Rogers City Community Theatre doing musical comedy set in UP

Courtesy Photo The cast for Rogers City Community Theatre’s production of “A County Fair in da U.P., Yah Sure!” include, from left, Denise Perrault, Robert Starnes IV, Edward Perrault, Carrie Thornton and Robert Starnes III. Not pictured is Pearl T. Rude.

For its fall production, Rogers City Community Theatre offers a musical comedy for the whole family, “A County Fair in da U.P., Yah Sure!”

The show, opening Friday, is an adaptation of the hilarious musical originally titled, “A Don’t Hug Me County Fair,” with book and lyrics by Phil Olson and music by Paul Olson. These two brothers have written five musicals together in the “Don’t Hug Me” style, based on the standoffish nature of their Scandinavian heritage.

It’s county fair time at the Bunyan Bar, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, which means one thing: the Miss Walleye Queen Competition.

Bernice the waitress sees this as her big chance to win Miss Walleye Queen, to be discovered and more importantly, to have her face carved in butter at the State Fair. The trouble begins when Clara Johnson, the co-owner of the Bunyan Bar with her cantankerous husband, Gunner Johnson, decides she also wants to win Miss Walleye Queen.

But when Gunner’s estranged twin sister, Trigger, shows up to try to win the beauty pageant, things get ugly. Add to the mayhem, Kanute Gunderson, a local fishing guru, who gets Gunner to bet the bar that he can win Fishing Contest, and Aarvid Gisselsen, a fast-talking karaoke salesman, who is competing with Kanute for Bernice’s hand in marriage, and you have an all-out U.P battle with every man, woman and walleye for himself.

Who will win the fishing contest? Who will win Bernice’s affection? And who will win Miss Walleye Queen? Come to the show to find out the answers to these and other silly questions.

The show features 18 original songs listeners may want to sing while eating a pastie, including “Our Butter Face Queen,” “Pontoon Ladies,” “I’m Just a Pretty Forest Ranger,” “My Campfire is Burnin’ For You,” “If I Could Win Miss Walleye Queen” and “I’m a Bunyan Woman.” There is even a sing-along song so the audience can join right in on the fun.

The cast includes community favorites, Ed and Denise Perrault, cast as the husband and wife, Gunner and Clara Johnson. Also appearing are seasoned performers Bob Starnes as Kanute and Robert E. Starnes IV as Aarvid, and two new faces to the RCCT stage, Carrie Thornton as Bernice and Pearl T. Rude, as Trigger.

The director of the show is Karl W. Heidemann, with Karen Maher as assistant director. Riconda Lamb is serving as the show’s producer.

Performance dates are Oct. 27-Nov. 5 with show times at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are still the least expensive in all of Northern Michigan for live theatre: $12 for adults and $6 for all students.

Tickets are always available at the door one hour before curtain time. For those who want to buy them ahead of time, tickets are available at the Presque Isle County Newspapers office and Rogers City Chamber of Commerce office. Call 734-3861 for more information.