SHINER — “All tongues be fast frozen, for our play — it has begun,” said the masked, checkered-pants-wearing Arlecchino, played by Pat Egan, his voice echoing around the near-empty theater.

As the cast of “Pinocchio Commedia” embarked on its second dress rehearsal of the rollicking production, a classical Italian twist on the familiar story of Pinocchio, the Gaslight Theatre was nearly empty. But on Friday, the seats are expected to fill once again as Shiner’s dinner theater hosts its first play since the pandemic put plays on pause over a year ago.

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Mark Rosenberg reports on local, regional and breaking news for the Victoria Advocate as a Report for America corps member. He can be reached at or 361-574-1264 or on Twitter at @markrosenberg32. To support local journalism at the Advocate through Report for America, go to

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