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Mary Lou (Mike Asiala) had everyone laughing at VanBuren Street Theater.

VanBuren Theater Features: Hilarious Hillbilly Massacre

You're Invited to the Birchbumble Family Reunion

March 2, 2008       Leave a Comment
By: O. J. Cunningham

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All I was looking for was a night out on the town.

When Bob and Jean Adamowski invited my wife and I to join them at a "Dinner and the Theater," . . . How could I say no?

I got much more than I bargained for.

In Act One, I got to carry the body of the first murder victim into the outhouse.
(MyBayCity Photo by O. J. Cunningham)

Later, the very professional Clementine called me up on stage and accused me not only of bad spelling but also accused me of murder.
(MyBayCity Photo by O. J. Cunningham)

In addition to a fine dining experience, and an enjoyable live theater performance, I ended up on the stage, accused of murder and questioned by the charming Clementine (Jessica T. Booth).

It was my first trip to the VanBuren Street Theater . . . It won't likely be my last.

The Hilarious Hillbilly Massacre is a five-act play with dinner served between and during the show's presentation. And oddly, the six actor/actresses seem to spend more time in the audience than up on the stage. And it was totally enjoyable.

The intimate setting of the 70+ seat theater is perfectly designed for interactive theater and audience participation.

Before the play begins, the actors mingle among the theater-goers, making chit chat, small-talk and choosing un-suspecting patrons to become an actual part of the play as it develops.

In a word, the concept is both enjoyable and hilarious.

The cast is wonderful and well-balanced. And . . . the food is good too.

  • Gardenia: Vicky Penland
  • Huck: Vern Zaucha
  • Mary Lou: Mike Asiala
  • Sally Mae: Liberty Starkweather
  • Jethro: John Yaworski
  • Clementine: Jessica Booth

    The VanBuren Street Theatre Presents: The Hilarious Hillbilly Massacre. House Opens at 5:30 . . . Shows scheduled are: March 7, 8 & 14, 15. Cash Bar. $39 per person - Reservations Required.

    According to the VanBuren Street Theater Advertisements: "The Hilarious Hillbilly Massacre," is an audience participation murder mystery show. Doors open at 5:30 pm and the Birchbumble Family Reunion starts at 6 pm. For the full effect of the show, it is recommended that audience members arrive no later that 6:30pm. Tickets $39. E-Mail: or Phone: 989.893.9399

    Four shows remain on the schedule. Make an effort to see one of them.

    Sally Mae (Liberty Starkweather, center) chats with Bob Adamowski (left) and Mary Ward.
    (MyBayCity Photo by O. J. Cunningham)

    Mary Lou (Mike Asiala, center, with hangar sticking out of clothing) shares a clue with Anne Mervyn (Right)) and Mary Ward.
    (MyBayCity Photo by O. J. Cunningham)

    Jean Adamowski (Left) thrills to the touch of Jethro (John Yaworski)
    (MyBayCity Photo by O. J. Cunningham)

    Gardenia (Vicky Penland, Left) has fun with "Alfalfa" who was summoned from the crowd to answer some incriminating questions.
    (MyBayCity Photo by O. J. Cunningham)

    Huck (Vern Zaucha) has a very important announcement for the crowd.
    (MyBayCity Photo by O. J. Cunningham)

    Bob Adamowski is a bit hesitant as he reaches out to touch the soft belly of Mary Lou (Mike Asiala). "It wasn't my idea," Adamowski laughed.
    (MyBayCity Photo by O. J. Cunningham)

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    O. J. Cunningham

    O. J. Cunningham is the Publisher of Cunningham previously published Sports Page & Bay City Enterprise. He is the President/CEO of OJ Advertising, Inc.

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