Here we go again...

Posted on Thursday, February 25, 2010 by Pat Gaik

Girls and Gangsters Garner Guffaws in the Country

Conklin’s Barn II Dinner Theatre is excited to announce the opening of their premiere production of the hilarious Robin Hawdon farce “Shady Business” on March 11 and playing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday brunches through May 2.

Robin Hawdon, author of such comedy hits as “Perfect Wedding,” “Don’t Dress for Dinner” and “The Mating Game” has created a hysterical comedy involving dancing girls, mobsters and two hapless guys who get in way over their heads. The comedy opens with Larry waking up next to Mandy, a showgirl, in her apartment in Reno. Unfortunately, her jealous boss Big Mack is on his way to pick up the week’s profits from his various illegal operations, which are delivered to Mandy’s apartment. With Larry hiding in the bathroom, best friend Tania gets involved trying to hide him from Big Mack and his bodyguard, but mistakes delivery boy Terry for Larry and sets in motion a series of mistaken identities and troubles that erupt hilariously with Larry winding up in a dress as “Laura” during a very unusual and uncomfortable dinner party for Mack, Mandy, Tania, Terry and an amorous loan shark on the make.

Funny men Dan Challacombe and Pat Gaik head up the cast as Larry and Terry, with Miranda Axsom and Diann Thompson as Mandy and Tania. Chad Kirvan plays mob boss Big Mack, with John Johnson as loan shark Harry the Hammer and Parrish Worsfold as bodyguard Dozer.

The show is directed by Mary Simon. Set design is by Tom Weber, technical direction is by April Wyant, and publicity is by Pat Gaik. Conklin’s Barn II is known for its delicious buffet which, on evening performances, includes four main entrees featuring the Barn’s renowned prime rib and fried chicken, with salad, homemade soup and cheese spread, and a choice of four taste-tempting, homemade desserts. Prices for dinner and show are $31.00 on Thursday evenings, $33.00 on Friday evening and Sunday brunch, and $35.00 on Saturday evening, including tax. There is no performance on Easter Sunday. No advance payment is required. Conklin’s is also BYOB for wine, beer or cocktails. Glasses, ice and ice buckets are provided at no extra charge. For reservations, call the box office at 309-965-2545. For more information, visit the Barn on the internet at

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