Live music, comedy at Crooked Creek

Monday, October 16, 2006

A little bit of Branson has come to Marble Hill.

At least that's how the owners of the new Crooked Creek Dinner Theater hope patrons see it. Owners Michael Ross and Ken Trentham opened the new dinner theater at the end of September at 205 Plutarch St.

Crooked Creek Dinner Theater, named the for the local creek that runs through town just a block away, features music and comedy from local performers, Ross said. The establishment is open Friday and Saturday nights.

Even though the theater is indoors, Ross said he tried to give it an outdoors look.

"I tried to turn it into a back patio look," Ross said.

Marketing manager Barbara Cathey said local musicians Mercedes Dye and Mike Nelson have performed in front of the crowds as they ate Ross' cooking. The musical styles range from bluegrass and old and new country to '70s and '80s pop. They opened with no advertising and so far have had a "great response," she said.

"Our objective here is to provide a place of good quality entertainment, showcasing the local talents from the surrounding area without the long drive and expense to see a show like this," Ross said.

* West Park Lanes reopened: West Park Lanes, the Cape Girardeau bowling alley, has reopened after its half-million-dollar renovation.

"Everything is completely redone," said co-manager Joe Seib. "It was a total renovation. Everybody seems to like it. Everything is the latest, state-of-the-art equipment."

The work means there are new lanes, seating and scoring equipment as well as "cosmic lanes," which glow in the dark.

The work was done because it was needed, Seib said, adding that a statewide bowling tournament will start in February and run over 10 weekends.

* Hey, Gorgeous: Stylists Trena Lawrence and Clint Matlock have opened a new salon, creatively called Hey, Gorgeous at 113 Independence St. The building has been remodeled, and the business partners are especially proud of their Craig Thomas paintings.

The salon has four chairs, and the stylists do all manner of hairstyles, including color, cut and highlights. They also offer massage by Victoria Brown.

They hope to expand eventually to add nail services and a skin-care specialist. Both Lawrence and Matlock -- can you read that name and NOT think of Andy Griffith? -- had worked at Eugene's.

* Creative curbs: Bill Johns of Oak Ridge has started a new business called Curb Creations. Johns describes it as colorful concrete curbing that he and his crew can install around flower beds, houses, swimming pools and along driveways.

Using a concrete extruding machine, the curbs come in 50 colors.

"It's just starting out," he said. "But a lot of people don't know what it is we do. But we've been quite busy this summer, and it's taking hold pretty quick."

* Work and play: Here's an item for those of you who take a break from work by playing online solitaire. More than half of your co-workers log onto game sites too, according to a recent poll.

Candystand.com, an entertainment Web site owned by the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., surveyed 1,000 adults nationwide and found that more than half play online games during the workday. The average playing time was 15 minutes.

More than six out of 10 said that playing online games helps them deal with stress, while 47 percent believe it helps their creative thinking.

One in five have been caught by their supervisors, while 13 percent admitted playing during a conference call. (Those calls CAN get tedious.)

Playing games may improve job productivity. Dr. Kathleen Hall, founder of The Stress Institute, recommended in a separate study that people play computer games for 10 to 15 minutes to refresh.

So if you do get caught, just tell your boss that your doctor says it relieves stress. If you try this, call me and tell me your boss' reaction.

Please.

Scott Moyers is the business editor of the Southeast Missourian. Send your comments, business news, information or questions to "Biz Buzz," 301 Broadway, Cape Girardeau, Mo., 63702-0699, or e-mail them to smoyers@semissourian.com or call (573) 335-6611, extension 137.

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