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New West Theatre cautiously optimistic their next season will go on

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Kathy Zaborsky was part of New West's production of Dear Johnny Deere. Photo by Richard AmeryNew West Theatre, like everybody else, is on hiatus until  the Covid 19 panic passes. However they  are ready to go as soon as people are able to support live entertainment in the communities.
“ We‘re reasonably optimistic though we are on edge,” observed New West Theatre Artistic Director Kelly Reay.

 “ But we had to cancel the last few shows of Dear Johnny Deere. We’re reasonably optimistic life will return to normal by a reasonable time,” he continued.


Makiisma excited about new CD “Lady Misery”

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Megan Brown shows her heavy side on her  debut  solo CD “Lady Misery,” under her pseudonym Makiisma.
 She was supposed to have a CD release party on the weekend, but it was cancelled due to Covid-19 fears.

While she has recorded with other bands like Junkman’s Quire, this is the first CD she has recorded of her own music with her “doom folk” band Makiisma.
She recordMegan Brown has released Makiisma’s debut Cd Lady Misery. Photo by Richard Ameryed the CD at Green Recording company with producer Jon Martin, who also plays a couple of guitar solos on the CD along with keyboardist TJ Waltho, drummer Keenan Pezderic and bassist Steve Martin. Brown sings, plays guitar plus violin and viola on the songs.

“There are nine songs on the CD that I have written over the past two or three years. I chose songs that had a similar sound,” she said, adding her more folk/ singer/ songwriter songs like  “Do I Work for the Devil (or Live in Hell),” which was her South Country Fair Songwriting competition submission last year, didn’t make the cut.

“I have a lot of folk and singer songwriter songs, but these songs just felt right together. They are a lot of fun. And the band worked best on  a heavier sound,” Brown said, adding she chose the nine best out of 12 songs she had in  the heavier style.


Local musician Gabe Thaine performing live shows online

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Just because you can’t go out, it doesn’t mean the music has to stop.

Gabe Thaine is performing live online twice a day. Photo by Richard Amery
 Quite the opposite, with everyone  being told to stay home and any gatherings of more than 50 people being effectively banned including the local live music venues to prevent the spread of the COVID virus, local musicians are performing their shows online.

And listening to music and supporting artistic pursuits is all the more important, if only to prevent going insane from cabin fever. George Arsene has been performing online as has Keenan Pezderic, however local musician Gabe Thaine (Gabriel Olsen)  has decided to perform two shows live online every day — a 45 minute long 2 p.m. show for kids and  an hour and 15 minute long show of his own material plus covers at 9 p.m. every night as well.

“I miss playing open mics and going out to see shows,” said Gabriel Olsen, whose live shows be seen on his Gabe Thaine Facebook page.
“ For the kids show I play songs by Raffi and Sharon Lois and Bram and some of my kids songs. The kids shows I was doing with the band were so much fun and now we can’t do them,” he said.


Theatre Outré broadcasting new season of Gommorah online

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Theatre Outré is experimenting with technology to get their work out to the world.Theatre Outre Artistic Director Jay Whitehead. Photo by Richard Amery
“ Last week we did our drunk  improv show live online (on March 21) on the Theatre Outré Facebook page, but now we don’t even feel comfortable doing that,” said Theatre Outré artistic director Jay Whitehead.

This weekend, Saturday, March 28 they are embracing technology again for the first episode of their new improvised sop opera Gommorah inspired by reality television shows like Big Brother through the Zoom app, which will,once again, be broadcasted on their Facebook page.

“We’ll be self isolating and playing a variety of crazy characters from our own laptops, computers and even phones,” Whitehead continued, agreeing it is a good fit, considering Big Brother uses a lot of cameras on the just the individual characters.

“ We’re experimenting, We’ll see of it works. I’ve been getting familiar with Zoom because I’ve been using it for teleconferencing at work. We have to experiment to do what we love to do,” he said.
 He said they will keep the show to 45 minutes.
“There is a lot going on on social media competing for people’s attention,” he continued.


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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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