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North American premiere of the Curing Room marks Pretty, Witty and Gay

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Theatre Outré continues to push the boundaries with their new production, the Curing Room running Feb. 27-March 3 in the basement of Ten Thousand Villages instead of their usual home in Club Didi.

Jay Whitehead is excited to bring the Curing Room to Lethbridge as pard of Pretty , Witty and Gay. Photo by Richard Amery
“It‘s Incredibly powerful. It explores humanity at it’s basest,” said Jay Whitehead, who performs in the story of seven Russian soldiers captured in Poland during the Second World War and kept in the basement of a monastery.
“It’s based on real life events. It’s about seven Soviet soldiers who are captured and are locked naked in the basement of a monastery. So we’re nude for the entirety of the play. But, not to spoil anything, not all of them make it out,” said Whitehead, who noted they decided to move the play to the new location to better fit the characters’ situations.


“It’s quite exposing,” Whitehead added, observing the Curing Room has been a hit at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.


“It becomes quite gruesome by the end to say the least. It’s visceral and impactful. But it’s also humourous in places,” he said, noting it is definitely not a family friendly show.


Gail Hanrahan directs the 90-120 minute long 2011 play penned by New York based actor/ playwright David Ian Lee. It features Whitehead, Graham Mothersill, Stuart MacDougall, Marek Czuma, Grayson Ogle, AJ Baragar and Connor Christmas.


 Whitehead has worked with all of the actors except Stuart MacDougall either at the university or with Theatre Outré.


Whitehead said Theatre Outré chose to perform the Curing Room for a couple of reasons.


“It’s part  of our ‘stripped down’ series, which explores nudity and cultural hangups about it. And we always wanted to partner with Theatre BSMNT in Calgary and this play suited both our mandates,” he said. After they are finished the Lethbridge run, they will take the play to Calgary.
“It’s also the North American premiere of the play, though is performed in Europe,” he added.

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Lots of fun for everyone with country, rock, blues and laughter

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This week will be a fun one.

Tonight, Moose Jaw singer songwriter Megan Nash returns to Lethbridge to play the Owl Acoustic Lounge.

Things get loud  and a little bit weird from the start, Feb. 22 as the Slice will rock on a Wednesday with Edmonton prog rock band the Dead Fibres tearing things up with local post punk bands Wint and bubble wrap plus experimental duo the Postnamers. There is a five dollar cover.
The show begins at 9 p.m. There is a $10 cover.
The next night the Irish Descendants get you into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit three weeks early, Feb. 23 at Average Joes. They always equal a really good and often drunken time with plenty of fiddle and plenty of ‘sociables’. The show begins at 7:30 p.Dave McCann is one of many local musicians playing this week. Photo by Richard Amerym. Admission is $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the show.


It is also an exceptional week for local music, as usual.
Daylan Delaney returns to Plum, Feb. 23 to play a free show beginning at 9  p.m.


Local roots rocker Dave McCann and the Firehearts return to the Slice, Feb. 24. They’ll be playing at 9 p.m.
 Local country rock band the Mark Hall band returns to Casino Lethbridge for the weekend as well, Feb. 24 and 25. There is no cover for the show.


 Pop country songstress Alyssa McQuaid returns to the Mocha Cabana, Feb. 24.


And, Edmonton based, Lethbridge bred musician Jesse Northey returns to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Feb. 24 with Brenna Lowrie.
The 15th annual pretty Witty and Gay festival kicks off Feb. 24 in Club Didi with Panti Raid at 10 p.m.
 There is even a show for the kids this week as the Bubble Guppies bring a “fin-tastic” time to the Enmax Centre, Feb. 24 with rock and roll, comedy hi jinks and audience participation. Tickets are $31.50.
The show begins at 6:30 p.m.

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Audio/Rocketry make long awaited return to Lethbridge

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Edmonton based folk/ punk band Audio Rocketry make a long awaited return to Lethbridge with an even more long awaited CD this week.


 The folk punk band play the Slice, Saturday, Feb. 25 with fellow Edmontonians Worst Days Down.

Audio Rocketry return to Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard Amery
 Their new, self titled fourth CD, which was released late last year, features a more rock edge. They took two years to complete it. The Cd before that was released in 2011.


“I’m in Portland for half the year because my wife is going to school there and when I’m back in Alberta, I work on the family farm and that’s three hours away from Edmonton,” said Joe Vickers from Portland, where he has also been working on another solo CD.


Living in Portland, hasn’t affected Audio/Rocketry songwriting, though it has affected  solo songs.


“Audio/Rocketry has it’s roots in Alberta. And lyrically, then prairies have always been important to the group,” he said.


“When we do get together, we’ve been concentrating on songwriting,” he continued, adding they also don’t get together to rehearse very often.


“We released the new CD in the fall, then toured out to Quebec City and back. And now we’re going to B.C and Alberta. We‘re actually meeting in Vancouver,” he said.
“We released three albums in three years and toured for a year and a half on the last one,” he said, noting they needed to step back and re-evaluate.
“We’ve always been a punk rock band. Our drummer  (Jerome Tovillo)’s first instrument is guitar. So it allowed him to go back to his home base. It was nice to explore musical possibilities with him. Taking so much time allowed us to work more as a collective,” he said, adding just the fact they have a drummer allowed them to explore their rock and roll side.

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24th Street Wailers enjoy long distance relationship making blues music with bandmates

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Halifax born, Toronto/Texas based jazz blues band, the 24th Street Wailers’ drummer/vocalist Lindsay Beaver is enjoying biding her time in Texas, south of Austin with husband /bassist Mike Archer in between hitting the road with band mates saxophonist Jonny Wong, lead guitarist Marc Doucet and pianist Jesse Whiteley who are based in Toronto now.

The 24th Street Wailers play Lethbridge this week. Photo submitted
 They visit Lethbridge for the first time when they play the Geomatic Attic, Feb. 26 with the Steve Keenan band.
“We’ve been rehearsing all week and they sound great. It’s expensive, but  we make it work,” said Beaver, enjoying a sunny day south of Austin, watching her neighbours’ chickens run away.
“ It means we have a hub here and a hub in Canada, she continued.


“I live 25 kms south of Austin, which is a close enough to get to see things, but not live there. There’s a lot of great music here. And we get a lot of touring acts, like the Reverend Horton heat and the Staxx guys who usually play the smaller clubs,” she said, noting she and Archer play quite a bit around Austin.


“ And I do a regular thing with Jimmy Vaughan,” she continued, noting their gig tonight isn’t until midnight.


“ It’s great because there is a lot happening and we’re the last thing going on,” she said.
 The 24th Street Wailers also  are working on a new CD which they plan to record in December. It will technically be their sixth album.

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L.A. Radio

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Also the home of  the Hotrock Blues Beat Saturday nights @ 8-10 p.m.  and  Disco Sucks: Punkin’ it old school Wednesdays @ 8 p.m.-10 p.m.  with L.A. Beat editor Richard Amery.

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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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