Loons and love continue this weekend at Hilltop Hall


Curtain Call Theatre continues its dinner-theatre production of the popular 1981 movie “On Golden Pond” at Hilltop Hall this weekend. You will remember the sweet movie featured Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn and Fonda’s daughter, Jane. I remember the movie well, and when I heard Curtain Call was doing it, I thought it would be a perfect play to do for the intimate dinner theatre setting.
The production is made up of a talented cast. Montgomery’s John Grimm plays the lead role of Norman Thayer. Fran Bohlke of Jordan, plays Norman’s wife, Ethel. She knows the part very well because she has played it twice before for other theater groups.  Peg Cowart from Lonsdale plays the Thayer’s daughter Chelsea. She is no stranger to theatre either. She was recently in John’s creation “It’s About Us”.
Charlie the mailman is played by musician Wade Fradenburgh who has worked with John in the past.  
The young street-wise Billy Ray Jr. is played by Dylan Vilt, a middle school student in New Prague. Dylan is one busy boy. In addition to school, and “On Golden Pond” he is also rehearsing a part in “The Great Nursing Home Escape”, a Curtain Call Production that will be peformed for the Minnesota Association of Community Theatres on March 16.
The last cast member, as you may have noticed in the cast photo is me. How I got the part occured by happenstance. I attended auditions on January 6 and 7 as a newspaper writer to do a story on the audition process. I planned on getting a photo of someone auditioning, get their theatre background, and write a story.
Only, when I attended the auditions for my “story”, I ended up auditioning myself. The day I attended was a slow audition day. Curtain Call’s Larry Pint who directs the show, and John, who had tried out for a part, were both waiting for people when they asked me to read for a part. 
“Oh boy,” I thought to myself, so I gave it a try. Afterall, I had done some theatre before. I was in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, “Music Man”, and “Sound of Music”, but I had never done the dinner theatre where the audience’s proximity to the stage is soooo close.
I got the part of Chelsea’s boyfriend, Bill Ray, the dentist, who comes with Chelsea to the lakehome to celebrate Norman’s 80th birthday. Part of my scene involves me telling Norman that I really want to sleep in the same room, in the same bed, with Chelsea. After some dialogue, I get to “tell him off”  because I know the mind game he is playing. 
It’s a fun part. The show is great, thanks to the great cast and director. And the dinner by Pizzeria 201 will be great as well. 
The play continues this Friday and Saturday nights. Dinner is at 6:15 p.m., with the show at 7:30 p.m. Dinner at the Sunday matinee is at 12:15 p.m., with the show at 1:13 p.m.

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