Fire Hall Theatre presents musical 'Fool's Gold' in outdoor setting

This world premier marks the first in-person performance the Fire Hall has launched in 15 months, due to the pandemic

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In a scene from the musical "Fools Gold," Roberto Kerezsi performs in the role of Reggie. The play runs through Saturday, May 22 and May 25-27 and June 2-5 outside at the Fire Hall Theatre in downtown Grand Forks. (Photo by Amy Driscoll)

The Fire Hall Theatre is presenting the world premier of an original musical, “Fool’s Gold,” for the next three weeks outside at the downtown venue at 412 Second Ave. N.

This will be the first time since Feb. 28, 2020, that the Greater Grand Forks Community Theatre, which is based at the Fire Hall Theatre, is welcoming an in-person audience, after only virtual performances.

The show, which opened Wednesday, May 19, runs through Saturday, May 22. Directed by Diana Chabai-Booker, the show will also be presented May 25-27 and June 2-5.

The show is “a very fun, family-friendly musical,” said Amy Driscoll, executive director of the GGFCT. It’s the story about a get-rich-quick scheme and two hicks who steal the prop treasure chest from a pirate-themed dinner theater, she said.

“But when they find it’s filled with something unexpected, they must escape danger and find themselves along the way,” Driscoll said.


Before the pandemic interrupted all artistic activities, the Fire Hall’s last live, in-person audience gathered to see “Less Miserables,” a parody of “Les Miserables,” the enormously successful Broadway show. “Less Miserables” was written by the composer Connor Wielgosz, who also composed “Fool’s Gold,” Driscoll said. So, with “Fool’s Gold” opening this week, it’s “very full-circle.”

Wielgosz, of Winnipeg, stayed in Grand Forks in February 2020 as GGFCT’s first writer-in-residence, said Chabai-Booker. He wrote “Less Miserables,” which was presented only once, on Feb. 28, 2020, she said.

“Then the pandemic hit, and the theatre was looking for economical solutions to having a season,” she said. The theatre’s leaders turned again to Wielgosz “and asked if he had any more material for us that we could use royalty-free, and he agreed to write us a brand new show, and that’s ‘Fool’s Gold’.”

In the show, the leading role, “Goose,” is shared by Tyler Hebert and Kyle Mason. Hebert performs May 19, 20 and 27 and June 4, and Mason in the other shows.

Other cast members are Robert Kereszi, Veronica Folkedahl, Otto Lieder, Robert Cooper, Piper Sommer, Erin Chaves, Brooke Pesch and Matt Stavens. Ensemble members are: Alyssa Donacki, Dylan Merritt and Lucas Rieder.

Audience members are asked to bring their own lawn chairs for seating in the parking lot. The large doors on Fire Hall will be opened and the cast will perform on the stage and sidewalk, said Driscoll. Seating will be limited to 50 audience members.

In case of inclement weather, the performance will take place inside the Fire Hall theater. Masks and social distancing will be strongly encouraged whether the audience is seated indoors or outdoors.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $17 for seniors, students and military. Tickets are available online at for purchase by credit card. They also will be available, for purchase by cash or credit card, at the Fire Hall Theatre box office before each performance.


The Fire Hall Theatre is also looking for volunteers, Driscoll said. If interested, sign up at .

Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at or (701) 780-1107.
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