In the news.

Tomorrow, all the kids at my children's school are going to the Huron Country Playhouse to see "Beauty and the Beast". I'm going, too and I'm really looking forward to it.

In today's newspaper, however....

Actor's death stuns Playhouse audience

Huron Country Playhouse in Grand Bend went dark on the weekend after a veteran actor collapsed on stage and later died.

Terry Doyle, 71, suffered a fatal heart attack 15 minutes into Friday's opening-night performance of Beauty and the Beast, said Steven Karcher, marketing director of Drayton Entertainment.

"It was a sad and shocking event," he said yesterday. "We had to stop the performance and evacuate the theatre."

The audience was quiet and respectful as it left, he said.

"It was a full house of about 650 people. They were very concerned about Terry's condition. The cast and crew were devastated."

Karcher said Doyle was taken by ambulance to South Huron Hospital in Exeter, where he was pronounced dead.

Doyle was cast as Maurice, father of Belle, the beauty, a key secondary role.

It was a role he performed in the original Canadian production in Toronto and in London's West End in England, Karcher said.


Mustakas said there was no understudy for Doyle.

"It's not generally done because summer theatres run a show for only five or six weeks."

By coincidence, the performer who understudied Doyle in the original Toronto production, Sandy Winsby, has a small part in the Drayton production.

"He's quickly reacquainting himself with the role of Maurice," said Mustakas, adding the show will go on with student matinees this week.

Posted by Ripley on June 06, 2005