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REVIEW: Big laughs at Miracle Theatre’s opening weekend

Halfway There is all the way there for a good time and a good cause

Art Space, above Books & Company, has been transformed into a small town diner for Miracle Theatre’s run of Halfway There.

The play, set in a diner in Stewiacke, Nova Scotia, is fast-paced, witty and excellently acted.

The comedy centres around Dr. Sean Merrit, who ends up in the small town which is exactly halfway between the equator and the north pole.

Recently dumped by his fiancé, he’s down on his luck, but things change when he meets four local women during his first stop in town.

The play is written by Norm Foster, who is Canada’s most produced playwright; his plays are produced an average of 150 times a year.

It’s stacked with actors who each have a long list of credits in plays, television shows and films from throughout the country and beyond.

Along-side the Toronto-based doctor, the actors expertly play a bunch of clever and colourful Maritimers who always have a witty snappy answer at hand.

A stand out is Dolores Drake, who plays Rita, and her masterful maritime accent. Drake has been working in TV and film for 30 years. Her most recent film credits include Richard Says Goodbye with Johnny Depp and Always be My Maybe on Netflix.

The play is funny and enjoyable, but it’s also raising money for children in Prince George.

Miracle Theatre is run by producer Anne Laughlin and director Ted Price and hosts a production each year to raise money for local non-profits and charities.

The money raised from this year’s production will go to the Prince George Community Foundation to establish a Children of Prince George Fund, which will be an endowment fund so the annual investment earnings will accumulate each year and go to children’s charities in the community.

“The proceeds that are raised at Miracle Theatre go to community endeavours,” said Mayor Lyn Hall, who spoke for a few moments at the opening of the play.

“There are a number of children in our city who certainly require assistance and through the kind-heartedness of Ted and Anne and the work they do at Miracle Theatre, well beyond the theatrical performances, it has a direct impact on our community.”

Proceeds from the sale of raffle tickets at the play are also going towards buying the Child Development Centre in Prince George a Bugzi, which is a training device to help very young children learn how to use a motorized wheelchair.

Even before opening weekend, there was so much community interest in the play that Price and Laughlin extended its run for five additional shows.

Originally planned for a four week-run ending on March 20, the play has now been extended to March 24.

Tickets for Halfway There are $33 and are available at Books & Company (1685 Third Ave.) or by phoning 250-563-6637.