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Kelliher Commununity Theater: Dinner theater to feature meatloaf

Mary Lundin and Bill Hoffman rehearse a scene from the community theater presentation of "Christmas at Uncle Phil's Diner" dinner theater. Curtain time is 5:48 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Old School Auditorium. Submitted Photo

The Kelliher Community Theater will perform a one-night-only showing of "Christmas at Uncle Phil's Diner, No Room at the Diner."

Audience members can enjoy a meatloaf dinner, Christmas music, audience participation and the performance. The curtain will rise at 5:48 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, in the Old School Gymnasium in Kelliher. Reservations are advised by calling contact Peggy Pula at 647-8553. Tickets cost $10 plus one can of food to be donated to the Bemidji Community Food Shelf.

The production will feature 24 community cast members as well as nine choir members.

"We won't pick on anyone, but we like to get the audience involved," said Sandy Tichy, the publicist and house manager for the play.

Community Theater in Kelliher has been putting on shows for over 20 years. It highlights a holiday performance about every other year. The theater also works in conjunction with the school.

"We want to get as many of the kids in ninth through 12 grades involved," Tichy said.

In this particular production, the setting is a 1957 diner owned and operated by Uncle Phil. PJ the DJ decides he wants to use the facility for holiday banquets. When PJ overbooks the diner, extra staff is hired to accommodate the overflow of guests. The staff then frantically seats the abundance of people on the roof, next to the furnace and by the back door.

"All of the craziness starts to mushroom together and Uncle Phil feels like he is losing the meaning of Christmas," explained Tichy.

No need to worry, however, Uncle Phil gets the spirit back in the end.

"We've done a lot of Christmas performances in the past," Director Calvin Mayers said. "People seem to always like them."