Headingley Community Centre will soon be transformed into a scene straight out of the Klondike for a fun-filled adventure as the United Church Players present the modern day melodrama Song of the Mounties.
Set in the 1890s near the end of the Yukon gold rush, a gold strike sets in motion a series of hilarious shenanigans involving a crazy cast of 13 characters. Guests are encouraged to boo, hiss – and yes, even applaud – as the story unfolds north of the 60th parallel with the hero Sgt. Bob Sledd of the North West Mounted Police out to get his man, the notorious Dirty Jake Le Phew.
And what is a story without a love interest, in this case the beautiful heroine Claudette Beaucoup, who runs the trading post. All of this action is set against music meant to conjure up images of being in the Yukon saloons of the time.
Now in its 29th year, the dinner theatre continues its long standing tradition of providing affordable family entertainment to break up the winter blahs. What started out in 1983 as a two-night production to raise funds to repair a leaky roof at the Headingley United Church became wildly successful because it was so different than anything going on at the time. The dinner theatre gained momentum and became more elaborate as the years went, so much so that it is now housed in the community centre where 200 guests can be accommodated each night at roundtables, which provide an ideal way to visit and enjoy the show.
According to Margaret Mills, one of two cast members who have been a part of every production since 1983 (the other being John Larkin), the production is thought to be one of the longest-running dinner theatres in southern Manitoba.
The curtain will rise on this year’s production beginning Feb. 17, with four additional shows on Feb. 18, 23, 24 and 25. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. with a full course dinner beginning at 6:30. Tickets are $40 each and are available by contacting Darlene at 255-1123. All proceeds will go to the Headingley United Church.
David Hultin is a Winnipeg-based writer.
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