Coffee, convicts and great comedy


ELK POINT – Just hours after RCMP apprehended an escaped convict from the Edmonton Institution near St. Paul, two other escaped convicts ambled onstage at the Elk Point Arts and Leisure Centre on the evening of March 4 to take starring roles in the first performance of this year’s Elk Point Community Choir dinner theatre presentation, “A Day at the Java Shop and Greyhound Bus Depot.”

Seasoned dinner theatre veteran Shaun Sheplawy, starring as Bob (and sometimes Lucy) and F. G. Miller High School teacher Kelly Burke, starring as Bob (and sometimes Angel) escaped the Lethbridge pen in a laundry cart and find themselves in some serious hot water when they try to carry out a heist plot started years earlier at the bus depot by a fellow inmate.

Three friendly waitresses, Josie (Shayla Cameron), Linda (Velma Hudson) and Maxine (Doris Osinchuk), a Mexican (or maybe Danish) busgirl, Chantico (Dorothy Wuola), Greyhound driver Annie (Dixie Coleman), garage mechanics Kevin (Levi Jennings) and Mac (Erik Sjolin), not-so-hard-working ranchers Leroy (Udo Mueller) and Bill (Kendal Snyder), new-in-town twins Mary (Kamryn Coleman) and Sherri (Kiera Burke) and RCMP officers Larsen (John Sieben) and the chief (John Gottenbos), who also moonlights as a peddler, make their visit very interesting for the would-be robbers… and that’s even before famous country singer Johnny Cash (Bert Poulin) drops in to get his tour bus repaired.

The play is set in the 1960s in beautiful downtown Fort Macleod and was written by Roger Congrove, who wove some hit songs of Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash into the script, with Community Choir director Udo Mueller adding a couple of his own originals to the mix. The play was directed and produced by Barb Buryn.

Saturday’s show was the first of five performances for this year’s dinner theatre, which marks 24 years for the Community Choir’s entertaining and popular annual tradition. Tickets for the remaining performances are still available.


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Vicki Brooker