Good morning, troops. It's Friday, April 20.
It appears a legendary playhouse in Goodfield will have a third act.
The Barn III Dinner Theater apparently will be constructed beginning later this year, according to a Facebook post. As the name suggests, it is to be the third incarnation of a theater the late Chaunce Conklin co-founded 43 years ago.
The old barn that housed the theater troupe sustained severe damage in a storm in 2015 and was razed eventually. Last year, current owner and Conklin's former partner Mary Simon announced an effort to resurrect the theater, with help from Congerville resident/special-events entrepreneur Abby Reel.
Community donations and other financing were to help fund the project. Last week, that effort reached its goal, evidently.
The Facebook post cited help from Morton Community Bank and Growth Corp, a Springfield-based not-for-profit small-business lender.
"There are still details pending, T's to be crossed and I's to be dotted — and a lot of signatures ... but we are moving ahead," the post stated.
No firm time line has been announced. But the post suggested the theater might be open in time for New Year's Eve, at least. Details are expected to be announced later this spring and in summer.
According to the plan announced last year, the new barn will be larger than the old one. The capacity is to be 300 for dinner theater, as opposed to 250. Row seating would accommodate 400.
For a period after the storm, Simon's troupe performed at Five Points Washington.
The original Conklin effort underwent a bankruptcy in the 1990s, hence "Barn II." The theater became legendary for its productions of staples such as "Forever Plaid," "I Do! I Do!" and its weekly interpretation of "Love Rides the Rails (Or Will the Mail Train Run Tonight?)."
Those plays and others made the theater a regional draw. Patrons came to southern Woodford County from Peoria, Bloomington-Normal, Springfield, Decatur and points in between and beyond.
Here's hoping Reel and the unsinkable Simon can return those glory days to the new barn. "Goodfield Follies," anyone?
The song heard on the way to work is by a band Nick in the Morning abhors (just like the Dude). No tequila sunrise today, but it probably will be a lager-and-ale sunset tonight. Have a good weekend.