Another experience that we had in the Cowichan Valley was being “All Shook Up” at the Chemainus Theatre. A 40 minute drive from Lake Cowichan took us to Chemainus and we introduced Madison to the Chemainus Murals. Days later, Madison told her mom "I'm an artist, so I appreciate beautiful artwork". There are more and more murals every year, so we never tire of seeing them. Prior to 1981 Chemainus was a single resource mill town. When a recession hit British Columbia the mill was in trouble and Chemainus was in danger of becoming a ghost town. With a community initiative grant from the BC Government, a forward-thinking mayor presented the Mural concept to the community. Chemainus quickly became world-famous as an example of how even a small town can create a dramatic change for survival.
After admiring the many murals, we walked to the Chemainus Theatre for “All Shook Up” and a delicious buffet dinner in the Playbill Dining Room. The food was efficiently displayed in a two-sided buffet, so the line moved smoothly. A pianist played beautifully throughout our meal. Our server Kym was very friendly and attentive. Ron could barely set his water glass down before it was refilled. There were an impressive number of choices between salads, vegetables, and meat including chicken, pork, beef and ham. To our delight the dessert table was almost as long as the food buffet! After dinner, Linda and Madison admired the well stocked Gift Shop while Ron relaxed on a comfy couch. For more pictures of our Chemainus Theatre visit, go to our Facebook Page.
Everything about the Chemainus Theatre is first class. There is lots of nearby parking and the interior is finely decorated. They have even contributed a number of murals on the street side of the theatre. The theatre seats are comfortable, the staff is friendly and helpful, and there are no bad seats. There is a drinks bar in the main lobby for those who arrive early. Beverages can be ordered ahead of time for quick service during intermission.
"All Shook Up" turned out to be a rock and roll musical comedy. It follows a small-town girl's dream of hitting the open road. Everything gets turned upside down when a guitar-playing "roustabout" rambles into town, introducing her to romance, rebellion and rock 'n roll. Early in the show it seems easy to predict the ending, but guess again. What unfolds is not clear until the end of the show. The score is filled with familiar Elvis tunes, the characters each look and fit their part, and all do a great job of an excellent show for young and old alike. Madison got so stoked that she and a newly met friend danced across the front of the stage imitating the routine during intermission. "This is the best show I have ever seen in a theater and I loved all the singing. It was funny too. I even made a friend from Nanaimo and we danced all night" enthused Madison. The show ended April 7th so you'll miss this one but we have never heard a bad review about Chemainus Theatre. Take in one of their upcoming shows or buy season's tickets. You could be surprised by the quality of entertainment found in a small town just an hour's drive north of Victoria.
For more pictures go to our Facebook Page.