By Vicki Kellar
Who knew that our Beaver Valley members were such ardent theatre aficionados? Since 2005, when we enjoyed Lost in Yonkers in Drayton, Hello Dolly in Stratford and Les Miserables at Toronto’s Mirvish, 30 theatre trips have been organized by our Social committee, which originated with Wilma O’Brien and Stella Zahradnik.
The majority of our excursions were to The Stratford Festival, everything from the classic musicals Oliver and South Pacific in 2006 to West Side Story (2009), Evita (2010), Fiddler on the Roof (2013) and the acclaimed Billy Elliot The Musical in 2019. Our daytrips have included favourite Shakespearean comedies such as The Merry Wives of Windsor (2011) and the Comedy of Errors (2018) plus many more at the Festival & Avon Theaters.
Of course what would a bus trip to Stratford be without a stopover in Millbank for the famous Anna Mae’s Mennonite sourced lunch? Her bakery, plus the cheese shop down the street, always provided many treats that were very often a post theatre snack, never making it home.
The Canadian award winning Come From Away was a memorable trip to Toronto; that time to the Royal Alexandra theatre in 2018. North York was another destination with the Dancap Productions at the Toronto Centre for Arts. Between 2009 and 2012 we loved singing along at the Million Dollar Quartet, to the Jersey Boys and with Memphis. Many restaurants provided our lunches from Tim’s to Milestones. And who of those on the bus can forget having to ditch that broken transport, in Stayner at Tim Horton’s, hitching a school bus ride back to Thornbury. Luckily we were able to rebook for a later performance.
For local enjoyment the King’s Wharf Theatre has been a favoured choice starting in 2013. Vicki Kellar has been able to share her musical preferences at that site as well as Dancap. These included Twist & Shout, Legends of Rock’n’Roll, Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Cruisin' Classics. In 2019, while anticipating the start of the comedic farce Shear Madness, our Club was recognized from the stage as regular supporters. Picnic lunches re arranged by some and fun group dinners followed the shows first at Henry’s South for fish and then in the Midland Harbour, inside and out at the Boathouse Eatery.
In keeping to our theatre theme, we wish to call on Stella Zahradnik, our Social Convenor, for a virtual ‘onstage curtsy’. Stella is the organizing whiz who directed the vast majority of our theatre events over the years and thankfully is continuing to do so. Hopefully 2022 will see our return to live theatre.
See photos taken at some of our theatre events below! All of the photos were taken during intermission at the King's Wharf Theatre in Penetanguishene, which is part of the Drayton Festival Theatre Group. The theatre is located in Discovery Harbour, a Provincial Park. Discovery Harbour traces its roots back to the original British naval and military base in Penetanguishene, built to safeguard access to Upper Canada after the War of 1812.