I’ll Be Back Before Midnight at the Huron Country Playhouse

10 Jul

HCPlayhouseby Diva Calista Powell
I can confidently tell you two things about myself; 1: Im no theatre buff and 2: I am terrified of horror movies. Despite this, I had an absolutely wonderful time seeing, “I’ll Be Back Before Midnight” at the Huron Country Playhouse.

Set in the 1980’s at a spooky and secluded farmhouse, the characters of this play did an excellent job of making their roles believable. I half expected as I left the theatre to see Jan, the neurotic city girl and her geeky inventor husband, Greg, doing the tourist thing out at a local flea market. I could picture Greg’s pretentious sister, Laura, clanking on the boardwalk in her stiletto’s shaded by a parasol. And I most definitely could see George, the hard working farmer stopping into Kate’s Station to meet up for some gossip with the good ‘ol boys.

It is performers like this that bring these stories to life with such vigour and passion that make it such an enjoyable experience. I must admit, it takes a lot to get me to laugh out loud, but the theatrics that these actors presented had me chuckling and I found myself jumping out of my seat as ghouls and ghosts popped out of the shadows.

This may not be a play for the faint of heart, but it is most definitely a unique blend of humour and horror that showcases the amazing talent that Huron has to offer. From the set design, to the 80’s costuming, to the comedic display of pyrotechnics and lighting, I’d recommend this production to theatre-goers and rookies alike. Be sure to check out the show playing in Plahouse II before it closes on July 12th.

For tickets, visit:
Drayton Entertainment
Huron Country Playhouse, RR 1, 70689 B Line, Grand Bend, Ontario N0M 1T0
GPS coordinates: N 43° 18.834 W 81° 43.549
Box Office: 519-238-6000 Administration: 519-238-8387 Fax: 519-238-6587

 

Diva Melody finds local organic pork

8 Jul

Huron County is home to caring farmers who care deeply about raising their animals in a stress-free environment.  Diva Melody discovered pasture raised pork at Linton’s Pasture Pork near Walton.  Read her full story at TasteofHuron.ca

A dreamy mud hole makes for happy pigs.

A dreamy mud hole makes for happy pigs.

Photo from Linton Pasture Pork's Facebook page. These piglets are three days old in this photo, and were fresh out of their mother when we arrived!

Photo from Linton Pasture Pork’s Facebook page. These piglets are three days old in this photo, and were fresh out of their mother when we arrived!

Ooh, Ahh, bacon!

Ooh, Ahh, bacon!

 

www.lintonpasturepork.com
Jeffrey Linton – 519-955-2519
Walton, Ontario

https://www.facebook.com/LintonPasturePork
http://www.lintonpasturepork.com/home.html
https://twitter.com/JLPasturePork

Billy Bishop Goes to War captivated this Diva

8 Jul Photo:  Billy Bishop provided by Blyth Festival
Photo:  Billy Bishop provided by Blyth Festival

Photo: Billy Bishop provided by Blyth Festival

by Diva Melody Hodgson
In the past few years I have devolved into the type of person that cannot do anything without checking my phone.  Whether it be watching TV, eating a meal, hanging out with friends and family or, the most special, talking on a landline, my phone is never far from reach.  Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and email (let’s not even get started on Google or AskReddit) have become my clutch to avoid being bored.  I fully recognize how pitiful it is, and it is not something I am terribly proud of, and I am working on it – trust me.  With that confession in mind, it was not without trepidation that I attended the opening night of Billy Bishop Goes to War at the 2014 Blyth Festival.

Two hours of no back-up plan; two hours of live theatre that did not have scene changes every 30 seconds or flashing lights or dramatic music like a movie does; two hours of me, paying attention, because there is no “pause” or “rewind”.  I went into the theatre blind, meaning I did not research the play, because I wanted to go in without any expectations and give it an honest shot.  So on Friday I turned off my phone, found my seat, and readied myself for what was to come.  And let me tell you, I was completely blown away.

JD Nicholsen, who plays the infamous Billy Bishop, is such a force of talent on the stage I will forever be in admiration of him.  His voices, facial expressions, sound effects and innate storytelling ability are so enthralling that I found myself captivated within the first scene.  Coupled with his stage partner Marek Norman who not only complimented Nicholsen, but also shone in his own regard, the two-man show kept the audience alternating between laughter, anticipation and dual admiration from open to close.  The play was fast-paced, the songwriting was lively, humorous and respectfully sombre when need be, and the visuals were beautifully incorporated into each scene.  Marvelously written and executed, Billy Bishop Goes to War is a true Canadian theatrical gem.

 

After the standing ovations had receded, and as the Blyth Royal Canadian Legion Colour Guard marched the colours out of the theatre to an audience performing a rousing rendition of God Save the Queen, I realized I had made it.  I had survived the two hours of live theatre…and I had loved it.  Perhaps you are like me, unsure if you have the ability to fully appreciate the skill and talent it takes to produce live theatre.  The skill and talent it takes to perform a live play in one shot, without any retakes or creative editing.  Or the skill and talent it takes to keep an entire audience captivated  for any amount of time, nevermind for the full duration of a play.  And if you are, fear not, you can overcome it – I promise.  Luckily, Billy Bishop Goes to War is a great place to start.

 

 

 

 

Huron County Museum offers great Summer Family Activities

7 Jul the Huron County Museum is housed in a magnificent structure on North Street in Goderich
Behind the Bars is a summer favourite … returning again in 2014.

Behind the Bars is a summer favourite … returning again in 2014.

Behind the Bars is a great family event that offers special evening tours. Go “Behind the Bars” and meet some of “Faces of Gaol” on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Huron Historic Gaol. Experience the history as you explore and learn about life at the Gaol between 1841 and 1911. This interactive event provides visitors with the opportunity to explore this National Historic Site while meeting historical figures from the Gaol’s past. Tour the Gaol and Governor’s House to learn more about the men, women & children who lived and worked behind the bars.

Tuesdays & Thursdays from July 10 to August 28 | 7 to 9 PM
Huron Historic Gaol – Admission: Adults $10, Children $5, Family $25

Read about Diva Trista Russell’s experience last year at “Behind the Bars” HERE

 

Read on for more great events at the Huron County Museum and Gaol.

the Huron County Museum is housed in a magnificent structure on North Street in Goderich

the Huron County Museum is housed in a magnificent structure on North Street in Goderich

Learning and fun! Drop in, Interactive activities to compliment your visit are included with regular admission.

Museum Sundays – 2 PM to 4 PM

Faces of Huron County – July 6 & August 13

Explore the “Our Stories” exhibit while you hunt for clues to uncover the stories of Huron County residents featured in the exhibit. Meet someone you might know have known was from our County.

Discover unique artifacts at the Huron County Museum

Discover unique artifacts at the Huron County Museum

That’s So Weird! – July 13 & August 10

Discover quirky artifacts from the Huron County Museum’s collection. Will it be neat, gross, or just plain weird?

Enjoy old sounds at the Noteworthy Exhibit

Enjoy old sounds at the Noteworthy Exhibit

Melodic Doodads & Gizmos – July 20 & August 17

Try out a variety of different musical instruments and start creating your own music in our “Noteworthy” exhibit.

Enjoy a Victorian Tea Party

Enjoy a Victorian Tea Party

Victorian Tea Party – July 27 & August 24

The Huron County Museum would like to extend their cordial invitation to a Victorian Tea Party. Enjoy fine teas, crafts, and sweet treats for all.

The Huron County Gaol has a significant history and designated a heritage site by Canada … learn more about the Gaol at these great events.

The Huron County Gaol has a significant history and designated a heritage site by Canada … learn more about the Gaol at these great events.

Gaol Mondays – 2 PM to 4 PM

Escapes! – July 7 & August 4

How would you to escape from our Gaol? Over the wall, through the front door or on the run? Discover how some inmates managed to escape.

Building a Gaol – July 14 & August 11

Learn about our architect, his designs and the Gaol committee. Using a brick Gaol model, add on your own modifications and special touches.

Larceny, Spoil & Destitution – July 21 & August 18

Discover some of the unique laws and charges that would have landed you in our Gaol from 1841 to 1911.

Hangman’s Noose – July 28 to August 25

For more serious crimes some of our inmates spent their last days at the Gaol. What would it have been like to witness their public hanging and learn about the man who had to do the job.

This small museum located at the main beach and harbour area, in Goderich is dedicated to the men and women who made their living on Lake Huron.

This small museum located at the main beach and harbour area, in Goderich is dedicated to the men and women who made their living on Lake Huron.

Marine Museum Fridays – 2 PM to 4 PM

July 11 to August 29 – Marine themed crafts & activities such as Harbour Silhouettes, Semaphore and more.

Shelter Valley Campground offers plenty to do

2 Jul Our tiny little cabin was cozy and sweet!

by Diva Christine Harris,

I packed up my husband and my little dog Maggie and we went to spend some time at Shelter Valley Campground this past weekend.  We were greeted by Linda Lucier, who is one of the new owners with her husband Shawn.  She was very helpful getting us situated in the cute little cabin we were to stay in.  This cabin is the only one on the campsite, which made us feel a bit special when some of the other campers took notice and asked if they could take a peek inside.

Our tiny little cabin was cozy and sweet!

Our tiny little cabin was cozy and sweet!

Shelter Valley Campground is located on highway #8 between Clinton and Goderich.  Once you turn off the road you drive down a pathway to the campground in the valley right next to the Maitland River.  There are plenty of amenities and things to do at the campground.  They have a store full of everything you might have forgotten to pack or have ran out of, and if you happen to feel electronically deprived you can even sign up for wifi.  There is lots of playground equipment for the kids, a pool, and shuffleboard and horseshoe pits for the adults. They even have foosball, ping-pong and darts set up in hall.  The weekend that we were at the campground, there was a movie playing, a bass fishing derby, kids crafts, kids bike parade, ice cream social, wagon ride, and a 50/50 draw.

 

Activity Board keeps everyone "in the loop"

Activity Board keeps everyone “in the loop”

We really enjoyed staying in the cabin.  It has two bunks (double on bottom, single on top), a mini fridge, fold out table, chairs, BBQ with propane, hydro, picnic table and a fire pit. There is also a cute little porch to sit on out front to catch some shade during the day.  The cabin is also situated between both river access points and just a short walk to the store and washroom facilities.  All around the cabin are trailer sites and we were pleasantly surprised by how many friendly people stay here.  Almost everyone said hello as they passed by, and someone was even nice enough to let us know that our interior lights had stayed on in our vehicle.

Overall we really enjoyed our stay at Shelter Valley Campground.  Great scenery, great people, and plenty to do!  For more information check out their website: www.sheltervalleycampground.ca or call Linda or Shawn at 519-524-4141.

Camping requires a roaring fire to sit around, doesn't it?

Camping requires a roaring fire to sit around, doesn’t it?

Double size on the bottom, single on the top bunk

Double size on the bottom, single on the top bunk

The camps sits beside the beautiful Maitland River

The camps sits beside the beautiful Maitland River

The little porch on our cabin

The little porch on our cabin

The store was well stocked with camping essentials

The store was well stocked with camping essentials

Loving I HATE TODD and the Fermented Oranges at the Livery

29 Jun
Headliners I HATE TODD. Pictured are Nelson Sobral on guitar, Troy Larabie on percussion, Kev Carney on bass and local musician Capucine Onn on violin.

Headliners I HATE TODD. Pictured are Nelson Sobral on guitar, Troy Larabie on percussion, Kev Carney on bass and local musician Capucine Onn on violin.

By Diva Calista Powell
Since I have moved back to the county in March, I have been absolutely amazed at the talent that this area has to offer. I have always been a local music fan and enjoy checking out new artists so I was pretty excited to see I HATE TODD perform live at the Livery with special guests the Fermented Oranges.

The fellas from Fermented Oranges (whom I have had the pleasure of working with before with Blyth 14/19’s HuronSound Festival) rocked the house with their original songs and never cease to amaze the crowds they play for. Their punchy rock/funk riffs were striking, and that carefree beachy vibe was captured especially as they jammed out barefoot and in board shorts. It’s never a let down to see these guys play.

Cappy Onn’s violin school kicking off their set.

Cappy Onn’s violin school kicking off their set.

Next up was the headliner, I HATE TODD, the indie-alternative rock band out of Toronto. It intrigues me to see how a variety of instruments and musical styles can collaborate to make a unique sound-and they nailed it. Capucine Onn, local violin virtuoso had her Suzuki violin school start their performance with a beautiful symphonic rock piece and it was great to see kids of all ages showcase their talent. Then the party started as eccentric frontman Todd Preston came out with the rest of the band members to play their popular hit, “Zombie Love”. Their performance was theatrical and captivating to say the least, and their genuine good-time attitude was contagious. After watching their set, I came to the obvious conclusion that there are very few things cooler than a zombie-loving, violin-shredding, pop-rock band. It’s basically a scientific fact.

Thank you Cappy for setting up this unforgettable show!

To check out I HATE TODD’s tunes and lineup check out their website at http://www.ihatetodd.com/ For Fermented Oranges http://fermentedoranges.bandcamp.com/

The guys of Fermented Oranges. Aaron Voskamp on lead guitar, Dylan Bellinger on drums, Adam Wendler on lead vocals/guitar and Dean Reynolds on bass.

The guys of Fermented Oranges. Aaron Voskamp on lead guitar, Dylan Bellinger on drums, Adam Wendler on lead vocals/guitar and Dean Reynolds on bass.

Look, No Hans! – Huron Country Playhouse II

28 Jun

by Diva Christine Harris

This was my first visit to the Huron County Playhouse II.  I was quite pleased with the seating, being a short person I sometimes have difficulty seeing over people’s heads.  There was a gentle slope to the floor and the stage was just high enough to see everything, but not strain the neck.  There really isn’t a bad seat in the house.  The set was well decorated, and presence of many rooms off of it gave it much more depth and allowed the play to expand. The actors worked very well together especially with some of the coordination they had to perform with timing and props.  Overall everything came together very nicely and it was easy to get lost in the story.

Synopsis: Peter Fisher is posing as the head of a British car company located in Berlin.  There he is to await the arrival of a top industrial spy from East of Hans with a special package.  His plans of a quiet birthday go out the window as he tries to keep his cover by juggling a wife whose plane is delayed, his mistress, a singing telegram girl and a senior inspector.  Join this six crew cast in the cozy Playhouse II and find out how Peter gets himself out of this predicament.

Susan JohnstonCollins, Kevin Kruchkywich,Jacob James and Steffi D iDomenicantonio

Susan JohnstonCollins, Kevin Kruchkywich,Jacob James and Steffi D iDomenicantonio

Huron Country Playhouse & Playhouse II
Grand Bend, ON  N0M 1T0

Local Box Office: 519-238-6000 | Administration: 519-238-8387 | Fax: 519-238-6587
Open June 2 to August 31, 2014.  Please call: 1-855-drayton (372-9866)

Kevin Kruchkywich, Kaitlyn Riordan, and Jacob James

Kevin Kruchkywich, Kaitlyn Riordan, and Jacob James

Production photos from www.draytonentertainment.com

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