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Gerry Dee stuck in Hwy. 400 crash; Orillia Opera House show postponed

'People were just hanging out, chatting and having a few laughs anyway,' said patron after Friday night show was unexpectedly postponed
2018-11-27 Gerry Dee
A planned performance by popular comedian Gerry Dee, above, was postponed Friday night as he could not get to Orillia due to a crash on Highway 400. Supplied photo

A highway crash is no laughing matter — especially for popular comedian Gerry Dee.

A serious early-evening crash near Cookstown that shut all north-bound lanes of Highway 400 has led to the postponement of one of two shows that had been planned tonight at the Orillia Opera House.

Fans who were jammed into the historic downtown theatre for tonight's 7 p.m. show — the first of a pair of back-to-back sold-out performances — were told that Dee and his entourage were stuck behind traffic as a result of the crash. As a result, the show was delayed.

Then, at about 7:45 p.m., officials announced the first show would be postponed and staged at another time. However, the second show will go on, officials told OrilliaMatters at 8:30 p.m. Dee is expected to take the stage at about 9:45 p.m. for the second show.

According to fans at the first scheduled show, officials said Dee was stuck behind the crash but not involved in it. However, the traffic chaos meant he could not navigate his way out of the mess.

While fans were disappointed, they were also glad Dee was not injured.

"It is what it is. We can't control it," said Mark Earl, who was at the show with his wife. "We just hope no one was seriously hurt or killed in the accident."

Earl praised opera house staff, saying they did their best to keep people informed about the unfolding drama.

"People were just hanging out, chatting and having a few laughs anyway,' said Earl, who is philosophical about the postponement.

"The way we looked at it is now we get another night out."

It's not yet been determined when the first show will be rescheduled.

Dee was planning to tape the two performances in Orillia for a future TV show.