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'Morning's at Seven' comes to Sheldon Theatre

The cast from "Morning's at Seven" runs through a dress rehearsal March 8 at the Sheldon Theatre. The Phoenix Theatre show has been in production since late January and is preparing to open March 17.

The Phoenix Theatre's latest production showcases "Morning's at Seven" at the Sheldon Theatre. The 1980 Tony Award-winning show has brought together a pool of local talent heavy on comedy.

A portrait of small Midwestern-town America, the story is about growing old, growing up and letting go.

Authentic relationships between cast and crew are evident, even at an afternoon dress rehearsal. Giggles, hearty laughs and small improvisations on stage add to charm emitting from the talent of the group.

The dysfunctional relationship of a family is the glue that keeps the play - and the cast members - together.

"We are able to push each other buttons only the way a family could," Terese Bjornstad said.

Aaronetta (Bjornstad) and Ida Gibbs (Georgia Camp) have lived next door to each other most of their lives. Along with other sisters Esther (Helene Olson-Reed) and Cora (Sara Hoffman), all of the Gibb sisters are an open book to each other. Not to their husbands, however.

Enter Myrtle Brown (Michelle Meyer), perpetual fiancée of Ida's son Homer (John Anderson). Since Homer can't seem to pop the question, especially after 12 years of engagement, Myrtle takes matters into her own hands. She gets a proposal with a secret that rivals Gibbs family secrets in every way.

Nosy neighbors, pesky families and sisterly secrets intertwine as the play unfolds.

Bjornstad summed up "Morning's at Seven" in modern language, "We are Dr. Phil-worthy."

With a handful of shows scheduled, check out the unique special event details for each performance:

Half-price preview night

Join the Phoenix Theatre as the troupe rehearses once last time before opening night in front of a live audience. This is a perfect opportunity to preview the production. After the show, congratulate your favorite cast and crewmembers in the main lobby.

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Cost: $16 adults, $10 students, order tickets online before March 18 at a discount

More info: 651-388-8700 or

Meet the cast social

Join the Phoenix Theatre as the cast celebrates opening night of this heartwarming production. Enjoy a cash bar in the lobby prior to the show and during intermission. After the show join the cast and crew for a 'mix-n-mingle,' social, while celebrating with your favorite actors and enjoying light complimentary appetizers.

When: 7 p.m. Friday

'Sister' Night

This evening, join the Gibbs sisters in celebrating sisterhood. Friends of the Sheldon members know that "sisters" come in all forms, so gather them all and receive 25 percent off your ticket purchase.

When: 7 p.m. March 19

Tea social

There is no better way to celebrate a lovely Sunday afternoon than over tea in the company of family and friends. Join the Friends of the Sheldon and cast an hour before the matinee performance for tea, featuring coffee, tea and light appetizers.

When: 2 p.m. March 20

Second viewing discount

If you saw a performance of "Morning's at Seven," between March 17-20 and want to share the tale with family and friends, bring your ticket stub from the prior performance and receive 25 percent off your total ticket purchase.

When: 7 p.m. March 25

Grand finale

This is your last chance to laugh with the sisters of "Morning's at Seven." Help the Phoenix Theatre close this production in style, complete with coffee and a cash bar. Keeping with tradition, visit the cast and crew in main lobby immediately following the show.

When: 7 p.m. March 26

Stacy Bengs-Silverberg

Stacy Bengs has been a photojournalist at the Red Wing Republican Eagle since 2010. She holds a bachelors degree in journalism and art from the University of Minnesota.

(651) 301-7880