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Dinner theatre deemed a success


Fort Frances Theatre had not done a dinner theatre in years. That is until last week, when “I Bet Your Life” was staged at La Place Rendez-Vous.

“We wanted to do something with a small cast and something intimate,” noted Cathy Richards, who directed the three-night run last Thursday through Saturday.

The comedy-thriller opened with author Matthew Stoddard (Jean-Marc Blanc) wanting to stage a screenplay about a terminally-ill man who hires a hit man to kill him and then finds out he was misdiagnosed.

Matt’s agent, Gregory Larson (Rob Tovey), doesn’t believe the story is feasible, so Matt contacts a gangster and arranges for an unknown hit man to join them at a dinner party in the country—just to prove his point.

The plot thickens among twists and turns as the guests try to find out who the hit man is before the murder occurs.

Joleen Hogan, Joyce McCormick, Mark Colvin, Mary Elder, Dianne Thompson, Rachelle Duchnicki, and John Rafferty also played characters wrapped up in the mystery.

“It went really well,” enthused Richards. “The Thursday night was probably the best because the audience had so much energy. It was fantastic.”

About 300 attended the dinner theatre in all, with 170 of those for Saturday night’s performance.

“We used to have hundreds of people out each night but those days are gone,” Richards remarked. “There is just so much entertainment now.”

Proceeds from the event, which have not been tallied up yet, will go towards the Fort Frances Museum renovations.

Richards also noted she is happy to see that Fort Frances Theatre (which used to be known as Fort Frances Little Theatre) isn’t dead. And she invites new members out for its next performance—entitled “Breaker Breaker Cinderella”—planned for this summer.

“Details still have to be worked out,” she said. “But hopefully we will be able to make it work.”

It is proposed to stage the modern-day Cinderella story in the big red barn at the Cornell Farm in La Vallee.

“It should be really fun,” Richards enthused. “It will be fun to do a play with a mixture of adults and kids.”

Richards said those interested should watch for upcoming auditions or call her at 274-9276.

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