Truck musical running out of hours

ORANGEVILLE, Ont. — As a girl growing up in the shadow of INCO’s super stack in Copper Cliff, Ont., Leisa Way often found herself riding shotgun with her trucker dad Leo, who drove all across Canada from his home base in Northern Ontario.

These days, if she’s in a rig, it’d likely be in one belonging to her brother Rick. Based in Guelph, Ont. Rick is at the helm of one of Ontario’s most innovative fleets: Wayfreight Services.

However, between now and Sunday (April 25) it won’t be roads but rather boards that Leisa the truck-loving blonde will be riding.

Way’s starring at the Town Hall Opera House in Orangeville, Ont. for the laughter-and-C&W-filled tribute to trucking, “18 Wheels.”

The final performance is a Sunday matinee.

The auditorium holds about 270 people and it’s been selling out; and Way says she thinks one of the best things about the play is that it brings trucking to life for so many people who otherwise don’t give the industry much consideration.

Way with co-stars Cory O’Brien and Bobby Prochaska

“You know people don’t think about truckers being away from home and lonely, and two of the actors who come up here from Toronto to work told me they have a whole new respect for drivers now,” Way told todaystrucking.com.

The show is a musical revue, opening with an up-tempo anthem in CB-radio-ese; followed by a cross-Canada tour that takes the audience from the prairies to the Maritimes.

The songs run from rock to C&W, and include “Night Driving” the woeful tale of one trucker’s collision with the Grim Reaper that leads him to become an Evangelical Christian. That song is based on a tragedy that took place on highway 400, south of Barrie, Ont., a few decades ago.

Other songs on the 18 Wheel playlist? “That CB Radio,” “Do You Wanna Know the Country,” “Star of the Hollywood Grille,” “That’s When Her Heart Broke Down,” and — our favorite — “Haulin’ Chicken Guts.”

Way agreed that even if you’re not a big live theatre fan but love country music, you’ll love “18 Wheels.”

Read what the Orangeville Citizen wrote about “18 Wheels” here.

For her next act, Leisa is opening “Rhinestone Cowgirl,” her Dolly Parton tribute show, about 10 miles south of the 401 at Morrisburg, Ont.

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