By KRYSTA CARROLL
You have a little over a week to catch the musical entertainment of some of the Exploits Valley talented youth.
The 15th summer season of the Queen Street Dinner Theatre will come to a close Aug. 23 but until then there are still evening performances and lunchtime shows for you to enjoy.
“Considering that our summer season consisted of 22 evening performances, it’s almost half a season in two weeks,” said Artistic Director John Thompson. “So this is the make or break it time for us, really.”
The 30-minute lunchtime presentation, “Frank, Dean and Judy,” salutes legends of the stage, screen and airways, featuring music of Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.
The “Rock Me Gently” show band features internationally known guitarist and local musician Chris Feener, Queen Street veterans Joel Burke on piano and Matt Ball on bass, drummer Brandon Hopkins who is recently back from a tour engagement, and Robyn Hannaford, who has returned for her second season.
Burke is also a cast member, and was joined by Jenna Bragg, Katharine Nuotio-Trimm, Brandon Power, Alyson Wellman, Dylan Rose and Sarah Beresford.
“Rock Me Gently” featured Canadian music, covering five decades, including songs from The Guess Who, Anne Murray, K.d. Lange, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, April Wine, The Stampeders, Lighthouse, Shania Twain, and more.
“The Game Show Murders” features Brandon Power, Celena Alcock, Katharine Nuotio-Trimm, Joel Burke, Dylan Rose, and Alicia Smith.
In the show, contestants from all over the country converge on the studio for the hottest show on the air, ‘The Wheel of Money,’ with hopes to win the big prize. What they don’t know is what evil may be lurking behind door #3.
The schedule, ticket prices and more information is available online, www.andco.nf.ca.
The season, Thomson said, has been going as projected, without surprises.
“We’re really hoping that the number of people coming out is going to continue to grow as we get closer towards the end of the season,” Thompson said. “That’s traditionally been what’s happened over the past number of years, and we’re really looking forward to full houses for the last two weeks of the run.”
As per norm, they have been receiving a lot of local support, as well as people from away, from other parts of Canada and the United States.
The fact that the three shows are new this season probably helped with that, he said, adding that certainly paid off for them.
“Anytime you do something new, that in itself would generate curiosity if nothing else,” he said. “Doing all new productions certainly, I think, have benefitted us, without a doubt. Most of the people that come out are locals, and we need to change because of that.”
For the past number of years, they were using drop microphones for their productions, which is something they changed this year – a change Thompson said he is hoping they will be able to make permanent.
“Next season I’m really hoping we can find the money to make our wireless efforts this year permanent,” Thompson said, adding improvements will also have to be made to other equipment. “Of course that’s all going to take money, so we’re going to at least have to do a couple major fundraising efforts between now and next summer to ensure that happens.”
Thompson said a wireless system for the show would greatly improve the audio for those in the audience.
“This year I’d say we gambled to experiment with this and see exactly how it would work for us…and it’s a keeper.”
They’re also bringing back their popular Christmas show this season.
“To get people in the Christmas spirit because that’s what that show is all about,” Thompson said.
Tickets for that go on sale on Monday, Oct. 22.
He is also hoping to bring back the Salute to St. Paddy’s Day, and hold any other fundraisers they come up with.
There’s a show in the works for the upcoming summer season, too, which Thompson is already planning.
“I’m currently working on a play for next year and it’s a play that will be set locally. It should be a whole bunch of fun,” Thompson said. “The working title is Icebergs and Whales.”