Buchanan Black Box Players present a heart-warming comedy

“If things seem too good to be true, then you must be in Paradise Junction!” was a catch phrase oft repeated during the dinner theatre performance of the Buchanan Black Box Players (BBBP) in their production of the play Trouble in Paradise Junction.

On March 23, 24 and 25 the stage in the Buchanan Community Centre was transformed into the town of Paradise Junction.

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The synopsis of the play started out with the words “In this love letter to small town life, Paradise Junction is the ‘best little town in the world,’ a place where everyone gets along, the sun is always shining, and tomatoes grow as big as beach balls.”

In his director’s message, Steve Merriam said “In my directorial debut, I am pleased to present this newly published work by Todd Wallinger, Trouble in Paradise Junction.

“I was delighted to discover this light-hearted comedy that has many connections to our own lives in rural Saskatchewan,” Merriam said.

The BBBP have been together for 25 years and have staged 23 comedy performances as a theatre group. There were 25 character parts in this play which was their 23rd effort.

“We have more than half a dozen people in this group who are charter members,” said Sandra Nordin, club treasurer. “Our club is very lucky to have the support of local talent from the communities of Canora, Good Spirit Lake Resorts, Preeceville, Rama, Sturgis and Yorkton who have joined Buchanan’s thespians this year.

“It is difficult to find a play that has so many character parts, so I think we were lucky to find this one,” Nordin said.

The group started practicing near the end of January and the cast and crew sometimes found themselves traveling in less than desirable conditions, the play’s program said.

The play began with Joe Goode, played by Steven Wyonzek, explaining to the audience just how wonderful it was to live in the town of Paradise Junction.

The idyllic life of the townspeople began to unravel when a TV network offered to film a reality show there, in return for $5 million.

Reality show host Wink Smiley, played by Andrew Hoffman, had his own agenda and found ways to pit the townsfolk against one another.

Mayhem abounded, while Joe Goode struggled to find a way to save the beloved town of Paradise Junction.

Other members of the cast included: Tammy Senholt as Edna Hochelmeier; Sharon Murray as Gertie Dalrymple; Les Carlson as Fred Mendelbaum; Ernie Kozak as Ernie Hochelmeier; Nick Woloschuk as Nick; Malcolm Broughton as Big Finn; Val Edwards as Lotte Larue; Darryl Goossen as Charlie Ruckus; Betty Tomilin as Miss Crotchet; Erin Graas as Mayor Flo; Pat Leung as Martha McGillicuddy; Abby Fichtner as Arabella McGillicuddy and Tourist Girl; Steve Merriam (director) as Wilbur Hochelmeier; Bob Edwards as Horace McGillicuddy; Diana Fehr as Polly Day; Morley Leung as Sam; Clifford Sorestad as Sal; Lorna Ratushniak as Velma Pilcher; Laura Chartrand as Tina Powers; Lisa St. Mars as Nora Davies; Ador Sorestad as Tourist Mom and AJ Bathgate as Tourist Dad.

“The BBBP is grateful for longtime key people of the club who help make our dinner theatre a success, including Wendy Norrish and Donna Norrish, our bar managers, and Marie Kupchinski who is in charge of makeup and backstage wardrobe,” said Nordin.

“Another person we are lucky to have is Sarah Carlson who creates a beautiful quilt for our raffle each year.

“Then we have a lot of other people, listed in the program, who come in for the evenings of our performances and put in their time helping the show come to life as a whole with the dinner, bar and raffle.  

“A big percentage of Buchanan’s village and local rural area is involved with our club, or has been in the past, and we are very fortunate to have such great community support.”