.
Tom Willet, her partner on stage and in life, passed away several years ago. But he left behind strengths and good humor that assist Marta to continue performing even in her 80’s. Shows are no longer daily at noon, but Saturday night will find Ms. Becket ending on her toes and the day will have been everything she desired. Reservations Are Necessary! http://www.amargosa-opera-house.com/
Ticket Prices are still a bargain: $15.00 per person
Doors Open at 7:45 PM ~ Show Starts Promptly at 8:15 PM Arrive early so you have time to enjoy the vibrant murals Marta has painted floor to ceiling throughout her theater. Her hand-painted medieval audience includes gypsies, monks, ladies of the evening and performers on the walls. Playful cherubs on the ceiling foster and protect her spirit.
Peek at the patron sitting next to you too. I understand that over the years Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Red Skelton, Robert Redford have all rubbed shoulders with Marta’s audience!
Wendy Carr, 05/22/2004: “It was everything that we thought it would be — an almost 80 year old ballerina formerly of New York City puts on a kooky, allegorical show with deeper references than our over-heated brains could process. Much of the show was her “dance pantomimes” but in the last two acts, she dances on point. Thrilling and wonderfully refreshing. There’s an honesty and innocence that’s hard to describe.”
“You can’t beat the location either — a U-shaped complex of buildings sits alone in the desert, arising like a forgotten toy. The hotel is charming, clean, and filled with beautiful murals. The Opera House itself is overwhelming, filled to the brim with beautifully executed murals of an audience of nobles and commoners,” . . . Wendy Carr, 05/22/2004
Where is the Amaragos Theater?
This will get you started:
Las Vegas….about 92 miles…about two hours. Bakersfield and the I-15…about 86 miles.