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Shakespeare in the Park bringing Romeo and Juliet to Galt Gardens

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Shakespeare in the Park celebrates their fifth year performing  the Bard in Galt Gardens by tackling one of Shakespeare’ beloved tragedy “ Romeo and Juliet.”
The show runs in Galt Gardens, July 14,15,21,22,28,29 and August 3-5,10-12. They are also performing a matinee at Casa, Aug 6 at 2 p.m.
“Things are going very well,” said director DJ Gellatly.Garrett Bishoff and Cole Fetting rehearse a scene from Romeo and Juliet at the Gate, June 22. Photo by Richard Amery
“I’ve been very impressed with the cast. There is a lot of really great diversity on the cast. it’s just working,” he said, before a rehearsal at the Gate, which is letting them store set and props there as well as allowing them rehearsal space.

He has set the play in contemporary Italy. This year the cast includes a couple of high school students playing the younger characters including Chinook high school student Emily Klink as Juliet and LCI student Halla Wagner plus an eclectic group of Shakespeare in the Park veterans, University of Lethbridge students and recent graduates plus familiar faces from the local community theatre scene.
“I really wanted to emphasize the age difference of the actors. You can see the old guard versus the new guard. Older actors  are in the more senior roles like Montague and Capulet and I cast younger actors in the younger roles,” Gellatly said, adding Garrett Bishoff is Romeo because he wanted a strong, experienced actor to play Romeo.

“Everyone is off book, which helps me as director and everybody is really buying into the philosophy of the show, which is nice,” he continued.
“We did a lot of character work at the beginning, exploring why the characters say and do what they do. We talked a lot about what they are hoping to achieve to bring the characters to a full arch,” he continued.
“Especially Juliet. She‘s a really logical girl yet youthful. Our actress has really embraced that. She’s 17 and really mature. Sharon Peat runs a very good program at Chinook so I asked her specifically who would make a really good Juliet,” he continued.
“There are a lot of talented young ladies in the play,” he said.

“She suggested three young ladies and two of them are in the play,” he continued, adding Shakespeare in the Park veteran Garrett Bishoff takes on the role of impetuous youth Romeo.
“Impetuous youth is a great way of putting it. He uses a lot of flowery speech. He’s a very poetic speaker, which makes him come across as being very high brow, but Garrett is doing a great job of humanizing him,” Gellatly said.
“He comes across as very pompous, but he goes through a lot of different emotions. He’s a misanthrope mooning over his love for Juliet. He goes through the courtship process very quickly and gets married very quickly, then gets into a fight and kills Tybalt and gets banished. He goes through the full spectrum of emotions and Garrett has done an admirable job with him,” he continued.

He had to recast the part of the friar  as his first choice Camille Pavlenko will be performing in New West Theatre’s August show “Heatwave.”
“She couldn’t do both shows,” he said, adding it would have been a lot of fun with the friar as a female.
David Gabert, who most people know from being at the helm of long-standing Lethbridge improv troupe the Drama Nutz is  excited to play Montague, head of the feuding Montague house.
“It’s really nice to do something that is scripted,” he said.


Celebrate Canada Day with rock and roll music

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Canadian classic rockers Prism play two shows in Lethbridge. The Vancouver band ,featuring original member Al Harlow, will be playing their numerous hits including “Spaceship Superstar,” “Take me to The Kaptain,” “See Forever Eyes,” Flying” and many more at Average Joes, June 30 at 8:30 p.m. Band of Brothers are also on the bill.Driving While Blind plays Bikers Against Child Abuse fundraiser this weekend. Photo by Richard Amery
Prism will be at Coyote Joes for Canada Day, taking the stage at  9 p.m. Ticket are $15 in advance, $20 on the day of the shows.

As usual there is a lot of music, magic and dance happening at Henderson Lake Park on Canada Day.

 The Lethbridge Taiko Association begin celebrations at the Japanese Niko Yuko Gardens at 10 a.m. Music begins on the main stage in Henderson Lake with the Lethbridge Community band society. They will be followed by Shayne Marie/Asher/Fernando, Mi Colombia a Linda. Matthew Robinson performs at 1:50 p.m. followed by magician Ben Price, Champion Tae Kwon Do and opening ceremonies at 4 p.m.. the Soul Sisters follow that then Extreme Cheer Sensation, local teen rockers Diversified, Lethbridge Princess parties, jazz rockers the Junkman’s Quire, jigging, the delta blues stylings of Leon Barr and Desert Wind belly dancers. Local alternative rock duo Sparkle Blood perform at 8:50 p.m. and The Geometras and DJ Rabbyt will lead you to the fireworks.
 If you just want to dance, be at Galt Gardens in the afternoon where DJ Rabbyt will be spinning dance music along with  Marty Funkhauser, Steve Samurai, Phunkey le Freq and Verboze.  They perform from noon to 5 p.m.
There is no charge for these Canada Day celebrations.

If you like hip hop music WC of Westside connection will be performing June 30 with DJ Crazy Toones and Dctmg and local rappers Smg , Lil Smokey, Trey Mark, Sam Mackey, Luke Prozac, Blood Rez; Lrev and Pyke.
 Tickets are $20. Doors open at 8 p.m.


Classic rock and roll lives with Prism

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Rock and roll is decidedly not dead, it has just changed according to Al Harlow, frontman of Vancouver classic rockers Prism.
 Prism play two shows in Lethbridge for Canada Day — a June 30 pre-Canada Day party at Average Joes and across town at Coyote Joes for Canada Day.

“ It seems like rock and roll culture is on the increase,” Harlow observed, warming to the subject.Prism and Al Harlow play two Lethbridge shows over the Canada Day weekend. Photo by Richard Amery
“ We have three generations  of people coming to our shows including young kids who grew up listening to our songs on the radio,” he said, adding that is true of  many “heritage acts” who formed in the ’70s and ’80s and who are still touring. Though he said he doesn’t like to consider Prism as a heritage act,”  he accepts the fact audiences usually come to see Prism to hear their many mega-hits like “Spaceship Superstar,” “ Flying,” “ See Forever Eyes” and “Take Me To The Kaptain.”

“ I went to see Paul McCartney in Vancouver a month ago. He was amazing, but he put a few new songs into the set which were amazing, but he realized why the people were there— to hear his hits. I wanted to hear his hits too,” he said.

“We play a lot of shows with bands like Chilliwack and Kenny Shields. We were playing with Chilliwack and I told Bill Henderson ‘you’re a national treasure,’ and he said ‘No, we‘re a national treasure,’” he related.

“We put on a real rock and roll show. We may not dress up in the costumes  we did in the ’70s, but we’re dressed to play a rock and roll show. It’s powerful and to be part of it is exciting,” he said.
He noted while the business has changed the primary motivations of artists hasn’t.
“Young people  playing music aren’t in it to become millionaires. We weren’t. When we were 20, recording was a big deal. You had to  go to Hollywood or somewhere to record. Now you can have a studio in your basement,” he said.

“When we were 19, you had one platform to be heard, now you have 380 platforms and maybe you get .0009 of a cent  for each one,” he said.
But I have a new CD ready. I love doing it and don’t plan on stopping,” he said.

 He said it is important for him to write new songs. Audiences respond to them too.
 They released “Big Black Sky” in 2008, which is currently sold out on Prism’s website.
 “Tangiers” from that CD is still part of the set, it seems to resonate with people. And we play ‘Big Black Sky ’ and ‘Say You Want Me,’ which is more  my favourite because it is a big Rolling Stonesish rocker,” he said, adding Prism is almost done writing a new CD.

“ I have a new Prism Cd almost done and a new Al Harlow CD,” he said  adding the solo Cd explores his love for the blues and folk music.


Calgary's Northwest Passage to debut new CD in Lethbridge

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Calgary based quartet the Northwest Passage are psyched about releasing their debut CD A_Wake.Paul van Kampen returns to LEthbridge with the Northwest Passage. Photo by Richard Amery
 They will be premiering it in Lethbridge at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, July 2.

“We adore Lethbridge and we always have, which is one of the reasons we’re focussing on it,” said frontman Paul van Kampen who was just at the Owl Acoustic Lounge last week playing with SAVK.
“We‘ll do a Calgary release later,” he said adding the CD isn’t officially out yet.
The Northwest Passage CD features Paul van Kampen (vocals, piano and synths), Darren Young (vocals and guitars), Laura Reid (violin), Daniel Wilson (drums and percussion), Russell Broom (bass guitar), Laura Jones (vocals), and featuring Arran Fisher (backing vocals in Lorelei).

 The core four, van Kampen, Young, Reid and Wilson will be playing with  Laura Jones and possibly another member if they are able to make it.

“We’ll be playing the CD from front to back and just let the CD do it’s thing,” van Kampen said, adding July 2 will be their first visit to Lethbridge under the Northwest Passage banner, though they have performed here in other incarnations.
 The band have been playing the songs for about two years.



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