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Plenty of plays and roots music this week

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This week is all about the drama.
 Two big productions happen this week.
 First up, a massive collaboration between Lethbridge Musical Theatre and Chinook High School,” is a the big welcome back of Lethbridge Musical Theatre, Nov. 1-9.

Next up, the University of Lethbridge stages Shakespeare’s bloodiest play Titus Andronicus, Nov. 5-9 in university Theatre.Megan Brown playing with Junkman’s Quire for Halloween. She also hosts the Slice’s open mic, Nov. 7. Photo by Richard Amer
 There are some hot shows happening for early November.
Barney Bentall brings his Cariboo Express back to the Southminster United Church, Thursday, Nov. 7 for the Geomatic Attic. This year Barney and co-host Matt Masters will be joined by friends Wendy Bird, Leeroy Stagger, Ridley Bent, Dustin Bentall, Kirby Barber, Stephanie Cadman and the Gold Rush All Stars. This year the show is a fundraiser for Youth One.

 The show begins at 8 p.m.,Nov. 7 at the Southminster united Church.
 The roots music starts early, at the Slice, Wednesday, Nov. 6 with Taber folk/ musician Joshua Beebe, local roots musician Corduroy Brown  (James Swinney) and local indie folk songwriter and Wendy Cee.

Makiisma host the Slice’s weekly open mic at the Slice, Nov. 7. The Slice goes hard rock, Nov. 8 as they welcome back Regina stoner rock trio Black Thunder. They will be playing with Gepetto and local heavy rock band Chernoff. There is a $10 cover for the show which begins at 9 p.m.

Last Updated ( Monday, 04 November 2019 10:52 ) Read more...

Saskatoon songwriter Ellen Froese adds different styles to latest CD ‘Fightin’ Words’

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Saskatoon area musician Ellen Froese is excited to release her first solo full band album “Fightin’ Words,” Nov. 1.Ellen Froese plays the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Nov. 9. Photo submitted

Lethbridge gets a double dose of Froese when she brings her band the Hot Toddies (drummer /vocalist Dylan Cooper; bassist/vocalist Emmett Fortosky and electric guitarist Matt Joyal)  to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Saturday, Nov. 9, in the middle of a month long tour taking her to Ottawa and back. She plays Lethbridge again,  playing a solo show with Kacy and Clayton at the Geomatic Attic, Dec. 8. She is also playing Twin Butte Store, Nov. 8.

She has released a couple of albums with her bluegrass band In with the Old, and a full length, more folk solo album.
The new album is a lot different.

“ There’s a lot of ’60s and ’70s style pop, and some traditional country, a couple of ballads. It’s a groovy, fun record,” said Froese, taking a quick break from helping out on her parents’  dairy farm.

 She recorded the album at Saskatoon studio Ghettobox Studio with Jill Mack.
 “She’s a good friend. I used her on the last album,” she said, adding Kacy Anderson from the duo Kacy and Clayton produced the album. 

Last Updated ( Saturday, 02 November 2019 10:05 ) Read more...

Barney Bentall and the Grand Cariboo Express returning to Lethbridge this week

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Barney Bentall is excited to bring back the Grand Cariboo Express show to Southminster United Church  for a special Geomatic Attic show, Thursday,  Nov. 7.
“ We’re thinking of alternating years between Fort Macleod (where they played the Empress Theatre last year) and Lethbridge, because the Fort Macleod show was so much fun. It’s a wonderful theatre,” observed Bentall from VancouvBarney Bentall and the Grand Cariboo Express return to Lethbridge this week. PHoto by Richard Amery er, getting ready to rehearse with a motley crew of talent in Calgary, before opening the tour there, Nov. 1.

“ I guess we’ll figure out what we’re doing during rehearsal. Everyone rehearses on their own,” said Bentall, Bentall has assembled a steady stable of talent mover the past 14 years, though the line up changes slightly every year and sometimes every show.
This year Barney and co-host Matt Masters will be joined by friends Wendy Bird, Leeroy Stagger, Ridley Bent, Dustin Bentall, Kirby Barber, Stephanie Cadman and the Gold Rush All Stars. Usually they show is a fundraiser for a local  charity. This year, Barney Bentall  and the Cariboo Express are lending a hand to Youth One.

“This year the shows are half and half. When we do a show for charity it means a lot more script writing for Matt (Masters, co-host) and I because it is set up like the Grand Ole Opry where each song is sponsored and we introduce each one,” he said, adding they have fun with that aspect of it.
“For example, If a law firm sponsors  a song, then we have fun with that and make a joke,” he said.

“Leeroy can ’t do the whole tour with us this time, but he will be playing the Lethbridge show. And my son, Dustin is coming with us on this tour. And Mariel Buckley will be with us for the Calgary show,” Bentall said, noting each artist gets to play their own song or the cover of their choice and can ask the other musicians to join in if they wish
“ Some songs, like Ridley Bent’s ‘Suicidewinder,’ we wouldn’t think of doing a show without playing it,” he said.

Last Updated ( Friday, 01 November 2019 21:46 ) Read more...

U of L Opera Workshop celebrates Italy

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The University of Lethbridge celebrates Italy with their nineteenth annual Opera Workshop, Viva Italia, happening, Nov. 1 and 2 in University Theatre.

 Patrick Davis and Krysia Ferguson rehearsae a scene for the u of L opera Workshop, Nov. 1 and 2 in University Theatre. Photo by Richard Amery
 The two hour performance will feature excerpts from a variety of well known operas including Verdi’s La Traviata, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, and Mozart’s Italian opera masterpiece, The Marriage of Figaro. The 25 cast members will also be part of the University of Lethbridge’s annual collaboration with the Symphony Orchestra, when they perform Gilbert and Sullivan’s “ The Gondoliers, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.
Director Dr. Blaine Hendsbee chose the Italian theme for the show for several reasons, not the least of which there is a lot of material to choose from. He noted the operas are either written in Italy, sung in Italian or set in Italy.

There is a minimal set and props in this production.

“They’re all dressed formal. We’re saving  the props and costumes for ‘The Gondolier,”” Hendsbee said.

“Opera in other countries ebbs and flows, but in Italy, it is always growing. So there is lots to choose from” Hendsbee observed, adding the show includes a lot of familiar pieces, whether fans know a lot about opera or just recognize the Barber of Seville from watching Bugs Bunny cartoons. There will also be an excerpt from “Kiss Me Kate, and much more.

“ It can be a long two-hour show if people don’t recognize any of the music, so we chose material that is well known.  So we’re performing the Barber of  Seville and the drinking song from La Traviata. We’re also performing music from the oldest  known completed opera ‘Coronation of Poppea.’ We’re also performing music from Mozart,  Handel and Pucinni,” he continued, adding he chose pieces that were best suited to his students’ voices.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 29 October 2019 11:59 ) Read more...

Lots of laughs for Halloween week

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Halloween week ends with a roar and an eclectic selection of music and comedy in Lethbridge.Sean Burns returns to Casino Lethbridge this weekend. photo by Richard Amery
After this election and the Alberta budget announcement. Everyone could use a little laughter. So take a break from bellyaching on social media by taking advantage of  one of several options to let loose and laugh.
 Good Times has their regular comedy open mic on Tuesday night. And The Owl Acoustic Lounge has their monthly comedy open mic on Wednesday, Oct. 30.

 Good Times brings in comedian Sunee Dhaliwal for two shows, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
The next night, Nov. 2 Chris Gordon takes the stage at Good Times at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for each show.
 Impromptu is back with a band new improvised soap opera. America Gomorrah Story, ideal for Halloween, hits Didi’s Playhaus’s stage, Nov 1 at 8:30 p.m. with the show, beginning at 9 p.m. Admission is $10.

 But Halloween events dominate the week as expected.

 October Poppy’s Eryn Kleyh, plus Vancouver musicians Nixie and Elle Wolf plus Calgary’s Adrian Chalifour play a pre-Halloween party at the Slice, Oct. 30.

For actual Halloween, Kelowna rock band the Wild! return to Lethbridge to play an intimate show at the Slice, Oct. 31. Tickets are going fast at $10 a pop. Local band 21st Avenue will be opening. The Junkman’s Quire play Halloween at the Owl Acoustic Lounge. And Theoretically Brewing celebrate Halloween by closing their patio with a haunted Halloween party with Winnipeg ant-rock band Trampoline, Calgary hard rock duo Johnnor and local band Fawns. The music begins at 8 p.m. Admission is $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 29 October 2019 11:55 ) Read more...
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