Community theatre fills niche - Delhi News-Record - Ontario, CA


Community theatre fills niche

Posted By Mike Jiggens
Posted 2 days ago

Community theatre appears to be alive and well in small town Delhi.

A little more than a week ago, the musical comedy Nunsense played to healthy-sized audiences on three consecutive days at the Backstage Capitol Theatre, earning plaudits each time for its characterizations, comedic timing and strong musical numbers.

It's something that's been missing in this town for many years. Anyone wishing to enjoy good community theatre had to at least travel to Simcoe, Tillsonburg or Brantford to experience it. Now that we're blessed with the ideal venue for local theatre — namely the Backstage Capitol — there are new opportunities to catch it in our own backyard.

There's more of it coming. On May 29, the same five ladies who performed in Nunsense will return to perform in a show of another kind, called Diamond Divas. Again, music will be at the forefront with a salute to the classic hits of yesteryear, including rock, country and pop. Having seen and enjoyed Nunsense, it is our plan to see what these same performers can do outside their habits.

As was the case with Nunsense, Diamond Divas will presumably be directed by Brantford's Joan Minnery, whose resume in local theatre cannot be summed up in one page. She has acted, directed and sang in countless stage performances, and teaches her craft to young and eager enthusiasts. Her involvement in Nunsense, doing double duty as director and performer, gave the production instant credibility. Although her four co-performers don't have quite the same amount of stage experience, they weren't at all out of place in Nunsense and, in fact, seemed to have a natural chemistry among them.

Diamond Divas is likely to be an apt follow-up to their first stage performance together as a unit.

At both community theatre performances I've attended since the opening of the Backstage Capitol — the other being Too Heavy to Fly in November 2008 — the atmosphere inside the building has been tailored to match the show itself. Ticket takers, ushers and those working the concession booth have attired themselves in costumes, which makes the patron feel as if he himself is a part of the show. These individuals wore the same habits as the stage performers, giving the show-goer a feel for what's about to come.

The cost of a ticket isn't going to set anyone back. For $15, the quality of entertainment was a bargain.

Who knows? If Diamond Divas is as well received as Nunsense, perhaps this five-woman ensemble will be contemplating new projects to tackle as a team.

The Backstage Capitol has become a nice little gem for Delhi. Aside from community theatre, there are a number of upcoming shows, which pay tribute to some of the finest musical performers of the past half-century, including Patsy Cline, Kenny Rogers and Johnny Cash.


Mike Jiggens is a Delhi resident. His column appears regularly in the Delhi News-Record

Community theatre fills niche - Delhi News-Record - Ontario, CA

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