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Uncle Phil's Diner comes back to town

Ed Anderson as PJ the DJ in Uncle Phil's Diner #2, points to Kelliher on the map. How hard can it be for the band Uncle Phil's Diner has hired, The Desotos, to find Kelliher? PJ seems to think it is pretty obvious. To reserve yourself a seat for the performance, call Mary or Linda at 647-8286.1 / 2
Uncle Phil, played by Bill Hoffmann in Uncle Phil's Diner #2, rehearses the scene of finding out the band he is hired is lost and will not be making it to his diner. What is his staff going to do to entertain such a large crowd? Audiences will have to attend one or both of the performances April 9-10 at 5:48 p.m. at the Old Kelliher School Center to find out.2 / 2

Uncle Phil's Diner is back and this time, there's a new problem. The Kelliher Community Theater in cooperation with Kelliher School will be presenting Uncle Phil's Diner #2 April 9-10 at the Old School Center in Kelliher.

They play, which will be a spin off from the first one back in December will welcome back many familiar faces including Bill Hoffmann as Uncle Phil, Ed Anderson as PJ the DJ, Patsy Eklund as mom, Mary Lunden as Flodene, Tim Lutz as Wally, Dawn Jensen as Gertie along with several of the same student cast members.

"It wasn't hard to get these people back," said Sandy Tichy, who works public relations for the play. "They were all very anxious to work on the production again. We still have our sets all in place, too."

Director Calvin Mayers joined the team again as well as a new stage manager, Kelly Metzler, who is doing "an excellent job," according to Tichy. The cast members will only have had about a month of rehearsals by the time the show hits the stage.

The play will again be an interactive dinner theater -- enlightening audience members to a fun night of food, music and memories from the '50s.

"The dinner and getting the audience involved went over so well back in December, we just had to do it again," Tichy said. "There will be games, events and audience participation -- it'll be a fun time."

The dinner will be catered by Pam Smischney and her daughter, Lissa Adelman of Pam's Kitchen in Kelliher. They will be serving beef stew, coleslaw, dinner rolls, pumpkin bars, coffee and milk.

The plot of the play this time around starts with the basic concept of Uncle Phil looking for a new way to make some extra money for the diner. He decides to hire a rock and roll band, The Desotos, to play at the diner. There's just one problem -- the band can't find their way to Kelliher.

"They get lost," Tichy said. "They don't know how to get to Kelliher. They end up in Northome, they end up in Blackduck, they may make it to Baudette for all we know. They just never make it to the diner."

Tichy made sure to stress that the idea of the band getting lost is how the story goes.

"It is all part of the play," she said. "That's just the problem this time at Uncle Phil's."

The story will go on to show how the staff at the diner entertains the crowd that has shown up to see the band.

"They make it interesting for the people," Tichy said.

To see just how the staff handles the hectic situations, reserve your tickets by callling Linda or Mary at 647-8286. Performances will be April 9-10 at 5:48 p.m.

It is safe to say, there is always something going on at Uncle Phil's Diner.