Area theater roundup

Area theater roundup

Red Mask opens 76th season

DANVILLE — The Red Mask Players will open its 76th season with "Arms and the Man," playing Friday through Nov. 4 and Nov. 9-11 at the Kathryn Randolph Theater, 601 N. Vermilion St.

A witty, make-love-not-war farce, "Arms and the Man" is a comedy classic by George Bernard Shaw that takes place in 1885, during the Serbo-Bulgarian War.

Raina Petkoff is engaged to the gallant Sergius Saranoff, accidental hero of the recent Bulgarian victory over the Serbs. But she is distracted by the abrupt arrival of Capt. Bluntschli, a Swiss mercenary who fought for the Serbian army. He takes refuge in her bedroom after the battle and, although he is initially threatening, reveals that he carries chocolates instead of bullets.

Will Raina marry the posturing Sergius or the chocolate cream soldier? Extra intrigue is provided by saucy servant girl Louka, her dour fianc Nicola and Raina's hand-wringing parents, Catherine and Maj. Petkoff.

The cast includes Julia Reynolds as Raina, Chad Myler as Bluntschli, Dave Techtow as Saranoff, Leslie VanCamp as Louka, Brad Smith as Nicola, Jamey Coutant as Catherine, Jim Crain as Maj. Petkoff and Austin Hardy as the Officer.

"Arms and the Man" is directed by Bev Nees.

Friday and Saturday performances are at 8 p.m.; the Sunday performances are at 2.

Tickets can be reserved by calling 442-5858 or emailing For more information, call Nees at 446-5571 or 260-4566 or email Or call Nancy Henderson at 443-5830 or 260-5830 or email

Dinner theater shows set to start in Clinton

CLINTON — Tickets are on sale for the DeWitt County Restoration Association's Dinner Theater presentation of "Welcome to Big Rock," an original musical comedy written by local playwright Melanie Cheatham.

In the play, the wonderful and wacky residents of the small town of Big Rock join together to compete for a spot on a television reality show. The show, along with a full dinner menu and open bar, will be presented Friday and Saturday at the American Legion, 219 N. Elizabeth St., Clinton.

The doors will open at 6 p.m. for each of the performances, with the play beginning at 7. A dessert matine performance also will be offered at 2 p.m. Sunday, with the doors opening at 1.

Tickets are $40 per person for the dinner theater and $25 for the matine. They may be purchased from cast members, the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce, Graves Stationers and at

The DeWitt County Restoration Association is a nonprofit organization that works with residents and businesses in the county, as well as with those who have moved away, who hope to preserve local historical structures.

So far through private and public contributions and fundraising projects, the association has restored the downtown 1920s clock, kept the 1908 Woodlawn Cemetery decorative iron fence and saved the 1872 Magill House from demolition.

All profits from the dinner theater will go to the restoration of the Magill House. The association plans to lease 2,800 square feet on the first floor or open a black box theater and arts center in the space while the second and third floors are restored.

Parkland student production debuting

CHAMPAIGN — The Parkland College Theatre will celebrate its 25th anniversary with an original, student-written murder mystery presented in a dessert/dinner theater atmosphere.

"Merely Players," the 22nd annual Parkland student production, was written and directed for the anniversary event by Stefanie Senior, a theater scholarship recipient.

The performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and at 3 p.m. Nov. 4.

The play centers on a Parkland Theatre revue and retrospective that goes terribly wrong — the director is murdered! Audience members will enjoy beverages and bite-sized desserts at their on-stage tables.

However, for one night only, Friday, a full dinner option will be offered. Students from the Parkland hospitality department will prepare and serve a three-course meal in their restaurant. Afterward, audience members will move to their reserved tables in the theater for desserts and the performance.

Parkland students also will direct "Merely Players," design the lights and sound, create the costumes and perform. Proceeds from the show will support the Randall Millas Theatre Scholarship program.

Dessert theater tickets are $10 and include beverages, desserts and the show.

The ticket price for the full dinner and show is $25. Make reservations at or by calling 351-2528.

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