Two bouncy, up-beat musicals featuring popular songs will be performed outdoors when Brainerd Community Theatre presents “Sh-Boom, Life Could be a Dream” and “The Marvelous Wonderettes.”

“Sh-Boom” performances are Thursday and Friday, and “Marvelous Wonderettes” Aug. 3-6, both beginning at 6:30 p.m. on the Brainerd campus of Central Lakes College.

BCT Producer Patrick Spradlin and his team (George Marsolek, Lucy Peterson, and Curtis Jendro) saw the closing of indoor theatres due to COVID-19 as an opportunity. “We agreed that to not do anything at all was not an acceptable alternative,” said Spradlin. “So we started imagining theatre in different formats.”

One format was a totally streamed performance of the play ‘A Long Trip’ the week of June 16. Moving theatre outdoors was another idea, which led to the production of these two musicals.

“Sh-Boom — Life Could Be a Dream” follows the journey of Denny and Dreamers, a fledgling doo-wop group, as they vie to win a local radio contest. The trio has some talent but they need a certain something to really sell the group. Duke Henderson walks in from a potential sponsorship with Big Stuff Auto and quickly becomes the leading heartthrob of the group. But life needs a little drama. Enter Lois, the daughter of the owner of Big Stuff Auto. Each man has an immediate attraction to Lois but Duke seems to have caught her eye.

The musical is directed by Travis Chaput, known to local audiences primarily for his many roles in musicals and plays at virtually every local community theatre.

“The Marvelous Wonderettes” a cute, campy show about four glee club girls we first meet at their senior prom and then 10 years later at their high school reunion.  The girls get the honor of performing for their student body as the prom entertainment after the boys’ glee club leader gets caught smoking.  The show features some of the most well-known “girl group” songs of the 50’s-60’s and a storyline that is both funny & charming.  Both shows are geared for family audiences.

“Wonderettes” is directed by Amy Borash, long-time veteran of local theatre and dance instructor at Music General Dance Studio.

The production team for the shows include George Marsolek, set designer and technical director; Curtis Jendro, lighting and sound director; Sharon Hartley, costume designer; Lucy Peterson, box office manager. Both productions are choreographed by Borash, vocal direction by Jacob Hanson, and Alex Erickson is stage manager for both shows.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for those under 18. They will only be sold on day of performance, and only on site. General admission, first-come, first served. Cash or check only, no credit cards. Box office opens one hour prior to the show (5:30 p.m., with a 6:30 curtain time).

Park in the south lot of Central Lakes College. Exit off College Drive onto Mississippi Parkway  (look for signs at each of the roundabouts on College Drive).

Everyone is asked to bring their own lawn chair. There will be limited space for on-the-ground seating. Seating areas will be marked that maintain proper social distancing. Everyone is also encouraged to wear a face covering. Performers are distanced 15 feet from the first row of seating. Ushers and box office staff will be masked and gloved. Hand sanitizer is available to all.

Portable toilet facilities will be available on site. No coolers, large bags, glass containers, alcohol and tobacco are allowed on college grounds.


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