The next Annual Reunion gathering in Tucson, Ariz., for the historic classic Western The High Chaparral will be held in March, 2014 .
The iconic TV western, The High Chaparral, will hold a Reunion for cast, crew and fans from March 20-23, 2014 at the Casino Del Sol Resort in Tucson. Penny McQueen, event project manager, says, "We're looking forward to seeing everyone again and we invite those who have never been to come out and join us," McQueen said. "It's a chance to meet some of the stars and crew up close in a very relaxed atmosphere," she adds.
McQueen says Don Collier, who played ranch foreman Sam Butler on The High Chaparral, will return once again to meet and greet fans. He'll participate in Question and Answer panels as well as other activities that are planned. Collier has co-starred with such actors as John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, and James Arness during his 65-year career. He appeared as the Hubba Bubba Bubblegum Gumfighter in TV ads, and he also had a recurring role in the TV series, The Young Riders.
Other celebrity guests include Rudy Ramos, who played the character Wind in the show's final season. Ramos will premiere the one-man play Geronimo, Life on the Reservation, by Janelle Meraz-Hooper at the 2014 Reunion. He presented a reading from Geronimo at the 2013 Reunion and at the Memphis Film Festival known as "A Gathering of Guns," and will perform the entire show at the Reunion in 2014. Fans will also get to meet Stan Ivar who is known from Little House on the Prairie: A New Beginning, where he became a regular cast member with Pamela Roylance as John and Sarah Carter, the couple who moved into the Ingalls' now-vacant family farm. He's also well known for roles on General Hospital, Creature, Ed, Star Trek: Voyager and more.
On the technical side, fans will get a rare insight into what it takes to produce an episode of The High Chaparral, courtesy of the show's production manager, Kent McCray. McCray, known on the set as "Big Daddy," will walk fans through the mechanics of producing a script. His wife, Susan McCray, who was involved in casting for the series, will hold a casting call for a few select fans who will then participate in a reading with The High Chaparral stars.
The High Chaparral aired on NBC television from Sept. 10, 1967 to Mar. 13, 1971. In addition to Collier and Ramos, it starred Leif Erickson as Big John Cannon, Cameron Mitchell as Buck Cannon, Mark Slade as Blue Boy, Henry Darrow as Manolito Montoya, and Linda Cristal as Victoria. Other cast members included Bob Hoy as Joe Butler, Rudуlfo Acosta as Vaquero, Roberto Contreras as Pedro, Ted Markham as Reno and Jerry Summers as Ira Bean. Susan McCray's father, Oscar-winning composer Harry Sukman, orchestrated the show's music.
The High Chaparral is historic because it promoted Latino and other minority actors during the height of the Civil Rights movement, a time when many acting opportunities weren't open to them. The show is currently being shown in syndication on the ISPN channel.
McQueen says there will also be a Sponsors' Dinner and show featuring the award-winning music of the show's composer, Harry Sukman, as played by special guest musicians, The Vinnie Falcone Trio with introductions by Susan McCray. The Reunion also coincides with Old Tucson's Wild West days where many of the show's exteriors were shot.