Tag Archives: Drayton Entertainment

Huron County Playhouse II – Run for Your Wife

30 Jul
David Leyshon, Michael Lamport and David Talbot Run For Your Wife, 2014 SeasonPhotographer, Scott Williams  Photo taken from the website - http://goo.gl/6KUiIl

David Leyshon, Michael Lamport and David Talbot
Run For Your Wife, 2014 Season Photographer, Scott Williams Photo taken from the website – http://goo.gl/6KUiIl

by Diva Christine Harris

After having a wonderful time at the Huron County Playhouse II in June, I was really looking forward to my visit this month in July.  This time I would be seeing a British Farce by Ray Cooney called “Run for Your Wife”.  David Leyshon stars as a taxi driver named John Smith who has been successfully keeping two marriages a secret until he has an accident at work and bumps his head.  This throws off his entire schedule that has been keeping things running smoothly, and now he has to try to pick up the pieces to keep each of the wives from finding out about each other.  The set was brilliantly crafted by David Antscherl who has separated a large room by colour so that the actors could either use both sides at once to simulate both wives at the same time, or use the whole set at once as one of the homes.  Once the wives Mary and Barbara played by Susie Bernett and Stacy Smith realize that John is not home on time from work (because he keeps a precise schedule), they fret and worry.  Complications ensue when police Sergeants played by David Talbot and Anthony Bekenn become involved even when neighbours played by Michael Lamport and Aidan deSalaiz try to help out.   Find out if John Smith can keep his double life a secret by booking your tickets today!

Run for your Wife runs at the Huron Country Playhouse until August 2nd.

Drayton Entertainment
Huron Country Playhouse
RR 1, the “B Line”
Grand Bend, Ontario N0M 1T0
GPS coordinates: N 43° 18.834 W 81° 43.549

1-855-drayton

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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

Too Many Cooks

21 Aug

Too Many Cooksby Diva Susan Pye

On a beautiful Huron County summer afternoon earlier this month, a friend and I went to see “Too Many Cooks” atHuron Country Playhouse.  On the drive down to Grand Bend,  we wondered a little what we were doing, going inside to sit in the dark on a glorious sunny day.  However, we were well rewarded (and cool!) as we laughed, and occasionally guffawed, while we watched this very entertaining fast-paced farce.  Various characters popped on and off stage through 4 different ‘doors’ including my personal favourite a swinging door (you just know someone is going to get it in the face to comedic effect!). Those characters included a ‘Dudley DoRight’ mountie, a Chicago rum-running gangster,  a confused singing (not really) chef, a diligent though lonely government agent, and an embattled would-be restauranteur struggling to open his upscale establishment in Prohibition-era Niagara on the Lake.  What was truly impressive was the actors’ abilities to keep up the pace, manage the tricky timing of the dialogue, as well as the very physical aspects of the show…. and make us laugh!

While “Too Many Cooks” has finished it’s run at the Playhouse, Mary Poppins is now showing until August 31.  This is of course the wonderful musical, and  will be a huge hit with families as well as oldies like this Diva, nostalgic for Julie Andrews airborne via umbrella, and the  60’s.  What a wonderful way to wind up the summer, singing along with Mary, Jane and Michael Banks! Huron County is particularly blessed to have this quality of entertainment so readily accessible, providing a yet compelling reason to visit Ontario’s West Coast-  we’re not just another pretty  beach!

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

Buddy Holly Rocks!

22 Jul
Image from Drayton Entertainment website

Image from Drayton Entertainment website

by Diva Nicole Olson

Last week, my Mom and I went to see the Buddy Holly Story at the Huron Country Playhouse in Grand Bend. I had never been to this theatre before, and I was pleasantly surprised at the size and overall atmosphere. The Buddy Holly Story was performed in the larger of the two playhouses and we had the best seats in the house! We were seven rows from the front and  in the middle of the row. I felt like Buddy was singing exclusively to me the entire show. The details in set design, costumes and props are what helped to transport you back to the late ’50s, where it all took place.

The show reenacts key aspects of the short, but incredible career that the Rock ‘n Roll singer/songwriter had. The talented cast depicted how he got started in the professional music business with his band the Crickets in Lubbock, Texas. They describe how he met, and fell in love at first sight with his wife Maria Elena Santiago. The show shares personal stories from his life and offers insights into the inspiration for several of his hit songs. What he was able to achieve, by the age of 22, was nothing short of extraordinary.

To say the cast has talent, is such a huge understatement. They all sang amazingly, especially Andy Christopher who played Buddy. In addition, they played instruments (some actors played several) and they danced. The double bass player put on an unbelievable performance of stunts with his instrument, and that in itself was worth seeing. They wanted to make the audience feel as though they were at one of Buddy’s concerts, and that is exactly what transpired. People were literally dancing in the aisles.
This show is all about the music. It’s full of hits like “Oh Boy,” “That’ll be the Day, and “Peggy Sue.” They also include songs from a few other artists from that time period. I grew up listening to eight tracks at my grandma’s house from the likes of Elvis, Patsy Cline and others of that generation. In the days since taking in this performance, I have found myself humming along to some of the songs and watching Buddy Holly performances on YouTube. I love the classics from that time period, and I absolutely loved this show.
Huron Country Playhouse
70689 B Line  South Huron, ON N0M 1T0
Box Office: 1-855-DRAYTON (372-9866) or Buy Online www.draytonentertainment.com

Tuesdays with Morrie in Grand Bend

4 Jul
Mitch & Morrie.  Photo by Darlene O'Rourke

Mitch & Morrie. Photo by Darlene O’Rourke

by Diva Trista Russell

Last week I headed to Playhouse II at the Huron Country Playhouse to watch Tuesdays with Morrie. I have to admit that I didn’t know much about the play before I saw it, but I had heard of the book. I had a feeling that the show would cause a few tears, so my Mom and I both brought some tissues—just in case.

Tuesdays with Morrie is based on a true story about a sports columnist, Mitch Albom, and his sociology professor, Morrie Schwartz. The two form a close bond in university, but lose touch after Mitch graduates. After Mitch (played by Jeffrey Wetsch) happens to see Morrie (played by Ian Downie) on television, he decides to to visit his old professor after 16 years. He discovers that Morrie, now in his late seventies, is battling ALS, to which there is no cure. With limited time left, Mitch resolves to spend each Tuesday with Morrie contemplating life, love, and death.

This show was definitely different from others I’ve seen at the Playhouse: it wasn’t a musical, there were no flashy sound effects, no intermission, or impressive sets…but I still enjoyed it because of the raw emotions expressed between Mitch and Morrie. While the subject matter was sad at times (those tissues came in handy!), there was also lots of opportunities to laugh with Morrie’s feisty wisecracks. I think we often take life for granted, so this play was a great reminder of the importance of embracing life while you can. I don’t want to give away too much of the story, as you have to see the play to truly understand the strong connection between the two characters.

Tuesdays with Morrie is very simple play featuring only a two-man cast with very a basic set and props. The simplicity made it easier to focus on the heart-warming interaction between Mitch and Morrie. Playhouse II was the perfect setting for this play, as it is smaller and more intimate than the main auditorium. Both actors would often speak to the audience, which made it easier to get absorbed into the story, and at times I almost forgot there was an audience beside me!

IMG_3353Opening night featured a reception afterwards, including a beautifully decorated cake. We realized after the play that Morrie was a familiar face. You may have recognized him as one of the grumpy old men featured on the TD Canada Trust commercials!

This touching and uplifting play is great for all ages and is one of my favourites from the Playhouse. I have also added the book to my summer reading list!

You can watch a 5 minute clip of the play on Drayton Entertainment’s YouTube channel. You can also find a great review on Huron News Now. Tuesdays with Morrie plays until July 13th.

Tickets: Call the Box Office at 519-238-6000 or buy online at www.draytonentertainment.comTickets range between $20-$40.

Playhouse II is located at the Huron Country Playhouse at 70689 B Line, Grand Bend.

Huron Country Playhouse 2013 Season

9 Apr

Tickets are now available for purchase at the Huron Country Playhouse. They have got an exciting season filled with music and comedy. To book your tickets visit: www.draytonentertainment.com

here is a quick review of what is on this summer!

2013 Season at Huron Country Playhouse

The Sound of Music June 4 to June 22 (3 weeks)
Spamalot June 26 to July 13 (3 weeks)
Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story July 17 to July 27 (2 weeks)
Too Many Cooks July 31 to August 3 (1 week)
Mary Poppins August 7 to August 31 (4 weeks)

Playhouse II

Tuesdays with Morrie June 26 to July 13 (3 weeks)
Weekend Comedy July 17 to August 3 (3 weeks)
Sorry… I’m Canadian August 7 to August 31 (4 weeks)

Located in a picturesque country setting, the Huron Country Playhouse is just minutes from the shores of sparkling Lake Huron in the heart of Ontario’s West Coast. This popular vacation destination is full of charm and endless possibilities to discover breathtaking beaches, culinary delights, outstanding accommodations, unique shopping and countless recreational pursuits.

In 2011 the Huron Country Playhouse celebrated its landmark 40th Anniversary with an ambitious $4.0 million capital infrastructure expansion and improvement project. Visitors to the theatre this season will be among the first to experience many substantial upgrades to the front-of-house including new washrooms, lobby, refreshment bar, box office, and gift shop operated by the Huron Country Playhouse Guild, a community-based organization comprised of 90 volunteers.

There are 650 brand new theatre seats in the mainstage, and the Playhouse II has been completely renovated, increasing from 150 chairs to a fully raked 300 seat auditorium. Infrared hearing and wheelchair access are available to patrons who require special assistance.

A visit to the Huron Country Playhouse takes less than an hour from Stratford, London and Sarnia.

Join us for a timeless classic, as our stage becomes alive with the sound of music. In this epic love story, an aspiring nun named Maria leaves the convent to govern the seven mischievous children of Captain von Trapp.The memorable score by Rodgers & Hammerstein features such beloved songs as “My Favourite Things,” “Do Re Mi,” “Edelweiss,” “Climb Every Mountain,” and of course, the glorious title song.

Join us for the Tony Award-winning musical comedy phenomenon that raises silliness to an art form.

Monty Python’s tongue-in-cheek retelling of the classic tale of Camelot follows King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and their infamous quest for the Holy Grail. A sensation on Broadway and London’s West End, Spamalot is gloriously irresistible entertainment.

Discover why “It’s So Easy,” to fall in love with Buddy Holly.

Five decades after “the day the music died”, the life and career of a true artistic pioneer are celebrated in this spectacular production that explodes into full-throttled joy through renditions of Buddy Holly’s greatest hits – classics like “Peggy Sue,” “That’ll Be The Day,” “Not Fade Away,” “Rave On,” and many more.

The grand opening gala for Irving Bubbalowe’s classy new restaurant quickly becomes a recipe for disaster when the famous singing chef, Francoise LaPlouffe, fails to arrive.

When an unemployed drifter is persuaded to step in at the last minute and don the master chef’s apron, chaos and confusion ensues … complete with Chicago gangsters, a hot-blooded immigration officer, an illegal shipment of booze, and a tee-totaling Mountie.

Magic and adventure abound, and lives are transformed, when the peculiar Mary Poppins arrives on the doorstep of the Banks household on London’s Cherry Tree Lane.

Experience the enchanting mixture of irresistible story, unforgettable songs, such as “A Spoonful of Sugar” and “Chim Chiminey,” breathtaking dance numbers, and astonishing stagecraft that make this Disney musical soar high above the rest.

“An old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lesson.” Based on the acclaimed best-selling book, Tuesdays with Morrie is the uplifting autobiographical journey of big shot sportswriter Mitch Albom, who develops a life-altering friendship with his old college professor Morrie Schwartz.

In this heartwarming production, a simple visit turns into a weekly pilgrimage, and ultimately a final lesson in the meaning of life.

Eager to rekindle the flame in their marriage, Peggy persuades her husband to take a weekend vacation in the Catskill Mountains. There’s only one small problem – their secluded one-bedroom cabin has been double booked by a young couple who are unable to keep their hands off each other.

The decision to share the tiny cabin for the weekend is a formula for disaster – and laughs – as youthful exuberance collides with middle-aged stodginess. Funny, warm and poignant, this is one vacation you will never forget!

He’s Back by Popular Demand! Follow Constable Archibald F. Inkster for an entertaining trek across our vast country, as he weaves a charming blend of humour and political satire with musical gems of the Great Canadian Song Book.

Sorry…I’m Canadian celebrates our distinct heritage and offers a fresh perspective on what it means to be a proud Canadian.

It’s World Theatre Day

27 Mar

Created in 1961 by UNESCO, World Theatre Day is celebrated annually on March 27 by theatre communities around the globe.  UNESCO’s goals were to

1)  Celebrate the power of theatre as an indispensable bridge-builder for mutual international understanding and peace.

2)  Promote and protect cultural diversity and identity in communities throughout the world.

Here, in Huron County, we’re fortunate to have two professional theatres.   I asked the artistic directors to share their comments on World Theatre Day.

Artistic Director - Peter Smith, Blyth Festival

Artistic Director – Peter Smith Blyth Festival

Blyth Festival‘s, Artistic Director Peter Smith ~ I believe there are two stories. The first is our experience; the second is relating that experience to another. There are many ways to relate a story about something that happened. I’ve heard terrific tales on a long prairie car ride, from someone at the front of a classroom, late at night around a kitchen table, coming from a radio on the windowsill, or on a small or big screen. I’ve also had experience related to me while gathered with a collection of others in one of the many theatres from across our blue planet.

Theatre is a live event – it’s people together in a room, or maybe somewhere outdoors, that has another crowd relating an experience back to them. It is shared.  It’s like being at a wedding. So many generations represented, so much anticipation, so much joy. Life is theatre and theatre is life. I encourage those who haven’t been to a play to check out the original 3D story this year. And for those who have, to head up or down the road and check out a theatre they’ve never been to before and witness the experience being related there.

World Theatre Day is every day for me. Theatre is simply the best of story.

_ _ _ _ _

Alex Mustakas, Artistic Director, Drayton Entertainment

Alex Mustakas, Artistic Director, Drayton Entertainment

Alex Mustakas, Artistic Director of Drayton Entertainment, including Huron Country Playhouse ~

Today, Drayton Entertainment proudly celebrates World Theatre Day in each of the unique southwestern Ontario communities in which it operates:  the original Drayton Festival Theatre in Drayton, Huron Country Playhouse and Playhouse II in Grand Bend, King’s Wharf Theatre in Penetanguishene, Schoolhouse Theatre in St. Jacobs, St. Jacobs Country Playhouse in Waterloo, and the new Dunfield Theatre Cambridge, located in the heart of Galt.

At its core, Drayton Entertainment has always understood that good theatre doesn’t just portray life – it encourages us to participate and experience it at a much deeper level. It encourages us to think, to cry, to laugh, to learn, to form a sense of the purpose of life, to be sympathetic with others – the list goes on and on.

Theatre is one of the cornerstones of a healthy, vibrant society. It is a conduit for the convergence of community, commerce, and creativity, building new synergies between the traditional and innovative … enhancing the lives of all Canadians in the process.

_ _ _ _ _

Watch for details of the 2013 season’s in upcoming blogs at OntarioTravelDivas.com or visit these websites today.

Blyth Festival Drayton Entertainment’s
Huron Country Playhouse
P.O. Box 10, Blyth, ON R.R. #1, B Line, Grand Bend
519.523.9300 519.238.6000
1.877.862.5984 1.855.372.9866
www.blythfestival.com www.draytonentertainment.com