Tag Archives: grand bend

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


Winterlicious Getaway at Brentwood on the Beach – Part 1

2 Mar

by Diva Trista Russell

Lovely sunset over Lake Huron (photo courtesy of Anthony Sitko)

Lovely sunset over Lake Huron (photo courtesy of Anthony Sitko)

I’m excited to tell you about my relaxing little holiday on Ontario’s West Coast as part of the Taste of Huron program! I was lucky enough to stay overnight at Brentwood on the Beach, which is a luxury bed and breakfast on the shores of Lake Huron at St. Joesph’s (between Grand Bend and Bayfield). The special Winterlicious package I booked included a traditional German dinner, four star accommodations, and brunch the next day.

I had heard about Brentwood before, but I had never had the opportunity to stay overnight before. I had no idea that it was such a large and beautiful property! Peter and Joan Karstens own and operate Brentwood, which is a 10,000 square feet house with 9 guest rooms, a salt water pool, hot tub, sauna, guest kitchen, and common areas with books and games for guests to enjoy. When I arrived, two other guests were curled up on the couch reading a book by the fireplace.

The traditional German dinner included rouladen, which was made out of a Metzger's beef roll made with dijon mustard, pickles, and bacon. Very tender!

The traditional German dinner included rouladen, which was made out of a Metzger’s beef roll made with dijon mustard, pickles, and bacon. Very tender!

There were over 15 guests for dinner, and with the floor to ceiling windows in the dining room, many of us watched the beautiful sunset go down over Lake Huron before our meal. Peter is originally from Germany, so we enjoyed an authentic German dinner made by Peter and the Brentwood staff including garden salad, red cabbage, turnip, roasted potatoes, green beans, rouladen, pickle tray, and various breads. Dessert was German black forest cake, which was delicious!

Homemade Black Forest cake (photo courtesy of Anthony Sitko)

Homemade Black Forest cake (photo courtesy of Anthony Sitko)

I had a chance to chat with Pat and Betty, two ladies from Harriston, during dinner and discovered that these ladies discovered Brentwood on the internet and decided to come for a break from life at home. They also indulged in some in-house pedicures and massages while they were there!

The morning after I enjoyed a mini spa-like experience: a dip in the pool and hot tub and a quick visit to the sauna before brunch! Brunch included Peter’s famous German apple pancakes with homemade mulberry sauce, poached eggs, sausage, fresh fruit, yogurt, cheese and cold meat platter. All I can say is that if you come to Brentwood, make sure you try the pancakes as they are scrumptious!

The salt water pool was very warm and with the humidity it felt like the tropics!

The salt water pool was very warm and with the humidity it felt like the tropics!

Beach Room with lake view and fireplace

Beach Room with lake view and fireplace

What I discovered during my stay was that most of the guests were repeat guests. They loved staying there and decided to come back, which speaks volumes about the quality of Brentwood. Stay tuned for another post with some stories about the interesting guests I met during my stay!

Brentwood on the Beach
33937 Moore Court, RR #2,
St. Joseph Shores
Zurich, Ontario
Email: info@brentwoodonthebeach.com
Phone: 519-236-7137

Ensuite bathroom with whirlpool tub

Ensuite bathroom with whirlpool tub

Common area with books and games for guests

Common area with books and games for guests

Breakfast is served!

Breakfast is served!

Peter's famous German apple pancakes (yes, a full one is the size of a dinner plate!)

Peter’s famous German apple pancakes (yes, a full one is the size of a dinner plate!)

Sundays in the Bend

2 Sep

IMG_3824By Diva Trista Russell

I remember going to the Pinery Antique Flea Market at least once a year when I was growing up. It was the perfect excuse to go for a Sunday drive and see what treasures could be found. I went back again this year, and 2013 marks their 46th season!

The Pinery Antique Flea Market is an indoor and outdoor market with over 200 vendors. Aside from antiques, they have an incredible variety of items for sale: direct sale products (Pampered Chef, Avon, etc.), bulk candy and nuts, books, clothes, baking, plants, garden decor, furniture, purses, jewellery, cosmetics, local produce, meats, fresh coffee, organic skin care products…and more. I ended up purchasing some metal flower stakes for my flower beds that were priced at 3 for $10.

If you like antiques, you can walk down memory lane as you browse through their 7,000 square foot building. What is unique about this market is that the outdoor vendors are shaded by huge mature trees. This makes it quite comfortable to browse through on a hot summer day.

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Admission is only $1 per person (children 12 years old and under are free), and there is plenty of parking. There is also a beer garden and live entertainment beside the 1930’s vintage gas station. I ended up sleeping in on Sunday (one of my favourite past times on the weekend), so I missed the hot breakfast they offered from 8 to 10am.

IMG_3832Tip: If you are looking for some food, try Woody’s fresh cut fries. Woody’s is located in the chip truck on the path closest to Bluewater Highway. I got the small size for $2.75, and it was huge (see photo)!

The Pinery Antique Flea Market is open Sundays, rain or shine, from 8am to 4pm all summer long until Thanksgiving.

For more information, phone 519-238-8382 or send them an email.

Directions: Located on Bluewater Highway (Highway 21), 3 miles south of Grand Bend on the east side of the road, halfway between the Pinery Provincial Park and Grand Bend.

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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

A superb inn on the shores of Lake Huron

17 Jul


By: Diva Jenna Ujiye

While Travelling around Ontario’s West Coast I see many different and unique accommodations from B&B’s, to hotels and motels, Inns, cottages and resorts. A couple of weeks ago I was invited to attend a meeting at the Pine Dale Motor Inn in Grand Bend, Ontario.

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I have driven past this location many times and wondered what it was like. Well,  I was shocked at the variety of rooms and amenities that this Inn has to offer. They have done extensive updates in the past couple of years and all rooms have 4 pc. bath, individual climate control, fridge, microwave, clock-radio, hairdryer,coffee-maker and cable T.V.

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They also have a great indoor salt-water  pool and amazing gardens as well as a picnic and BBQ areas for guests to use. They are located just a short walk to restaurants, downtown Grand Bend and to Lake Huron. I didn’t get to stay overnight on this visit, but I plan to in the future.  The rates are quite affordable offering both hotel and motel rooms with prices ranging from $89 – $220 per night. For more information, visit: http://www.pinedale.on.ca

Pine Dale Motor Inn
107 Ontario Street South
Grand Bend, Ontario
Canada   N0M 1T0

519 238 2231
1-888-838-Pine (7463)

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.

A few of my favourite things

14 Jun

By Diva Jenna Ujiye

Huron Country Playhouse

Last week I attended the Sound of Music at the Huron Country Playhouse with my friend Cindy. We made a night out of it, met a couple of other friends for dinner and then went to the show and then the opening night reception!

IMG_4688Nuns, love, kids, dance, singing and more, these are just some of the wonderful things I think of when the Sound of Music enters my head.

We all know the characters, but each time this play is performed the actors seem to make the characters their own. Jayme Armstrong plays Maria with strength and a wonderfully fun stage presence. I would have to say that the handsome David W. Keeley, who played the captain, had most of the ladies in the crowd ogling! The kids did an amazing job, their harmony’s were great! It was also exciting to see locals Lilly and Anna Bartlam star as Gretl and Marta von Trapp. I even got to meet them after the show!Sound of Music The Sound of Music

If you are looking for a great musical with many ups and downs and great music, make sure to book your ticket soon. They are sure to sell out! The Sound of Music runs at Huron Country Playhouse from June 4 to June 22. Here is the link to the website with more information: https://www.draytonentertainment.com/Online/article/soundofmusic_hcp?sessionlanguage=