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New West Theatre switching up season due to Yates renovations

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 New West Theatre has been forced to shift the timing of their season due to  the delays in renovating the local semi-professional theatre company’s home of The Yates and Sterndale Bennett Theatre.
 But in addition to rethinking venues, they also decided to refocus their image of being best known for their always popular musical comedy revues.Derek Stevenson and Sharon Peat are excited about  the upcoming new West Theatre season. Photo by Richard Amery
““Rockers Gone Country’ was going to be our first show in July. It was already cast but we had to move it to February. So we gave the actors cast in it first right of refusal. Some of them were only available for the summer. Some of them are available for this show. But the show also falls on Valentine‘s day, which is a great date night,” said New West Artistic Director Sharon Peat.


“ It’s all about songs which were number one on both the country and pop charts,” she said.
they are trying something completely different, by putting on the Tony Award winning musical “Million Dollar Quartet for their first show of the season, Sept 12 at the Yates Theatre.


“It’s the first time in years New West has done a musical. It’s about Sun Studios musicians Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins. It’s based on an actual recording session they did in 1956. It’s like being a fly on the wall of Sun Studios, so you learn all about these characters, and of course there’s the music,” Peat enthused.


 She is also excited to bring back “Night Life,” a cabaret in the Sterndale Bennett Theatre. Nightlife 2.0. runs Nov. 16 and 17.
“We’re super excited about the second show. It’s adult based, so it’s not for families. It’s New West after dark,” Peat described.
 The first musical comedy revue of the season is their Christmas show, “Hit Parade,” running Dec. 18-Jan. 5 in  The Yates Theatre. It will combine comedy with plenty of favourite hits.


Their beloved Munsch Theatre for young people show returns for Christmas as well as Munsch-O-Rama explores Munsch favourites  ‘50 below Zero;’ ‘The Paper Bag Princess,’; ‘Thomas’s Snowsuit’; ‘PIGS’ and ‘Something Good.’ It will be running at Casa, Dec. 26 -Jan 5.
 Peat is especially pleased to present   Evan Placey’s play “Girls Like That,” which explores teens in the age of the Internet and social media, May 1-11 in the Sterndale Bennett Theatre.

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Robert Bechtel revisits his influences in Lineage at Casa

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Local artist Rob Bechtel goes back to his originals influences for his new Exhibit  “Lineage” in the Concourse Gallery, one of five new exhibits opening tonight, JunRobert Bechtel explores his artistic roots in Lineage. Photo by Richard Amerye 23.


“I started thinking of my influences when I was starting out as an artists. There are so many of them — a lot of twentieth century artists,” Bechtel said, noting his exhibit includes the oil and canvass works he is known for which he created at the McNally Arts Centre studio as well as ink on paper he completed at home.


“ I can’t get  to the studio every day, so I’ve been doing a lot more  work on paper at home,” he observed, adding all of the works were completed in 2017 and 2018.

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C Blake Evernden exhibit explores movie posters

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Local film-maker C Blake Evernden explores the history of movie poster design by looking back on his very earliest films for his movie poster themed exhibition “Cinematic Imaginings,” which opens at Casa tonight, Saturday, June 23.

C Blake Evernden explores movie posters for his new exhibit at Casa. photo by Richard Amery
“I’ve been making movies since I was 11 or 12 and usually the budget wasn’t enough to reflect what was in my head.

So I thought making a movie poster could better reflect it,” he said, adding the works include posters for short films and featured he’s  completed throughout his career, but also three new films he is working on. The new films include a romantic comedy set  in, aptly, a movie theatre.


“And on another of the new ones, I’ve used a couple actresses I hope to be working with on the film,” he said.

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Rotary Dragon Boat Festival entertainment among many highlights this week

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Festival season continues in Lethbridge with  the annual Rotary Dragon boat Festival featuring a three busy days of local entertainment at Henderson lake Park.
Dragon boats.The Chevelles are among the many local acts playing the Rotary Dragon Boat Races this weekend. Photo by Richard Amery
 The usual suspects are performing this year. Country singer Dusty Dee Litchfield opens the festival at 6 p.m., Friday, June 22, followed by the opening ceremonies at 6 p.m.. Scott Davidson‘s Chinook High Rock and pop program play at 6:30. But the big act of  the day are local classic rockers the Chevelles who play two sets beginning at 7:15, with a break at 9 for the Desert Wind belly Dancers.
Things start early the next day at 11 a.m. with Dory and the Weathermen opening up the day, Saturday, June 23. The Rose ceremony is at noon.
Calgary bluesman Eric Braun follows at 12:30 p.m. followed by Hibikaya drummers at 1:30 p.m.
Winnipeg born, White Rock based musician Sketch is on at 2 p.m.


Young local songwriter Nicole Donaghy Hughes performs at 3 p.m. and local ’90s aficionados Uncovered are on at 3:30 p.m.
 Exisdance show their best moves at 4:30, while local funk rock trio Adequate get funky at 5 p.m..


 For a break, the Rocky Mountain Cloggers perform at 6 p.m. and Suite 33 will rock your socks off at 6:30 p.m.. The Desert Wind Belly Dancers perform at  7:30 while county musician Cody Hall and punk band 13 to Go get ready to rock from 8 p.m. until close.


The Dragon boat festival winds up on Sunday, beginning with  the E Free band at 11 a.m. and folk/ roots singer songwriter Karen Romanchuk  performing at noon.
 The Chinook High School rock and pop band return at 12:30 followed by country pop band Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction at 1:30 p.m.
After a Kung Fu demonstration by Lethbridge Hung Sing Koon Kung Fu Academy, Medicine Hat Duo Mahoney bring the show to a close at 3 p.m.
But there is a lot more than just Dragon boats happening this week.


Pridefest activities continue throughout the week.
 The Smokehouse features a big hip hop and rap show with Locksmith and  My Name  Is Junk from SDK who headline a big night of rap beginning at  8p.m. . There will be local support from Trey Mark,Pyke, J lately, Project TRYBE, J-Reds Hip Hop, JPB, ONTK, $ammy and the Fiend and a freestyle  battle at 8;30 p.m. at 8 p.m., June 21 Tickets are $20
 There is a big alternative rock show courtesy of Norwegian blue Records with local duo Cope and London/Guelph’s Whoop-Szo who blend folk, metal, pop and even classical music. The bands begin at  8 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance $15 at the door.


 In Cahoots host this weeks open mic at the Slice, on Thursday, June 21 as well.
 While Average Joes relived the ’80s this past week, this week is about reliving the ’90s and ’00s as Blind Melon and Eve 6 play a double bill, Friday, June 22. The show begins at 8:30 p.m. sharp. Tickets are $45 in advance $50 on the day of the show.

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About L.A. Beat


L.A. Beat is Lethbridge, Alberta's only online arts and entertainment magazine.

It is designed to support music, art, drama and other cultural endeavours in and around the city.

It will start out as an online presence and then evolve into a print edition which will be distributed at numerous locations in the city.

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