Talent turns up the heat

Local playwright Peter Blacklock has written and directed one of the best productions to appear on the Shuswap Theatre stage.

Show stopper: Tony Chamberlist

If the chill is making you ill, warm up with two fine Shuswap productions.

Local playwright Peter Blacklock has written and directed one of the best productions to appear on the Shuswap Theatre stage.

From the opening notes of the entertaining Renovation: The Musical! to the sustained applause at the end, the audience is fully engaged.

Think good, old-fashioned revival meeting where the message and the goal have been distorted by a cunning marketer.

Anyone who has survived a home renovation, particularly one that involves turning off water or power, knows the pressure it can put on relationships.

Always reliable for a fine performance, Fred Green is hilarious as Brad Cutler,  the put-upon husband,  father and son-in-law, whose family pushes him into extended renovations – with disastrous results.

Making a welcome return to the theatre, Elaine Holmes is equally talented and funny as Green’s wife, Clara, whose lust for a new fridge develops into desire for an entirely new home.

Her sense of the comedic radiates in a song about the fridge of her dreams, played to hilarious effect by Aidan Sparks.

Randy Brogden, Teresa McKerral and Marcus Smith shine as well, as does the entire cast.

Blacklock’s music sets the right notes to his written script.

And like the song says, “If you’re feeling kind of sad… then come on down to the house of renovation…”

Tickets are adults – $17, seniors – $15, students $7 (with student ID) and children (up to age 12) $5, and are available at Wearabouts on Alexander Street or at the door one hour before show time.

The show runs at 8 p.m. to Saturday, Nov. 12. Doors open one hour prior to show time.

Farther afield but well worth the drive is Jump!, playing weekends at Quaaout Lodge until Nov. 20.

Produced by former Salmon Arm resident Voni Grindler and her Jupiter Productions, Jump!’s star Diane Lines and her able band of accompanists take dinner theatre guests on an exciting musical journey from the demise of the big-band sound at the end of the Second World War through the 1950s of swing, jump blues and eight-to-the-bar boogie woogie.

Talented musicians, Lines and crew deposit the audience at the door of the rock ‘n’ roll era, with Big Maybelle’s 1955 rhythm and blues version of Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On, powering up to Jerry Lee Lewis’ rock ‘n’ roll hit version.

Lines delivers honey-smoked vocals with help from Bill Abbott and Tim Porter, and her young, scene-stealing son, Sam Ellington, possesses pipes that belie his age.

Definitely a chip off the talent block.

Tickets, at $75 include a delicious dinner, served with warm hospitality at Quaaout Lodge.

At 81, award-winning fancy dancer and lodge ambassador Ernie Phillip, fills his role to perfection – welcoming everyone in the First Nations way and prefacing the evening with a powerful prayer.

Dinner Theatre Getaway Packages are also available, offering hotel accommodation, dinner and the show as well as breakfast the following morning. For more information, visit www. quaaoutlodge.com.

For reservations, e-mail dinnertheatre@quaaoutlodge.com, or call toll free at 1-800-663-4303.


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