Christmas will be coming early to the lakecity as the Williams Lake Studio Theatre continues to prepare their new dinner theatre show Cariboo Magi.
Director Cathie Hamm and producer Mary-Jo Hilyer are excited and proud to be bringing this comedic play to the lakecity together. Hamm said she chose to do dinner theatre as her play will be celebrating the WLST’s 65 anniversary and she wanted to mark this event with a party.
That sentiment of celebrating the WLST’s anniversary was one Hilyer shared with Hamm, adding that she could think of no better way to do so than with a dinner theatre. It’s why Hilyer was pleased to announce tickets for this dinner theatre only production, that will take place in the TRU gymnasium, are going on sale Friday, Oct. 4.
There are several different dates, times and ticket prices depending on what type of meal audience members want, Hilyer said. There will be two dessert-only shows on Nov. 13 and 14 with tickets going for $35 a ticket with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. show, and desserts being served at intermission.
Meanwhile, Nov. 15, 16, 20, 21, 22 and 23 are the traditional dinner theatre nights with doors opening at 5: 30 p.m., dinner scheduled for 6 p.m., show starting at 7 p.m. and dessert, once more, being served at intermission, Hilyer said, for the price of $65 a person. For the first time, however, she said they’re thrilled to be offering a brunch show on Nov. 17 for $65 with doors opening at 11:00 a.m., brunch at 11:30 a.m. and the show scheduled for 12:30 p.m.
Tickets are on sale only at The Open Book for this show, Hilyer stressed, as they will have assigned seating for these nine shows. Capacity for each performance will be capped at 72 with eight people seated each at nine tables. Hilyer said the menu has yet to be selected.
“We usually do a three-week run but because this is dinner theatre only we took it down to two weeks with the brunch as an extra,” Hilyer explained.
Hamm said that due to its proximity to Christmas and it’s Christmas themes, this show would be a perfect venue for a staff party or an early present for the young thespians within the community.
An absurdist comedy set during the height of the Barkerville Gold Rush in 1870, Cariboo Magi tells the humorous tale of four lost souls who get thrown together in San Diego and decide to take on a theatre contract meant for a famous group. Made up of a Canadian who claims to be the last of the Mohicans, an eccentric saloon keeper with a skeleton in her closet, a pregnant child star who has grown too old for her roles and a drunken Anglican minister who has failed to convert anyone for over a decade, this unlikely troupe of actors heads north for Barkerville for a performance none will soon forget.
So far the play is coming together well, Hamm said, with her small cast of four actors really starting to connect and have fun with one another.
She said that there is nights where they’ve even been able to make herself, someone who has read the play cover to cover multiple time, laugh out loud on several occasions.
“Directing a play is an incredible thing because you’re always extremely nervous, very worried and really excited all at the same time,” Hamm said.
She thinks that people should come out and see Cariboo Magi for the experience of both dinner and theatre combined into one evening. Also, as the play is centred primarily around the journey these characters go on it will be a dynamic play, with characters at times moving through the audience.
As far as celebrating the anniversary, both Hilyer and Hamm agreed that it’s important to recognize and remember all the years of history the WLST has under its belt. They’d like the entire community out to come to celebrate that history with them at Cariboo Magi in November.
“We are one of the oldest amateur theatres in the province (so) we have a lot to be proud of,” Hilyer said. “We have sustained ups and downs, we’ve come this far and we’re getting better all the time. I think that’s something to celebrate.”