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County Seat Theater to do remake of 'Everybody Loves Opal'

Opal's (played by Corey Fischer) optimism and unfailing kindness begins to warm the heart of Solomon (Mike Jurek) in the County Seat Theater Company production of "Everybody Loves Opal" opening this weekend. Contributed Photo

The County Seat Theater Company is celebrating 30 years of community theater in Carlton County.

"As part of our 30th season we will be highlighting some of our favorite shows of the past throughout the year," said Joel Soukkala, general manager. "It's a new director, new cast and we are performing it in a different venue, but the story is still as funny and sweet as it was 24 years ago."

The theater company originally presented "Everybody Loves Opal" four times over two weekends to a total of 505 people in the Carlton High School Gymnasium/Auditorium in 1993. Tickets sold for only $4 for adults and $2 for children. The royalty fees paid for the show were only $202 and the theater made a profit that year of $819.67.

"Looking back, it was a simpler time," said founder Cheryl Kramer-Milder. "I remember very clearly that we strived for a quality production from the beginning, which is a big part of what has sustained us all of these glorious years."

Opal Kronkie (played by Corey Fischer), a middle-aged recluse, lives in a tumbledown mansion at the edge of the municipal dump. Into her rather strange world comes Gloria (Jodie Jurek), Bradford (Sean Biskey) and Solomon (Mike Jurek), three purveyors of bogus perfume on the lam from the authorities. Opal's menage is the perfect hideout — and Opal, herself, might be the remedy for their shattered finances. They decide what she needs is plenty of insurance, a rapid demise, and three beneficiaries. Attempted murder wouldn't seem to be funny, but in playwright John Patrick's magic hands it is uproarious.

"It's a humorous, heartwarming story that shows how you can affect your own corner of the world with an upbeat attitude and a commitment to yourself and others," said director Greg Anderson. "It's infectious in the best possible way."

The County Seat Theater Company will present local performances of "Everybody Loves Opal" May 12-14 and 17-21 at the Encore Performing Arts Center in Cloquet. Performances are at 7 p.m. except Sunday performances at 2 p.m. Tickets can be reserved by calling the box office at 218-878-0071 or online at www.countyseattheater.com.

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