Tag Archives: Summer Theatre

Sexy Laundry: A mid-life attempt to rekindle romance

12 Jun
Gabrielle Jones and Sheldon Davis in Sexy Laundry, Huron Country Playhouse II, 2015 Season. Photographer: Darlene O'Rourke

Gabrielle Jones and Sheldon Davis in Sexy Laundry, Huron Country Playhouse II, 2015 Season. Photographer: Darlene O’Rourke

By Diva Christine Harris

I was pleased to be one of the lucky Divas assigned to check out one of the plays at Huron Country Playhouse.

Last year I went to see a British farce called Look, No Hans at Playhouse II, and the classic Les Miserables on the Mainstage.

HCPgazeboThis theatre truly is a gem in our backyards, with outstanding performances and great ticket prices. I was given a warm welcome by the staff at the box office and offered VIP cards that treated my date and me to refreshments after the show. This year the Playhouse is celebrating its 44th season and is enjoying the new addition of a beautiful large gazebo at the front of the property. General Manager, Peter Black has invited us to picnic there before seeing one of the shows. In the crowd were special guests during opening night, South Huron Mayor Maureen Cole and Deputy Mayor David Frayne. After the show as with any opening night, we are invited for a luncheon and to meet the cast.

I have to say, this is probably the funniest show I have seen yet! With a packed crowd, there were lots of laughs and even a few gasps of surprise! I can tell you a little bit about the show, but I don’t want to give it away because you really need to see it for yourselves. This Canadian comedy, written by Vancouver’s own Michele Riml is about a couple that has been married for 25 years. Henry, played by Sheldon Davis, and Alice, played by Gabrielle Jones, are getting away for the weekend in a swanky hotel to try to reignite the flame that is their marriage. Armed with the book “Sex for Dummies” Alice is determined to spend the weekend spicing up their love life, and Henry keeps getting distracted by the cost of the hotel and all of its additional amenities. The constant banter back and forth between the couple had the audience in stitches, Alice always having to be right and Henry being reluctant to try new things. It makes them evaluate where their marriage has gone in those 25 years, and how they’ve changed throughout the years.

Regular performance tickets are $42 for adults; $25 for youths under 20 (although this show is not recommended for children), groups of 20 or more are $34. Sexy Laundry runs until June 27th. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Huron County Playhouse, online a or by calling the Box Office at (519) 238-6000 or toll free at 1-855-drayton (372-9866).

 

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Kitchen Radio opens Blyth’s 40th Anniversary Season

13 Jul

by Claire Carter
I must begin this post with full disclosure.  I am a big fan of the Blyth Festival.  I love that the performances feature locally relevant topics, and exclusively Canadian plays.  I love visiting Blyth Memorial Hall, sitting in either the upper or lower balcony, and enjoying a world-class show in a Huron County village of 1,000 people.

I have been lucky enough that each of the recent productions I have attended have had bonus events.  Last year, I enjoyed a country dinner before a play (dinners take place Friday and Saturdays at different locations in Blyth, including churches, community centres and the Legion). The meal was lovingly prepared, and ended with so many different types of pie!  This year, the Huron Tourism Association was hosting the evening I attended.  Sweets and appetizers featuring local ingredients were available from local eateries and hotels, including Queens Bakery, Benmiller Inn and Samuels.

I was lucky enough to attend Kitchen Radio at the Blyth Festival on June 26.  The performance I attended was the day before the official opening, but as an audience member, I would have thought the show had been on stage for years.

Written and directed by Marion de Vries, the musical is set in 1968, and features a mainly female cast.  The play examines the relationship that women have with each other and music.  The play was captivating, and seemed to feature each of the four strong main characters equally, developing their personalities through song and dance.  The set and costumes were both fantastic.  Charming and funny, I found myself in good company with the rest of the audience, laughing and grinning at the on-stage antics.  Locally relevant tie-ins were made throughout the play, my favourite being that CKNX was the station being listened to over the radio.  Over a week later, many of the songs are still stuck in my head.  The YouTube clip below shows dress rehearsal of Kitchen Radio, and will give you an idea of the fun music and choreography you can expect in this play.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwBLniZy_PI

The Blyth Festival offers Canadian written and produced plays from late June through early September.  This season, four plays are set on the Mainstage (Blyth Memorial Hall): Kitchen Radio, Billy Bishop Goes to War, Stag and Doe and St. Anne’s Reel.  The Young Company presents Out of this World from August 27-30, and Radio: 30 is on stage at Phillips Studio from September 4-6.

Blyth Festival
Box 10
Blyth, ON  N0M 1H0
519-523-9300 / 1-877-862-5984

KitchenRadioSet

 

 

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

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.