Variety is the spice of life

Fourteen Fort Frances women voluntarily have taken on new identities and new looks—all for a good cause.
They’re called the Vala Follies, Northwestern Ontario’s answer to the Rockettes, and will be starring in The Vala Variety Show.
The curtain rises Feb. 12 to raise literacy awareness and funds for the Valley Adult Learning Association.
The show will take audiences on a trip back in time with music from Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, the Clooney Sisters, and Judy Garland.
Local band “North of the Trax” also will take to the stage, as well as a tap dancing group (name pending).
As well, audiences will be treated to the musical stylings of barber shop quartet “Best of Pals” and a few other surprise guests.
The show centres around a group of women who all have gone to New York to dance in Mademoiselle Cherie’s dance school. Director Barb Duguay has been leading rehearsals, along with dance instructor Sherree Denby, since September.
Duguay was inspired to make her directional debut after seeing Hamilton’s “Gerintol Follies” last June.
“The ‘Gerintol Follies’ performance was so entertaining, I thought to myself, why not bring this show to Fort Frances,” said Duguay. “That evening I was so inspired to start my own dance line, I immediately went on a mission to recruit 14 women.
“This is a show you won’t want to miss!” she enthused.
The Vala Variety Show has two performances only on Saturday, Feb. 12 at the Townshend Theatre.
Tickets cost $10 for the 2 p.m. performance and $15 for the 7 p.m. one. Tickets for students and children cost $5 for each show.
Tickets are available in at Betty’s, Northwoods, and Nirvana in Fort Frances,. The Corner Closet in Emo, and the Rainy River Record in Rainy River.
All money raised will go towards the Valley Adult Learning Association’s literacy program.
As well, a garage sale will be held at intermission, so feel free to bring an item to donate!
For more information, call Duguay at the VALA office (274-3553).