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The zany musical involves a slick karaoke salesman who arrives in a small Minnesotan town.

COURTESY PHOTO: CRAIG MITCHELLDYER - 'Don't Hug Me' features, from left, Clara-Liis Hillier, Kevin-Michael Moore and Elizabeth Young. Performances run through May 8.  After a week of unseasonably cold weather, it's time to put on the snow boots and get to a local musical featuring professional actors, dontcha know.

And Broadway Rose Theatre Co. has just the ticket with the opening of "Don't Hug Me," beginning with a preview performance Thursday, April 14, and an opening night set for April 15. Performances run through May 8.

"Oh, for cryin' in yer snow shoes! It's the coldest day of the year in Bunyan Bay when a slick karaoke salesman arrives at the town bar and turns the locals' lives upside down in this 'terrifically silly' (according to LA Weekly) romantic comedy," a news release from Broadway Rose states. "With over-the-top songs like 'My Smorgasbord of Love," "Upside Down in My Pickup Truck,' and 'He Wore a Purple Tux,' you'll be laughing 'til the spring thaw!"

The musical, set in the fictitious town of Bunyan Bay, Minnesota, involves the antics of cantankerous bar owner Gunner Johnson, who wants to sell his business and move to Florida. However, his wife thinks otherwise. Meanwhile, waitress Bernice Lundstrom wants to pursue a singer career, while her fiancé wants her to stay home. Throw in a fast-talking salesman with a karaoke machine, and as the theater company says, "all heck breaks loose."

"'Don't Hug Me' is part of a season of belly laughs," said Sharon Maroney, Broadway Rose's artistic director. "It's wacky and kitschy and different than anything we've done before. I'm looking forward to our audiences laughing together this spring."

The musical is directed and choreographed by Dan Murphy with musical direction from Jennifer Ackerman. The cast includes Matthew H. Curl, Clara-Liis Hillier, Peter Liptak, Kevin-Michael Moore and Elizabeth Young.

The Broadway Rose creative team consists of Bryan Boyd, set designer; Larry Larsen, lighting designer; Annie Kaiser, costume designer; Emily Wilken, prop designer; Brian Karl Moen, sound designer; and Jessica Junor, production stage manager.

Thursday through Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Matinees are at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. There will be no performance on Easter Sunday, April 17.

Tickets are priced from $30 to $50 for adults (depending on the date play-goers attend). Upper section tickets for those ages 6 through 18 years old sell for $20, and tickets for those ages 19 through 35 are $25.

Broadway Rose requires proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test prior to entry, with masks encouraged.

For more information, visit broadwayrose.org.


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