Cheadle, Engels in ‘Broadway meets Lake Benton’

The Lake Benton Opera House plays host to the 13th annual “Broadway Meets Lake Benton” on March 16. Two former Minneota students, Aubree Cheadle, and Sarah Engels, will be participating in the event that features past and present actors and actresses performing their favorite Broadway songs.

“Broadway Meets Lake Benton” will host performances at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Each performance is approximately 90 minutes long.

“We have started our season with (‘Broadway Meets Lake Benton’) each year,” said Director Mark Wilmes. “We invite performers from our past musicals to come back and sing Broadway songs of their choice.”

“It’s very popular with the performers as they get to sing songs from shows we could probably not be able to present at the Opera House.”

Cheadle, a 2010 Minnesota graduate who was in six musicals and five plays in high school, has previously performed in three musicals and one play at the Opera House.

“This is my fourth time participating in ‘Broadway Meets Lake Benton,’” Cheadle said. “I have loved being a part of shows at the Lake Benton Opera House.”

“It’s such an awesome opportunity for a small town in rural Minnesota to get to put on multiple shows per year and to be a part of them.” Cheadle will be singing.

“Just Blew in from the Windy City” from “Calamity Jane” and ‘Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” from the “Phantom of the Opera”. Engels graduated from Minneota last year.

She has been involved in six musicals at the Opera House since 2013, while also participating in two Christmas shows there. “I have only been able to do one other Broadway Meets Lake Benton performance,” she said.

“But I am excited to do it this year.” “I have made a lot of friends through being involved in shows at the Opera House, and I am always happy to be involved in shows with them.

Mark is a great director, and also a great friend.” Engels will perform a pair of numbers in a group, including “From Now On” from the “Greatest Showman” and “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story” from “Hamilton.”

Inclement weather this winter has made it difficult for performers to make the trip to Lake Benton to practice. “We have been practicing on our own to make the show great,” Engels explained.

“We typically meet five or so times as a group to rehearse, and we are confident this is going to be a great show this year.” There are around 25 song performers this year. And there will also be a few dance numbers performed by Tiny Kix, Just for Kix, and Wee Petite Dancers.

“My favorite part about performing at the Lake Benton Opera House is all the people involved,” said Engels. “From the backstage to the other performers; everyone encourages each other. And we all have a lot of fun preparing for the show.”

“‘Broadway Meets Lake Benton’ is a fun chance to catch up with people whom I’ve done shows with in the past,” Cheadle noted. This performance is similar to reunion in which past performers return and spend the day together. “Most of the performers hang out between shows with people they have worked with in the past,” Wilmes said.

“We serve (potluck) lunch and usually play a movie for anyone wanting to stick around.” And the performers appreciate the time and effort everyone puts into the event.

“The cast and crew is always a great bunch of very talented people,” said Engels.

“And we all appreciate the hard work Mark does for us. I encourage everyone to join us for a fun show you don’t want to miss.”

General admission tickets are $11. For more information, call 507-368-4620 or email

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