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Shakespeare in the Park expects double the fun with twin fueled Comedy of Errors

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Shakespeare in the Park are having fun playing with the comedy “A Comedy of Errors,” which opens at Galt Gardens, at 7 p.m., June 29 and runs most Thursdays and Friday nights until Aug. 11.Antipholus of Syracuse (Austin Halarewich) and Dromio of Syracuse (Jordan Payne) strike a gunfighter pose for A Comedy of Errors. Photo by Richard Amery

Director Ron Chambers is excited to trot on stage a western version of Shakespeare’s comedy, with plenty of slapstick  comedy, misunderstandings and hopefully few errors.

“ I think it‘s going pretty well. It’s two weeks before we open. It looks pretty solid. We‘re ironing out  some details and the guys are busy youtubing Abbott and Costello and the Three Stooges,” said Chambers, who is excited to not only work with a diverse cast including university students, recent graduates, community members and a handful of high school students, but is excited to work outside in Galt Gardens.

“I did a play outside several years ago, so getting to work outside again was one of the reasons I wanted to do this play,” he said.

 Chambers and Shakespeare in the Park producer Kate Connolly not only shortened to play to a tight  production just over an hour long, but turned it into a western and tweaked some of the characters turning the Abbess into “Crazy Kate,”the Courtesan into Miss Kitty,  the Duke into the Sheriff and Dr. Pinch, the doctor, into a firebrand preacher. They also turned Ephesus into Heifersus— a rural river cowboy town.

“I did a lot of research into the nineteenth century and incorporated a few phrases. Kate shortened the play and took out a lot of the thees and thous to make it more accessible. It‘s a lot of fun,” Chambers said.

“If you are a Shakespeare scholar or researcher you will probably come away from it disappointed. But if you come to it wanting to have fun, you will have a blast,” he said.

“ I always feel a little guilty about changing Shakespeare, but I don’t think he would have minded. He loved language. he wrote plays to please audiences and to make money, which is what we’re trying to do,” he said, noting Shakespeare was inspired to write A Comedy of Errors by  The Menaechmi written by ancient Roman dramatist Plautus.

“He (Shakespeare)  added an extra pair of twins,” he continued.

“ The play is about two sets of twins who get separated at birth in a shipwreck. (Each twin has a servant twin). One set  of twins come to a strange town and nobody knows who they are so they are mistaken for each other, which creates a lot of  comedy and a lot of errors,” Chambers said.

“It is an hour and 10 minutes. So it is short and sweet and funny. You’ll even have time to go shopping afterwards,” Chambers chuckled.

Cole Fetting has been in quite a few plays over the past year including a  couple in the One Act Play Festival, the LMT fundraiser Jesus Christ Superstar, Undertow Theatre’s “Proud” and last years Shakespeare in the Park production of Romeo and Juliet.



Canada Day celebrations among week’s highlights

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Canada turns 150 years old this year, so Lethbridge is going all out to celebrate with live music, July 1. But before that, there is quite a lot going on for live music.

 Chicago roots/American/bluegrass band  the Way Down Wanderers visit the Slice, June 28 in the middle of their first visit to Canada. They blend elements of folk, rock, traditional music, bluegrass and much more into their unique sound from their 2016 self titled debut CD as well as their brand new live CD.The Matadors return to Lethbridge this week. Photo by Richard Amery
For the complete opposite to that, London, Ontario based psychobilly/ rockabilly  band the Matadors return to Lethbridge, June 28 as well when they return to the Moose Hall with local punk bands the Scallywags and Gender Bender. The show begins at 9 p.m.

 For something different again, The Owl Acoustic Lounge hosts their month end stand up comedy open mic on June 28.
While Canada Day activities dominate the weekend, there are a couple cool shows happening.
 Taylor Ackerman, who used to play with Treeline and Toques and Beards is taking advantage of a month back home in Lethbridge after spending the past 10 months in Halifax to play a pair of local gigs.

 He brings his new blues rock project Global Acid Reset (which also features drummer Matthew Rederburg and Cory Fischer ) to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, June 30 with Don Cassells’ new project In Cahoots. Global Acid Reset plays the Slice on Canada Day with local roots rock collective Unbroken Circle. There is a  $10 cover for that show.
Shaela Miller returns to the Slice on June 30 with local roots group Rancho Deluxe and Megan Rourke. Admission is $10.

For Canada Day, Vancouver based funk orchestra Five Alarm Funk are part of a busy Canada Day line up at Henderson lake, which begins at 11 a.m. with the Lethbridge Community Band. They will be followed at noon by the Dramatic Measures Choir, the Hibikaya drummers at 12:10, New West Theatre at 12:30 p.m., the Lethbridge Thai dancers at 1:10, Munya Maturuse at 1:30 p.m., the Troyanda Ukrainian Dancers at 2:20 p.m., local funk/R and B/disco collective Hippodrome at 2:50 and the opening ceremonies at 4 p.m..


Five Alarm Funk to help ring in Canada Day in Lethbridge

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Vancouver based funk band Five Alarm Funk plan to “Sweat” in support of their new album, when they drop the funk on Henderson Lake Park to celebrate Canada 150 festivities.

Five  Alarm Funk bring the funk for Canada Day. Photo by Richard Amery
“It’s been 14 years and six albums. And this album is our most mature album yet. It’s opened a lot of doors for us,” said Tayo Branston, one of the two drummers in the funk fuelled behemoth which includes Gabe Boothroyd - Guitar; Oliver Gibson - Guitar; Jay Smith - Bass; Tom Towers - Congas; Ricki Valentine - Timbales; Eli Bennett - Sax and trumpet player Kent Wallace.

“We wanted to capture what it feels like to be at  a concert. The last album “Abandon Earth’ was a concept album. It was almost a heavy metal album. On this album we went back to our roots of heavy funk, afrobeat  and reggae,” Branston said, adding they are excited to play Canada Day in Lethbridge.

“Our live show is the best it’s ever been. We have new costumes and new props we’re breaking out. I don’t want to spoil things, but the gorilla and the sharks are our in full force. They’ve become a symbol for Five Alarm Funk. They’re big, powerful animals,” he said, promising a spectacle for Canada Day.

“We’re also working on new music which we’ll be playing which you won’t hear unless you’re at the concert,” he said, noting the band has been touring a lot in the United States and Canada since releasing the album in March. They played Follyfest in Fredericton on June 23 before flying back to Vancouver the Coastal Jazz Festival, which kicks off a big tour including Canadian and American dates.


Taylor Ackerman goes back to blues rock roots with Global Acid Reset

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They all come back eventually. Taylor Ackerman, who was a member of several popular local bands including Treeline and Toques and Beards, returns home from Halifax for a month to introduce his new musical project GloTaylor Ackerman plays with Global Acid Reset. Photo by Richard Amerybal Acid Reset with a pair of local shows, June 30 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge and July 1 at the Slice.

He noted he has spent the past 10 months living in Halifax rediscovering his blues/rock roots, while looking after his two year old while wife Arianna Richardson earns her MFA. Be has also been dipping his toes into the thriving east coast scene.

 He has been recording new music while in Halifax with drummer Geoff Arsenault including the new single “Bangladeshi T-Shirt” which is officially released on June 30.

“ He’s a great drummer. He has played with Ray Bonneville and just finished a tour with Matt Anderson,” Ackerman said, adding he planned the trip home with a handful of shows including  the two Lethbridge shows plus a show at Verns in Calgary on June 29 and a show at Soulfest in Twin Butte on July 7.


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