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Kevin Kling’s The Ice Fishing Play opens February 10

Like the fella from the Duluth paper wrote when he saw this show a while back, it’s kinda like “Joel and Ethan Coen meet Samuel Beckett,” and if they’d know somethin’ about that anywhere, it’d be up there in Duluth, eh?

You betcha.

So the name of this show is The Ice Fishing Play. Kevin Kling wrote it. Kevin’s a nice fella who grew up in Brooklyn Park and Maple Grove, just this side of Coon Rapids, if you know where I mean. Then he went to college at Gustavus Adolphus, where he learned to be quite the story teller. Here’s a little-known fact for you: A couple years ago, the Mayor of Minneapolis himself named Kevin the “Minnesota Story Laureate.” You mighta seen some of his shows at the Guthrie or heard him on NPR, which is kinda like Minnesota Public Radio only more so.

The story’s about this fella named Ron Huber, who’s got a little fishin’ resort up north and a wife who’s quite a gal but really ought to know better than to come bustlin’ around Ron’s ice fishing shack when he’s hot in pursuit of a big one, if you know what I mean. Poor Ron. All he wants is to be alone with his thoughts for a while but he just can’t get past all these “visitations,” and I got to admit some of ‘em are more than a little funny. One fella in the audience last time I went laughed right out loud, which is definitely not something we encourage in Minnesota but some times you just can help it. It’s that kinda show.

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Now, I’m not gonna give away any more spoilers, but I guess I can tell you that some of the other people in it besides Ron and Irene (who are played by Colin Nichols and Colleen Backer, by the way) are Ron’s brother Duffer, played by Scott De Broux; Francis and Shumway, a couple of preachers who wander in out of the cold and are played by Michael Pierce and Shannon Lampkin; Junior Swansen, the famous proprietor of Junior Swansen’s Fish Barn up there off Highway Ten and Lamont, played by Moses Weathers; and Ron his younger self, played by George Nichols. Adam Grun directed the whole shebang, and you might just agree that he did not do too bad at all.

This show starts on February 10th and you’ll have seven chances to see it, on Thursday (second week only), Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 and Sunday matinees at 2:00. It’s a two-acter, so come prepared to sit for a while, but don’t worry, there’s an intermission and you can go out in the lobby and get a little lunch if you need it. All of the performances are at the theatre in the Union Avenue Christian Church, 733 Union Avenue (just north of Delmar). Free parking and the theatre entrance are in the rear of the church. Tickets to the show are on sale right here.

Get your tickets now and come on out and see the show. You could do a lot worse, for sure.


Congratulations to our Theatre Circle Awards nominees

West End Players Guild snagged five nominations for the 2017 Theatre Circle Awards, presented by theatre critics for outstanding work by professional theatre companies in our area.

Tom Kopp earned a nomination for outstanding actor in a comedy for his work as Frank in Educating Rita.

The “better half” of our Educating Rita cast, Maggie Wininger, was nominated for outstanding actress in a comedy for her performance as Rita.

Kristin Rion, who played Thomasina in our production of Arcadia, was nominated for outstanding supporting actress in a drama.

And, two of our casts were honored with nominations for best ensemble:

Kristin, Michael Cassidy Flynn, Scott De Broux, Andrew Kuhlman, Carl Overly, Jr., Ann Marie Mohr, Anthony Wininger, Nicole Angeli, Erin Renee Roberts, John Wolbers, Jaz Tucker and Mason Hunt in Arcadia, directed by Ellie Schwetye;

and Jeremy Goldmeier, Emily Johnson, Ariel Roukaerts and Zach Venturella in Manifest|Destiny, directed by Steve Callahan.

The awards will be presented March 20th.