VALA show to offer ‘wacky’ river cruise

Audience members attending the 2008 VALA Follies variety show will be treated to a “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 Wacky River Cruise,” slated for Friday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. and again Saturday, Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., will feature famous performers, like Dolly Parton, Porter Wagner, the Blues Brothers, and The Beatles.
“We’re saving the best for last,” director Babs Spielberg (a.k.a. Barb Duguay) said of The Beatles. “People will not want to miss them singing two of their most popular songs.”
They will be performing in Hannam Park in Rainy River—the final destination of the cruise. And those on the cruise will get a “free ticket” to The Beatles concert.
In addition to the famous performances, 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, and Winnipeg’s own Harlequin Barbershop Quartet performing some show-stopping tunes.
There also will be a surprise wedding onboard, 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.”
“People will really feel like they are on a cruise,” Duguay enthused, adding there will be sound effects like a fog horn and water birds.
There also will be plenty to do during the intermission. Tickets will be available on a picture by Val Larson and there will be a picnic basket raffle.
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 and there will be a pie sale. Anyone willing to donate a pie is asked to call Edna Lambert at 274-1053.
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.
“This show would not run without the lighting crew, the sound man, the ushers,” Duguay stressed. “Without their help, this wouldn’t even fly, so we the board and staff of VALA thanks all the volunteers who make this show such as success.”
The shows will be held at the Townshend Theatre, with advance tickets available at Betty’s on Scott St. They cost $16 for adults for the two evening shows and $13 for the matinee, and $8 for students and seniors for all three.
One dollar from each ticket sold will go towards the Fort Frances Public Library’s “Building for the Future” fundraising campaign.
People are encouraged to get their tickets early for this fantastic show as they are known to go quickly.
“It’s going to be a great show,” Duguay promised. “It will be a full two hours of great entertainment and a lot of fun.”
For more information, contact the Valley Adult Learning Association at 274-3553.