VALA show all set to go this weekend

Singing, dancing, and colourful costumes will light up the Townshend Theatre stage this Friday and Saturday as the VALA variety show offers up its “Wacky River Cruise,” which will begin in Fort Frances and continue on down the Rainy River—stopping in such ports as Emo, Barwick, Stratton, and Rainy River.
The show will be held Friday at 7 p.m., and again Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
“I have to admit, I always say it’s going to be the best show yet, but this time I think it really is going to be the best because we’ve got such good talent,” enthused director Babs Spielberg (a.k.a. Barb Duguay).
She noted proceeds from the show will go towards the VALA literacy program to provide more services and buy more technology.
“Literacy encompasses more than just reading and writing,” Duguay explained. “We’re now into workplace literacy.”
She added VALA, open to anyone over the age of 18, will help people upgrade their skills in the workplace by offering a range of classes and workshops—from computer classes, digital media camera classes, workplace communications workshops, and the Academic Career Entrance (ACE) program.
As such, Duguay said she really hopes people will come out to support a very worthy cause.
This weekend’s shows will feature famous performers, like Dolly Parton, Porter Wagner, the Blues Brothers, Patsy Cline, and The Beatles.
There also will be plenty to see and do on the cruise—and at each port.
For instance, other entertainment will include “North of the Trax” playing in the Moose Lounge, the Sassy Sexy Seniors from Thunder Bay offering up a dance number, a Can-Can group from Koochiching, and Winnipeg’s own Harlequin Barbershop Quartet performing some show-stopping tunes.
There also will be a surprise wedding on board, a time for shopping in Emo, and a visit to the car museum.
As well, those on the river cruise will be able to participate in karaoke and will hear a string quartet play during the captain’s dinner.
And, of course, there will be performances by the VALA Follies themselves, dancing to “Rock this Town” and “All that Jazz.”
The show will run about two-and-a-half hours, with a 15-minute intermission.
There also will be plenty to do during the break. Tickets will be available on a picture by Val Larson, and there will be a picnic basket raffle and pie sale.
People also will be able to place orders through the Pampered Chef, which gives a percentage of its end sales to a non-profit organization.
As well, the cruise ship entertainer will be inviting the audience to dance.
Those on the cruise also will hear from Ginger (Robin McCormick) from “Gilligan’s Island,” who will tell about how she survived three days aboard the “Wacky River Cruise,” and will meet Mr. and Mrs. Thurston Howell III (Gus and Barb MacDonell).
Others involved in the show include Karon Kaminski, Rochelle Duchnicki, John Rafferty, Terry Higgins, Frank Ball, Myron Hawrylak, Colleen Cote, Melanie Bodnar, the Fort Frances Highlanders Pipes and Drums, Dancemaker Divas, the Walkettes, and Denby dance group the “Infernos”—just to name a few.
Princess Stephanee (a.k.a. Kim Redford) is the producer while Bridget Dobranski is the assistant for the show.
“It’s going to be just excellent—definitely worth coming out to see,” stressed Duguay, noting several acts were just beyond her expectations.
Advance tickets are available at Betty’s. They cost $16 for adults for the two evening shows and $13 for the matinee, and $8 for students for all three.
Tickets also will be available at the door. But since assigned seating is being offered for the first time, anyone wanting a particular seat should get their tickets in advance.
One dollar from each ticket sold will go towards the Fort Frances Public Library’s “Building for the Future” fundraising campaign for a new library here.
For more information, contact the Valley Adult Learning Association at 274-3553.