Music could be heard from the Royal Canadian Legion Hall in Botwood on Wednesday evening, May 28, the sounds of a huge party going on.
© Darren Mills photo
Some of the musical talent getting ready for the "Pig and Whistle show.” Front row are: Florence Horwood, John Horwood and Bob Hart; and back row: Pat Rees, Bev Manual, Bill Flynn, Bob Norman and William (Bill) Humber.
Inside the empty building, on a makeshift stage, a band of characters dressed in hats and other bits of costumes, were practising various musical numbers familiar in traditional shed parties from around the bay. William (Bill) Humber stopped long enough to give some information on just who this band of characters was.
Humber said after the success of the dinner theater over the last couple years and the completion of the events for the Flying Boat Festival last year, he thought he was done.
With the news that the Legion had to do mandated renovations and upgrades, Humber had a thought about how to help the Legion with their renovation costs. His mind went right back to how the Legion was so kind and caring to provide a home for their dinner theatre last year. Why not put on a show and help the Legion with the cost of the renovations?
Humber started the “Seaport Dinner Theatre” as a non-profit entity to pursue a number of entertainment ideas over the year in Botwood. The profit will go to the Legion renovation fund.
The group’s first project this summer will be during the Flying Boat Festival with “The Pig and Whistle Show”, providing one solid hour of upbeat musical entertainment, a little humour and a fine presentation of a Newfoundland Irish Stew, all for a $20 ticket.
The Legion membership will cater for this event, which will take place on the evenings of Aug. 2-4. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the show will run 6:30-7:30 p.m. and will be presented in a “happy hour” atmosphere.
Ticket demand for the Botwood Day event has been building into sell-out shows. As of June 1 the Botwood Day show will be sold and once it has been sold out the Sunday show tickets will be sold, followed by ticket sales for the Saturday show.
Also at the Legion on Botwood Day a second project will the staged, an afternoon matinee called “One Vicious Racket,” a Newfoundland Soiree with “happy hour" pricing for the one-hour performance. Tickets for this event are $5 and will be available at a later date. This show will be musically interactive entertainment for those wannabe Newfoundlanders to, as Humber puts it, “plank 'er down” and stretch the vocal cords. He also noted spoon players are all welcome.
Humber explained the "Pig and Whistle" performers are local amateurs with an exceptional background in public performances. They include the newly formed groups “The Reel Sleveens,” a troupe of musicians and singers; “The Two Floozies,” the singing and tambourine artist; “The Saltwater Cowgirls,” a group of local dancers; “The Nitwits”, a team of humorous entertainers; and “Stomping Bob Hart," who has stomped his way from central Canada to his homeland shores of Botwood Harbour. Demand for his natural talent with the ugly stick is second to none. The group has their own sound man/stage hand and sales promoter, namely Skipper Rees.
Humber added that "The Reel Sleveens" and "The Two Floozies" will be the sole entertainment for the Botwood Day matinee entitled "One Vicious Racket". The doors for that presentation will open at 1:30 p.m. with the show 2-3 p.m. It will be comparable to a midday house party gone off the rails. All hands are welcome to attend.
Humber says he’s thankful to everyone who supported the dinner theatre last year and hopes everyone will come out to support this and many more projects this year. He noted the Legion building is important to the community because many in the town, at one time or another, needed the Legion for a place to meet or have a party or even a local election polling station.
For information on the show contact the Legion at 257-2209. Tickets will be sold at the Legion, Herm’s Variety, Myril’s Kwikway and Gills Store and sports.
-Darren Mills, Botwood correspondent