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Playgoers of Lethbridge will get audiences laughing with Boeing Boeing

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Playgoers  of Lethbridge take laughter to new heights with their upcoming production of  Marc Camoletti’s French Farce  Boeing  Boeing.
 The 1962 comedy, translated by Beverley Cross and Francis Evans, lands at the Yates Memorial Theatre, Feb. 10-13.

Bernard (Garrett Bishoff ) explains to his friend Robert (Josh Hammerstedt) how he juggles three airline hostess fiances in playgoers of lethbridge’s production of Boeing Boeing. Photo by Richard Amery
“It’s coming together really really well,” said director Linda Johnson, who was pleased to be able to move into the Yates Theatre earlier than usual to allow the cast to practice opening and closing the numerous doors on stage.


“There are so many doors. So timing is so important when one opens and another closes,” she said.


“Boeing Boeing” is about the misadventures of French bachelor Bernard, who thinks he has everything figured out with his three air hostess fiancés.
He figures they are none the wiser about each other due to their strict schedules until the introduction of new, faster Boeing jets.


“One is American, one is German and one is Italian and they know nothing of each other,” Johnson said.
“ But because of the new Boeing planes, which are  faster, all three hostesses arrive at the same time so  Bernard’s American friend Robert has to help make sure these three women don’t meet,” she continued.


“So Bernard is in a complete panic when all three show up,” she said.Garrett Bishoff and Emilie Kidd rehearse Boeing Boeing. Photo by Richard Amery
 The talented local cast includes an equal mix of Playgoers of Lethbridge veterans and newcomers. She has worked with Josh Hammerstedt (Robert), Monique Prusky (Gabrielle) and Shelly David before, but hasn’t worked with Garrett Bishoff (Bernard), Cassandra Watson or Emilie Kidd.


“ Just the fact they are so talented. They all have their own character which they bring to the characters they play. They’ve all been wonderful,” she said, praising her backstage crew as well.
“ I always say laughter is the best medicine. So I expect people will leave this play feeling quite healthy,” she said.

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Plenty of plays and lots of big names playing this week

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If you are looking for something to do for Valentine’s Day this week, take your loved one to a plethora of local shows happening this week or just take yourself  if you’re the one you love.Mwansa Mwansa and her band play Casino Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard Amery
 There are a couple of excellent plays happening this week.
 Playgoers of Lethbridge production of Marc Camoletti’s French Farce  Boeing Boeing happens at the Yates Theatre, Feb. 10-13. It is the hilarious story of Bernard a French bachelor who is juggling three fiancees who are air hostesses in the1960s. Things get complicated as new Boeing jets  bring the three women ever closer to finding out about each other.
 The show is 8 p.m. each night.


 The University of Lethbridge also has a play happening. Bertolt Brecht’s “The Caucasian Chalk Circle,”  which began last weekend, runs at University Theatre, David Spinks Theatre and even in the lobby all this week until Feb. 13.
There is a plethora of great music happening at the Enmax Centre this week as well. Country and pop lovers won’t want to miss singer songwriter / crooner Johnny Reid who visits the Enmax Centre, Feb. 13 with special guests Natalie MacMaster, JJ Shiplett and Aaron Goodvin. Tickets are $53.75-$85.75.


The next night, get ready to bang your head with hard rock band Disturbed plus St. Asonia and Age of Days, who play Feb. 14. Tickets cost $40-$60.
 There is a special  Valentines dinner, Feb. 13 at the Bill Kergan Centre if you love Latin music and Latin food. The Ecuadoran Social Club hosts the dinner which will feature entertainers Fernando Espindola and m Columbia Linda. Tickets are $25.

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Elliott Brood to make long awaited return to Lethbridge with new Juno nominated CD

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It has been three years and album and another Juno nomination since Hamilton based Toronto transplanted folk/ rock trio Elliott Brood played Lethbridge.

Elliott Brood return to Lethbrdge, Feb. 12. Photo submitted
“We’re already thinking about the next album. It’s been at least two or three years since we’ve been to Lethbridge. We’ve toured everywhere except Lethbridge,” said frontman Mark Sasso, who is excited to return to Lethbridge to play Studio 54, Feb. 12 with local musicians the Dearly Departed and Ryland Moranz.


 The band ended up  relocating one  at a time with Sasso moving to Hamilton first followed by band mates Casey Laforet and Stephen Pitken.
“ I wanted to be in a place where I could afford a house and to be closer to family. I wanted  get out of the city and settle down that way.  Steven followed and Casey followed him like six month ago,” he said.


“There is a lot going on in Toronto, so it is difficult to move, but  that becomes less important when you have kids and start spending more time at home,” Sasso said.
“Plus I used to have to drive 45 minutes to get to the country, now it is only 10 or 15,” he said.
The move has helped the band musically.


“ Now we meet a couple of time a week to meet and play. Before we were all living in different areas of Toronto,” he said.
They left even the new location behind for two weeks in 2014 to isolate themselves in the Tragically Hip’s Bathhouse Studio and write their fifth new CD with producer Ian Blurton (C’mon, Public Animal)
“ He’s best known for a heavier sound, but he also has a really great melodic sense, which we really liked,” he said adding working with Blurton lead to a better, if not more rock influenced album.

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Yukon Blonde explore keyboards on new CD

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Yukon Blonde have embraced keyboards on their best album to date “On Blonde.”Yukon Blonde play Lethbridge, Feb. 11. Photo by Olivia Jaffe
 They bring their new keyboard based, more pop infused sound to Average Joes, Feb. 11.
 After enjoying a beautiful couple months off from non-stop touring since their third CD was released in June,  the Juno nominated, Polaris prize shortlisted Vancouver based band are excited to get back on the road.


“We’ve hired a new keyboard player Rebecca Gray so it’s nice to have the female dynamic in the band now,” said Yukon Blonde guitarist Brandon Scott. Rebecca Gray and new bassist James Younger join the band’s core of frontman Jeffrey Innes, Graham Jones and Scott.
 “It’s been fun rebuilding the songs from the ground up for her keyboards and  adding new parts to the old songs. And she’s a great singer, so we’re nuts about adding that fifth harmony,” he enthused.


He said frontman Jeffery Innes’ obsession with vintage keyboards found its way into the band’s new more ’80s pop influenced sound.
“The keyboards really fill out the sound on the album,” Scott observed.
“Jeff bought a lot of vintage keyboards and Moogs and has been learning how to play them, so it’s all been really fun,” he said, adding Younger also put his stamp on the new music.


“He helped us write it. He’s really added his influences to the sound. Both of them have been great assets to the team,” Scott said, adding the band is immensely proud of the new CD as they were able to take more time on it and write most of it in the studio.


“I think it shows how much we have evolved as a band. On last two records, the songs were pretty much done before we went into the studio. We did a lot of rehearsing before, so we knew pretty much what the songs would sound like. On this one, we went into the studio with a lot of broken ideas. So we were able to record some of it and go home and listen  to what we recorded and come back and work on it again,” he said.


The new CD has spawned a couple of successful videos for the singles “ Saturday Night,” and the most recent  single “ I Wanna Be your Man.”
 Scott said the band left them in the hands and creative imagination of director Mac Boucher. The band were pleased with the results.
“We aren’t even in the video. We’ve been constantly touring since June. But Jeff’s face is in ‘I Wanna Be Your Man.’ We recorded it in the green room at one of our shows,” he recalled, adding they turned out perfectly for the songs.

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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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