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New Dawn performs a show with museum mayhem

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Actors Michelle Saarela, left, and Marla Krohn, right, rehearse a scene as the New Dawn Theater rehearses their current play, "A Night at the Wax Museum."

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Actors Michelle Saarela, left, Margaret Masak, second from left, Marla Krohn, second from right, and Debbie Bush, right, rehearse the New Dawn Theater production of "A Night at the Wax Museum."

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Actor Bruce Saarela plays the role of John Adams during a rehearsal of The New Dawn Theater production of "A Night at the Wax Museum."

If you go

What: "A Night at the Wax Museum"

When: 8 p.m. today, 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, runs through June 30

Where: New Dawn Theater, 3087 Main St., Duluth

Cost: $12 to $15

For more information: Visit newdawntheatercompany.com

DULUTH -- When school is out, most people think about playing at the pool rather than brushing up on their history.

But for the summer, New Dawn Theater presents "A Night at the Wax Museum" with one of its largest casts -- 34 members.

"In this show, we have practically every character on stage at the same time," director Sherry Ingbritsen said. "It is quite huge, but everyone has worked hard (to make it work). There isn't one person who is specifically the lead. That's what I liked about it."

The story starts out with six high schoolers who failed history class and needed to attend summer school. The only way they can pass the class is helping their teacher Heather Fairchild (played by Katie Tucker) at her aunts' wax museum. The two older ladies and small staff are the caretakers of all the pieces on display.

While there is a crew that wants to take care of the antiques, there are three people that own the property who want to sell it for $5 million. The building would be torn down and replaced by a mall.

After a spell is accidentally unleashed, all of the wax figures come to life -- and mingle. Henry the VIII (Chuck Mason) falls in love with Cleopatra (Kallie Tucker) while Anne Boleyn (Brandy Garrow) tries to break up the tryst. Blackbeard (Chris Hawkins) and his pirates search for treasure and want it before Butch Cassidy (Cameron Cox), the Sundance Kid (Brian Beechum) and their outlaws get to it first.

Then things get crazier from there.

"It's one of those plays that is a lot of fun to do, something different -- I don't think it's been done in the area before," Ingbritsen said. "It involves kids and adults, and brings a little bit of history out. You've got the serious elements in there, but there is also that run-around fun."

One of the oddball characters is Lizzy Borden (Rahne Brant). She randomly crept around the stage dragging a red axe.

"I knew the character would literally stop the show -- and she did," Ingbritsen said.

The play is appropriate for all ages, the director said, because there is a little bit for everyone.

"I think that the teenagers and younger adults will get the fun parts," Ingbritsen said. "They'll get the comedy, they'll like the sword fights and that sort of thing. I think the adults will get the one-liners because there's a lot of slapslick jokes."

The show runs through June 30.