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Hatrix Theatre and Danceworks holding auditions Sunday for Little Shop of Horrors

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Little Shop of Horrors is coming to Lethbridge in the fall.Auditions for Little Shop of Horrors are 7-9 p.m. on March 12.
 Hatrix Theatre and Danceworks are collaborating to bring the popular Alan Menken and Howard Ashman penned 1982 comedy/rock musical about a hapless florist who raises a man eating Venus Flytrap to the  Moose Hall, Oct. 26-28 and  Oct. 31 —Nov. 4.

 Auditions are Sunday, March 12 at the Moose Hall from 7-9 p.m., and will go longer if more people show up.

“It’s a pretty small cast of six to eight people — there’s Audrey, Seymour, the Dentist, Mooshnik and the Go Go Girls,” listed director Brian Quinn, noting Danceworks’  Mark Litchfield suggested they produce Little Shop of Horrors.
“Mark was involved with  a production of  Little Shop of Horrors with another theatre company years ago,” Quinn said.

“It’s a dark comedy with an edge like Avenue Q and  the Evil Dead. And it’s Halloween, so it fits right in,” Quinn said, en route to Medicine Hat for a hockey game as well as  to check out the condition of the puppets a Medicine Hat theatre company used during their production of Little Shop of Horrors.

 The rehearsals are scheduled to begin Aug. 14 and go until the show opens with a special gala performance, Oct. 25.
 there will be no accompanist for the auditions, so auditioners are encouraged to prepare a piece with an MP3, , MIDI file or they can audition a capella. The music from the show will be available on CD if they want to sing a piece from the show itself.


Undertow Theatre Collective “Proud” to present political satire as first show

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A new Lethbridge theatre group is “Proud” to present their first production at Casa, March 9,11 and 12 at Casa.DJ Gellatly and Derek Stevenson are proud to presnt Proud at Casa this week. Photo by Richard Amery

Undertow Theatre Collective, founded by DJ Gellatly, Meredith Pritchard and Derek Stevenson will be joined by Cole Fetting in Michael Healey’s political comedy “Proud.”

“We had a fun and different goal,” said s Derek Stevenson, taking  advantage of a relatively slower time in his duties of New West Theatre’s general manager.

“We all really wanted to be on stage more and we wanted to  play to our strengths, which is comedy,” he said.

“We really wanted to bring people out and make them  part of the show. We wanted to do interesting plays in interesting spaces when we stumbled upon “Proud” and we really wanted to do it for our first show,” Stevenson said.

“Proud” is a 2011 Michael Healey penned satirical comedy inspired by Stephen Harper’s majority government.
“ It’s a satire inspired by  the 2011 Stephen Harper government, though it isn’t really directly about  it,” he continued.

“It’s very topical,” added DJ Gellatly,” who plays the prime minister.
The play takes place shortly after the Conservatives win a majority government when the prime minister discovers a secret weapon in his caucus – Jisbella Lyth, a single mother with a limited understanding of her role as a MP. Using her ignorance to his advantage, the PM hatches a plan to have Jisbella front and centre in a campaign of misdirection and distraction. Her son, played by Cole Fetting reflects on the experience from 15 years in the future.

“It’s an interesting perspective having that character narrate from 15 years later, though he is mentioned in passing in the play,” Stevenson said.


Ammena Dance Studios celebrates one last dance at World Explosion of Dance

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It has been a long run, but Lise -Ann Talhami, owner of Ammena Dance studios is  saying goodbye with one last dance– the last World Explosion of World Dance at the Yates Centre, March 3-4.Lise Anne Talhami’s last Explosion of World Dance is sure to be a blast, March 3 and 4. Photo by Richard Amery

There are a number of reasons it’s the last one. The landlord is turning the space I was using  as my studio into condominiums,” said Talhami, who opened the Pink Swan Boutique downtown in November.

“ And I’ve been doing this for a long time, 14 years, by myself. I’ve been trying to find someone to help, but haven’t found anyone. It’s been a lot of work,” she said, adding it has also been a lot of fun befriending her dancers. So the Last World Dance Explosion will send Ammena off with a blast.

“I’ve got 123 adults and my kids— 25 of them. Last year we had a circus theme. This year the theme is jet set. It’s a good way to say it’s over,” said Talhami, choking back a few tears.
“ There will be quite a few people who were in the first show, performing in this one,” she said.

 The show will encompass a variety of  dance styles, beginning with a Broadway piece, followed by Showgirls, dance hall, several African dances, burlesque, Bollywood, contemporary dancing, belly dancing, hip hop and a Beyonce piece plus Redfoo’s ‘Juicy Wiggle”.

This show also includes more men performing.
“We used to have guys in the Latin dances, but we have more guys this year,” she said. The show will also feature pianist Kate LaRocque
“The finale is every style I’ve ever taught,” Talhami said.


North American premiere of the Curing Room marks Pretty, Witty and Gay

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Theatre Outré continues to push the boundaries with their new production, the Curing Room running Feb. 27-March 3 in the basement of Ten Thousand Villages instead of their usual home in Club Didi.

Jay Whitehead is excited to bring the Curing Room to Lethbridge as pard of Pretty , Witty and Gay. Photo by Richard Amery
“It‘s Incredibly powerful. It explores humanity at it’s basest,” said Jay Whitehead, who performs in the story of seven Russian soldiers captured in Poland during the Second World War and kept in the basement of a monastery.
“It’s based on real life events. It’s about seven Soviet soldiers who are captured and are locked naked in the basement of a monastery. So we’re nude for the entirety of the play. But, not to spoil anything, not all of them make it out,” said Whitehead, who noted they decided to move the play to the new location to better fit the characters’ situations.

“It’s quite exposing,” Whitehead added, observing the Curing Room has been a hit at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

“It becomes quite gruesome by the end to say the least. It’s visceral and impactful. But it’s also humourous in places,” he said, noting it is definitely not a family friendly show.

Gail Hanrahan directs the 90-120 minute long 2011 play penned by New York based actor/ playwright David Ian Lee. It features Whitehead, Graham Mothersill, Stuart MacDougall, Marek Czuma, Grayson Ogle, AJ Baragar and Connor Christmas.

 Whitehead has worked with all of the actors except Stuart MacDougall either at the university or with Theatre Outré.

Whitehead said Theatre Outré chose to perform the Curing Room for a couple of reasons.

“It’s part  of our ‘stripped down’ series, which explores nudity and cultural hangups about it. And we always wanted to partner with Theatre BSMNT in Calgary and this play suited both our mandates,” he said. After they are finished the Lethbridge run, they will take the play to Calgary.
“It’s also the North American premiere of the play, though is performed in Europe,” he added.

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