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MOLINE – Guess who's not coming to the Black Box Theatre?

The downtown Moline venue this week was forced to cancel its planned production of “Guess Who's Coming To Dinner,” a play based on the 1967 classic movie starring Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy and Sidney Poitier, about a week before its planned opening Friday, Sept. 6.

Lead Kyle Turner, who was cast in the Poitier role of the African-American Dr. Prentice this past winter, told director (and BBT co-founder) Lora Adams something unexpected came up and it was best for his family to leave the show.

“Of course, I am disappointed, because it is a wonderful script and the cast was doing a lovely, lovely job bringing the story and the characters to life,” Adams said this week. “It was so unfair to his fellow actors, to say nothing of the money lost and already spent on the production. It simply was too late to bring in another actor to fulfill the role, even if I could have found one."

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“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” – which was to run through Sept. 15 – had a cast including Mark McGinn (Matt Drayton), Terri Nelson (Christina Drayton), Kelci Eaton (Joanna Drayton), Cynthia Johnson (Mary Prentise), Renaud Heymon (Mr. Prentise), LuAnne Sisk (Tillie Binks), Dan Haughey (Monsignor Mike Ryan) and Alexa Florence (Hillary St. George).

Adams is moving forward with a piece the Black Box planned for later in September, the radio play "The Man with Bogart's Face.” The 60-seat theater is hosting ComedySportz for the first time on Saturday, Sept. 14.

The next staged play, “Losers Bracket” (by Clay Sander and Nate Sander) is on tap there Nov. 15-24. It has played in Chicago, where the Chicago Sun-Times called it “a beer lover's play. The dive-bar setting is stocked with bad haircuts, Ditka accents and a jukebox full of Def Leppard's finest, making even the primmest teetotaler crave a cold brew."

For more information, visit theblackboxtheatre.com.

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