Usually, it’s dentists who are shining the bright lights.
Instead, they’ll be the illuminated ones this week as 19 local practitioners take to the stage at Prairie Theatre Exchange (PTE) in a production of Guys and Dolls in support of the theatre and CancerCare Manitoba.
The cast will put on four performances from May 9 to 12 at the Portage Place-based hall. All performances are at 8 p.m. except for a 2 p.m. matinee on May 12.
Dr. Cheryl Bacala practises out of Odyssey Dental Care at 9-1575 Regent Ave. W., and will play two roles — Agatha and Ferguson. She said the two roles are quite opposite — Agatha is a missionary seeking converts, while Ferguson is a hotbox dancer.
Bacala said she did a musical in high school, but this is her first since then. It’s a lot more commitment than she remembered, as the cast rehearses several times per week.
"There’s a lot of dancing and singing, but it’s been fun," said the Whyte Ridge resident.
Bacala, who grew up in Transcona, said she’s appreciated the opportunity to get to know some of her colleagues better.
Dr. Tricia Magsino Barnabe, who operates out of both Pearl Dental Centre at 1-737 Keewatin Ave. and Academy Dental Group at 435 Academy Rd., chairs the volunteer committee and will play Miss Adelaide in the production. Magsino Barnabe has been acting from a young age, even performing in Rainbow Stage’s Miss Saigon in 2005.
She was a part of the dentists’ first production, Little Shop of Horrors, in 2011. That run of engagements raised money for PTE.
"Originally, the goal was to get like-minded dentists together to do something fun, to have a positive experience in the dental community, while at the same time, fundraising for a worthy cause," she said. "This year, we wanted to raise the bar a little bit, so we wanted to do something that was health-care-related."
St. Vital resident Dr. Ken Hamin, who practises out of Reflections Dental Centre at 717 Harrow St., will take on the lead role as Nathan Detroit. He said he had performed Guys and Dolls in high school.
"I managed to get a bigger role than I did when I was in high school," said Hamin, who was inspired to audition after seeing the 2011 production. "The director (Jeffrey Kohut) said ‘We want you to do this role because you’re a natural and you’ll do great.’"
Hamin explained that helping CancerCare Manitoba is important because patients with head and neck cancers could need teeth replaced or an appliance to help deal with tissue loss.
"There are very few resources available for head and neck cancer," he said. "It’s giving back to the profession and giving back to patients who need that the most."
Those looking for tickets can visit www.pte.mb.ca or call 204-942-5483.
"I hope (audience members) will be pleasantly surprised at the talent the dentists have to offer," said Magsino Barnabe. "I hope they come back entertained from the great songs from the show. I hope that they’ll be inspired to give."