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‘Sunshine’ in the forecast for Cannon Falls

Gary Engstrom (left) is Al Lewis and Steve Jorstad is Willie Clark in Cannon Community Theater’s latest dinner theater production of Neil Simon’s comedy “The Sunshine Boys.” The six-show series starts Friday Feb. 12 and runs through Sunday Feb. 21 at the Cannon River Winery in Cannon Falls.

Last year the Cannon Community Theater resurrected its dinner theater series after a decade hiatus with “The Odd Couple.”

Next weekend the theater group returns to stage with Neil Simon’s “The Sunshine Boys.” The show runs Friday Feb. 12 to Sunday Feb. 14 and Friday Feb. 19 to Sunday Feb. 21 in Cannon Falls.

The comedic play, produced for Broadway in 1972, tells the story of Al Lewis and Willie Clark, who were top-billed vaudevillians together for more than 40 years. Now they aren’t speaking.

When CBS requests them for a “History of Comedy” retrospective, a grudging reunion brings the two back together, along with a flood of memories, miseries and laughs.

“We have a great cast,” said director Chuck Bracken, adding he is so happy that Steve Jorstad auditioned for the show. “He brings extensive acting experience and it shows.”

Jorstad plays Willie and Gary Engstrom is Al.

The full cast is just five males and two female roles.

“We have a great tech team to assist with lights and sound,” said marketing director Amber Garrett, who noted rehearsals are going very well.

“We are almost completely off script at this point and focusing on timing and prop comfort,” she said.

Before the show, the Cannon River Catering Company will serve dinner with a choice of turkey tenderloin, wine-braised beef or roasted ziti lasagna.

Dinner starts at 6 p.m. for the Friday and Saturday evening shows and 12:30 p.m. for the Sunday matinees.

The productions will be at Cannon River Winery’s new event center. What was once a vintage warehouse space has been meticulously renovated — complete with a wine bar and fully equipped catering kitchen.

The event is sponsored by the Cannon Arts Board, which aims to empower, inspire and connect individuals and organizations to create and sustain a thriving arts community in Cannon Falls.

Tickets are $42 for Friday and Saturday night performances or $35 for Sunday shows.

Each table seats eight guests and seating is not assigned automatically.

“I really encourage folks to purchase their tickets now as we sold out each Saturday night with “The Odd Couple,” Garrett said.

For more information, visit or call 507-263-7400.

At a glance ...

Who: Cannon Community Theater

What: “The Sunshine Boys” dinner theater

When: 6 p.m. Friday Feb.12-Saturday Feb.13 and Friday Feb. 19-Saturday Feb. 20; 12:30 p.m. Sunday Feb. 14 and 21

Where: Cannon River Winery, 421 Mill St., Cannon Falls

Cost: $42 Friday and Saturday nights, $35 Sunday matinees

More info: 507-263-7400 or visit

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