'Cruising' into Otter Valley Playhouse

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Returning to Tillsonburg, at the Otter Valley Playhouse, will be the Canadian Country Cruisers.

This is a high-energy group of talented people whose sole purpose is to entertain you. Well, they like to have fun too, which becomes very evident when you see their show.

This year’s production, ‘Cruisers’ Mourning’ is a comedic show that will have great singing, dancing and music.

Seventeen years ago the Cruisers began their journey under the leadership of Lena Kovacs. Over the years, they have entertained audiences in many local communities and have performed at Pt. Dover’s Lighthouse Festival Theatre, Tillsonburg’s Otter Valley Playhouse, and Delhi’s Backstage Capital Theatre. Lena has written and directed several plays that have been performed at Port Dover and the Delhi Belgian Hall.

They have even hit a few big cities on their journey. One of the highlights of the team’s accomplishments was winning the World Championship in Nashville in 2007 for best in the Showtime Category.

In this production, they will be using both recorded music and a live band. Their singing is performed by three male vocalists (except one number which is partially lip-synched by a surprise female Canadian music icon). Their group has no restriction to age and currently ranges from those in their high 30s, right through to 60-plus.

They are based in Delhi and all the talent is from the local area and with members involved in a wide range of vocations. There are currently 20 active members plus their live band Bowlby Crossing which has seven talented local musicians.

When doing my own musical productions I am always amazed at the talent in our area. The Cruisers criteria for being an active member seems to be the same that I always hold to, and that is to have fun. When people are having fun on stage their natural flair for entertaining, dancing, singing, and acting multiplies many times as it passes through the front curtain, into the audience. It is guaranteed that if the cast and crew are having a good time, the audience will be smiling, laughing, tapping their toes in the aisles and maybe even trying to sing along.

In as much as they are talented and having a good time, they are also working hard. Any production takes hours behind the scenes to plan, organize and rehearse. This group normally meets twice a week and in the month leading up to their show dates, they bump that up to three times a week. It takes a lot of time and effort to make a show relaxed and fun.

Lena Kovac has put together this year’s show from her own background.

She was the eighteenth of 20 children, growing up in a Mexican Mennonite family, which has provided her with a multitude of memories and experiences which inevitably get incorporated into her scripts. Cruisers’ Mourning is no exception - it is a whodunit murder-mystery/comedy that has some twists and turns along the way and some great vocals, dancing and music infused with the live band.

The show will be performed at the Otter Valley Playhouse, on Potters Rd., Friday, June 7th and Saturday, June 8th with curtain at 8 p.m., and a Sunday matinee June 9th at 2 p.m.

All tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the Imagine Box Office 519-842-2737, toll free: 1-800-936-0157, by email, at First Ontario Credit Union c/o Kim Malcolm, at 157 Broadway, Tillsonburg or E.R. Adams Insurance c/o John Kovacs, 19 Brock St. W., Tillsonburg. (Please do not call Theatre Tillsonburg box office.)




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