STRASBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Strasburg Rail Road is debuting a new “action stunt spectacular” Friday night. “The Great Diamond Heist” is a live performance that takes place both on and off the train and features stage combat, pyrotechnics, and more.
The show begins on the platform where the mayor announces that the Strasburg Rail Road has expanded outside of Pennsylvania and, for the first time, will take passengers all the way to Chicago. However, the train never makes it to the windy city. Instead, it encounters trouble shortly after leaving the train station.
Actors occupy each train car and interact with audiences during the trip. “On the train, there’s different scenes happening throughout each car, so depending on where you’re sitting, you might see me in your train, when you’re in another train, you might see some other characters,” Samm Hewes, who plays Celine Lechat in “The Great Diamond Heist,” explained.
“The show is different every single time you see it, it’s never the same twice. You’re really up close and personal with all the actors,” Randall Frizado, director of creative content at the Strasburg Rail Road, said. “There’s nothing like this in Lancaster.”
Hewes has a background in dance, and she has performed at venues like the Fulton and on cruises. She said that this show is unlike anything she has done before.
“This is probably one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. As a dancer I came in thinking, ‘Well, I’m very aware of my body, and I’ve done dancing and movement and coordination,’ but there’s a different element to this that you have to do with the fighting and the combat,” Hewes said.
The performers fight one another and even topple backwards from a significant height during the show.
“I think this is a really phenomenal experience. It’s something different, and I think that it’s just what we need right now, is some fun and entertainment,” Hewes said.
Frizado said the Strasburg Rail Road is expanding its events in this new direction, “taking a step forward in the creation of events that we have here.” It will continue these kinds of live performances with “The Legacy of Sleepy Hollow” in October.
“The Great Diamond Heist” runs from Aug. 20 to Oct. 3. Tickets are available online here.