Photo Credit: Doris Osinchuk
Elk Point dinner theatre has what Hollywood and Nashville don’t have – actors who perform without pay, and Johnny Cash!
Last Saturday night marked the fifth and final performance of this year’s theatrical production by the Elk Point Community Choir. Guests converged on the Allied Arts Centre in Elk Point to enjoy A Day at the Java Shop & Greyhound Bus Depot, a ‘delightful comedy about the daily activities in a small town restaurant and bus depot.’ In this fun play, written by Roger Congrove citizens of Fort Macleod thwart a pair of hapless thieves.
All the talent involved in producing, directing, and acting in this show is from the Lakeland. The amateur director and actors, who have regular day-jobs or attend classes, devoted their winter nights to rehearsing, resulting in a performance that their audience found entertaining. Added to the fun of the play were songs by Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, and Udo Mueller (who is also a member of the cast!)
Click on Photos for Details (Photos: Doris Osinchuk)
Producer/director Barb Buryn pauses during rehearsal
Entire cast (left to right): Velma Hudson as Linda, Kelly Burke as Bob/Angel, Dorothy Wuola as Chantico, Bert Poulin as Johnny Cash, Kiera Burke as Sherri, Kamryn Coleman as Mary, Shaun Sheplawy as Larry/Lucy, Doris Osinchuk as Maxine, Udo Mueller as Leroy, Shayla Cameron as Josie, John Seiben as Constable Larsen, Dixie Coleman as Annie the bus driver, Levi Jennings as Kevin, John Gottenbos as the Chief, Kendal Snyder as Bill, and Erik Sjolin as Mac.
The waitresses of the Java Shop, which is also the Greyhound bus depot, keep coffee cups filled and donuts ready. Maxine (Doris Osinchuk), Josie (Shayla Cameron), Chantico (Dorothy Wuola), and Linda (Velma Hudson) welcome every guest with a smile. In the early morning, Josie practices Patsy Cline songs before anyone else arrives. Then she and Linda prepare for Constable Larsen’s burst through the door in search of his first donut of the day.
Everyone hears on the radio that two prisoners have escaped from the penitentiary in Lethbridge; even the two convicts hear the news. They quickly disguise themselves before they are identified.
Who would recognize that Angel and Lucy are actually the escapees Larry and Bob? (Angel/Bob played by Kelly Burke. Lucy/Larry played by Shaun Sheplawy)
Every small town café has its regulars, and farmers Leroy (Udo Mueller) and Bill (Kendall Snyder) are frequently at the Java Shop counter observing the comings and goings of residents and strangers. Bachelor Leroy, who ‘has a spread down by Willow Creek’ has his eyes on the single women, and takes a liking to Angel!
One of the bus mechanics, Kevin (Levi Jennings) gets a few moments alone with Josie, but both are too shy to express their feelings for each other.
Leroy gets a little personal when he tries to lift Angel after knocking her onto the floor.
Johnny Cash (Bert Poulin) arrives in Fort Macleod when his tour bus breaks down, but is not recognized by most of the locals. As he awaits help from a mechanic, Johnny and Jo sing “I Fall to Pieces.”
Larry, the brains of the burglars, admits that he doesn’t have enough bullets to take care of all of the witnesses, so asks, “Who doesn’t want to be shot?” Kevin chivalrously suggests that the robbers take Josie as a hostage instead of shooting her; then they can drop her off up the road.
Customers continue to enter the café, and each one is gestured to take a chair by Larry or Bob. According to Bob’s watch, it’s still 5:00 when Corporal Larsen (John Sieben) flings himself through the doors on his 7:00 a.m. donut run, straight into the thieves, knocking them flat and giving the citizens and the chief the opportunity to wrangle Larry and Bob into some handcuffs.
The show ends with the cast singing, “The Java Café and the Greyhound Depot, Where you meet all kinds of interesting people,” an original song written by Udo Mueller.