Barn set to open 'An Old-Fashioned Christmas'

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Conklin’s Barn II Dinner Theatre opens its annual holiday revue on Thursday, Nov. 6, blending “music, comedy and merriment” in a show titled “An Old-Fashioned Christmas.”

Running Thursdays through Sunday brunches for seven weeks, with Wednesday evening shows during December, “An Old-Fashioned Christmas” with its cast of 10 performers is directed by Mary Simon. There will be a special New Year’s Eve performance on Dec. 31.

According to Conklin’s, “An Old-Fashioned Christmas” is really two shows in one. The first act is an old-fashioned country Christmas revue featuring country music, along with comedy songs and skits reminiscent of the beloved show “Hee-Haw,” as well as stirring gospel Christmas music in the style of the Gaither Vocal Band and the Statler Brothers.

The second act takes the audience back to the WWII era with a USO show, featuring timeless Christmas music that premiered during that era, including “White Christmas,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” It also features radio sketch comedy and a tribute to the troops with the company in full uniforms from various branches of the military. As always, audience participation will feature in the fun of the evening, the news release said.

Starring in the show will be Mary Simon, April Bieschke, Dan Challacombe, Pat Gaik, Chad Kirvan, Jimmy LaHood, Diann Thompson, Terri Whisenhunt, and Dave Windsor. “Tamra Challacombe, one of the most versatile musical theatre performers in central Illinois and the Barn’s resident choreographer and new Group Sales Director also makes a welcome return to the Barn’s holiday show after a two-year absence,” the company said.

Tamra Challacombe choreographed the show and Kirvan arranged and directed the music.

Prices for dinner and show are $3 on Wednesday and Thursday evening, $37 on Friday evening and Sunday brunch, and $39 on Saturday evening, including tax. The Gala New Year’s Eve performance which includes a pre-show performance, hats, noisemakers and a door prize drawing to welcome in the new year, is priced at $125 per couple.

No advance payment is required for regular performances. For reservations, call the box office at (309) 965-2545. For more information, visit the Barn on the internet at