Guest Column: You’ll feel like you’re at the fair at ACT musical

Published 7:38 pm Thursday, July 11, 2019

Stage Right by Troy Thompson

Troy Thompson


Summer in Minnesota is road construction and county fairs, but at Albert Lea Community Theatre, it’s time for “State Fair.” 

Email newsletter signup

This heart-warming production provides comedy mixed with a tale of love, from the Frake family farm to three days spent at the Iowa State Fair. The stage was more than set for this Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.

It’s 1946 in rural Iowa.  Abel and Melissa Frake (dad and mom) see blue ribbons in their future at the Iowa State Fair, while Wayne and Margy Frake (son and daughter) have different expectations — finding love wasn’t what they were looking for.

The wonderfully crafted set made you feel like you were at the fair — the midway with it’s ring toss and shooting gallery to the swine and dairy barns, and of course, a beer garden.

While each actor and ensemble made this production a must-see, the standouts include: (Mom) Melissa Griffith, and (Emily Arden) Christie Ness, both who are wonderful singers.  (Vivian) Zsofi Eastvold brings a pop to the stage with her voice and dance. (Margy) Grace Chalmers,  has an exceptional voice and ability for the stage.   

Director Sue Jorgensen stated: This corny and wonderful story is a perfect complement to the timeless music of Rodgers and Hammerstein.

I completely agree.

Troy Thompson is a member of the Freeborn County Fair Board and was asked to review Albert Lea Community Theatre’s upcoming “State Fair” production.