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Willey to appear at French Country Market

Will be joined by son, AMC cast mate Eakes

Published: Friday, July 5, 2013 10:34 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Provided photo from the Morris Daily Herald files)
Walt Willey poses with fan Donna Knudson of Morris after Knudson, a limousine driver, drove Willey’s mother and aunt to one of his comedy performance in St. Charles. An Ottawa, Ill., native, Willey will be returning to the area for his annual summer theatre presentation, which he will be promoting with an autograph session at the 3 French Hens French Country Market in downtown Morris on Saturday, July 13.

Walt Willey will make an appearance at the upcoming 3 French Hens French Country Market in downtown Morris.

His appearance at the July 13 market was confirmed recently by WilleyWorld Community Productions.

Willey is best known for his portrayal of the charasmatic Jackson Montgomery on daytime favorite “All My Children.”

He will be signing autographs and sharing stories at the July 13 venue from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 3 French Hens organizers Monica Vogel and Traci Tessone are especially excited since Willey grew-up in nearby Ottawa, Ill.

“We were thrilled when Walt agreed to join us at the Market, as so many local fans have enjoyed watching his success over the years,” said Vogel, who laughs as she recalls the countless times folks ask if she knew the infamous Willey while growing up in Ottawa.

“Of course, everybody knows everybody in a small town!” she added.

All My Children cast mate, Bobbie Eakes, who portrayed Krystal Carey on the show, will accompany Willey, as will his son, actor Chance Willey.

The Hens encourage fans to bring their cameras for this meet and greet.

The personal appearance with Walt Willey is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the 3 French Hens French Country Market on W. Illinois Avenue, in downtown Morris.

Held on the banks of the historic Illinois & Michigan Canal, the French Market is an eclectic mix of farmers market fare, antiques, artisans, and jewelry designers.

The Hens invite you come early, as the Market opens at 8 a.m., and get a little shopping in before the autograph session. Photographs will be allowed, and the event is held rain or shine.

For further information, please contact 3 French Hens organizers at (815) 941-0752, or visit www.3frenchhensmarket.blogspot.com
‘DEATHTRAP’

Willey will be on hand to promote his upcoming production, “Deathtrap,” and tickets will be available for purchase at the Market... providing seats are still available.

After four years of bringing All My Children stars to the Illinois Valley, Willey has announced “Deathtrap” as the fifth summer show to be presented by WilleyWorld Community Productions, this time featuring not one, but two, special guest artists, as well as a brand new location for the production. 

“Deathtrap is a thriller that will have audiences glued to their seats, unless they are leaping out of them in shock!” quipped Willey.

This year WWCP is bringing two guest artists to the Ottawa stage.  Chance Willey, Walt’s talented 18-year-old son, and Bobbie Eakes, his All My Children cast mate who portrayed Krystal Carey on the series, will also be starring in Deathtrap with Walt.

“I am so happy to be performing once again with dad in his hometown,” said the younger Willey, who was also featured in the cast of WilleyWorld’s  2010 production of “Arsenic and Old Lace.”

He is a recent graduate of the New Mexico School for the Arts, with a concentration in acting, and was named NMSA’s theatre laureate.

“I’ve heard so many great things about Ottawa from Julia Barr, Jill Larson, and Vincent Irrizary, not to mention Walt, that I’m thrilled to be able to come in and perform!” Eakes said.

Eakes and Willey have known each other quite a while and worked together for several years on the soap and in cabaret acts as well.

“Bobbie used to come up to me and say, ‘...So what? I’m not good enough for your summer show?’” laughs Willey. “She is, indeed, and we’re thrilled to have her!” 

The renovation of the Ottawa High School Auditorium stage means that the production will be presented at the Central School Auditorium on Ottawa’s South Side July 19, 20, and 21.

“Deathtrap is a real crowd pleaser, a fast-paced comedy/thriller,” said WilleyWorld co-founder Kim Howard Johnson. “It’s got more twists and turns than a python.”

“This may be our best show yet,” adds Willey. “I hope folks get their tickets early, because these are going to go fast.”

Tickets are available through the Ottawa Visitors Center at (815) 434-2737 and their website, www.experienceottawa.com.

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