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Comedy in The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine to appeal to couples

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Local theatre company Espresso Theatre bring back familiar faces, real life couple Devon Brayne and Jocelyn Haub to play a quarrelling couple in the comedy “The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine.”Jocelyn Haub and Devon Brayne rehearse The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine.  Photo by Richard Amery
 The show runs at the Dr. Foster  James Penny Building, March 7-11 at 8 p.m. each night.

Espresso Theatre has  previously produced the Cotton patch Gospel, Dickens and Mein Hump.
 They are working with the U of l drama department for the Leah Cherniak, Robert Morgan and Martha Ross written “ The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine.”

“It’s about a young couple who fall in love and get married and start living together and discover deeper truths about themselves,” summarized director Andrew Legg adding It’s about the experience of choosing the person you want to be with out of the thousands available.

“It’s about the expectations you have when you move in together, and they all come together to comic effect,” he continued, noting Devon Brayne and Jocelyn Haub were his first choices to be in the production.

“As soon as I learned these two were back in town, I knew I had to have them in the play and it was like Christmas when they said yes,” Legg chuckled.

 Legg , who is married with three kids recognized himself in the play as did Brayne and Haub, who immediately recognized themselves in the characters‘ dialogue.


U of L revisits Agatha Christie classic the Mousetrap

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The University of Lethbridge is excited to present Agatha Christie’s classic whodunnit “ The Mousetrap,” Feb. 13-17 at University Theatre.
“ That’s exactly why we’re doing it— it’s a classic,” said director Dr. Shelley Scott.Cole Fetting and Colin Bluekens rehearse a scene from the Mousetrap, running at the University of Lethbridge, Feb. 13-17. Photo by Richard Amery
“ And it’s a contrast from the more experimental and avant-garde theatre that we have done in the past,” she continued.

“We’ve tried to respect Agatha Christie’s work. Each of these characters have their own unique stories,” she noted.

“ It’s a classic whodunnit where you try to guess who the murderer is,” she continued.

 She noted her cast has gone beyond and above the call of duty.
“We‘ve got a couple of actors who have never been involved in a main-stage theatre production and others who are veterans. They are all a very dedicated  and committed cast. They’ve spent a lot of time outside of rehearsals working with each other. And Cole (Fetting) has to do an Italian accent, so he‘s been working with Doug MacArthur as a dialogue coach,” she said.

The cast includes some familiar faces including Cole Fetting who has been involved in numerous community theatre productions as well as university productions including “Nothing left to Burn” last year.
“Playgoers of Lethbridge did the Mousetrap eight years ago and I was assistant stage manager for it,” observed Cole Fetting, who plays Paravicini.


Auditions for LSCO fundraiser Titanic-the musical tonight and tomorrow at LCI

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Fran Rude and Ken Rogers are excited to present “ a story that never dies” as a fundraiser for the LSCO.

Fran Rude is directing Titanic: The Musical. Auditions are today and tomorrow. Photo by Richard Amery
Auditions are tonight and tomorrow, Feb. 5 and 6 in the LCI Choir room for the October production of Tony Award winning Titanic the Musical,  7:30 - 9:30 p.m.

“The Titanic sunk in 1912 and 106 years later people are still talking about it,” noted director Fran Rude, emphasizing the musical has nothing to do with the famous Leonardo di Caprio movie.

“It’s based on the book “ A Night to Remember. So all of the characters on stage are people who were on the ship,” she said, adding  34-37 cast members will be required.

“We could have a cast of thousands for this performance. There is also a 34-60 person choir on stage who represent the other people on the ship and a 27 piece orchestra on stage who have been handpicked by (musical director/conductor) Ken Rogers,” said Rude, who collaborated with Rogers on their very successful 2016 LSCO fundraiser of Jesus Christ Superstar.

“Jesus Christ Superstar was very successful. The LSCO provides essential services. The organization has a very special place in Lethbridge. All of the money raised will go towards programming. So we‘re happy to help them out,” she said, adding they have most of their backstage crew already arranged. Plus last year the LSCO supplied 91 volunteers for Jesus Christ Superstar.

"Titanic - The Musical" is the Tony winning story of the unsinkable ship and its maiden voyage, which won Tony awards for best musical, best book and best score. The story and music are not based on the James Cameron movie. The musical runs Thursday - Saturday, Oct. 17-20, 2018 at the refurbished Yates Theatre. There will also be a matinee on Sunday, Oct. 21. Rehearsals will begin in mid-August.


New cast ready to make you laugh with Playgoers of Lethbridge’s dark comedy “Beyond a Joke’

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Playgoers of Lethbridge is revisiting an old friend for February— Derek Benfield’s British comedy “Beyond a Joke.”

Stephanie Wickham and Aaron Tyslau rehearse a scene from Beyond a Joke, running Feb. 6-10 a the Italian Canadian Club. Photo by Richard Amery
 Instead of a main stage production, which was how the long standing community theatre group performed the play 10 years ago, this time it will be performed as a dinner theatre in the Italian Canadian Canadian Club (1511 St. Edwards Blvd. N), Feb. 6-10.

“We did it 10 years ago as a main stage production,” noted director Elaine Jagielski.

“But we decided to do a dinner theatre because the Yates/ Sterndale Theatre is closed for renovations. We always do well with dinner theatres,” she added.

In addition to a new venue, they also welcome a mostly new cast including Rob Berezay as Andrew; Jocelyn Steinborn as Jane; Aaron Tyslau as Geoff:  Stephanie Wickham as Sally;  Jaclynn Elfring as Sarah; Kevin Reedyk as the Vicar: Marcie Stork as Audrey and Howard Pearson as Edgar.

 While most of them are new to the Playgoers of Lethbridge stage, they are not new to the stage.
“We have two from Coutts, one from Milk River and one from Taber. So they performed in Taber and Milk River and we have university students. One of them hasn’t been on stage, but has been an extra in movies like Fargo,” she said.
 Marcie Stork has been in numerous Playgoers of Lethbridge productions and Taber actor Jocelyn Steinborn was in “Always a Bridesmaid” in 2016.

Most of them come in from out of town and have been braving winter roads for rehearsals.

“One of them works out of town and comes in for rehearsals. They haven’t missed one of them,” she said.
“They’ve been great. They’re excited. There’s really great energy in this cast,” she enthused.

“My favourite part is the energy of the cast. They’re really dedicated. We have a lot of fun but we also get a lot done,” she said.
Jagielski is looking forward to working in the Italian Canadian Club.
“It’s a larger venue and a different venue. it’s also a different meal,” she said, noting dinner will be an Italian dinner of Penne Marinara, Caprese salad, Chicken Masala with roast potatoes and vegetables and Prairie Berry pie for dessert.
Jocelyn Steinborn is enjoying being part of her second Playgoers of Lethbridge production as Jane.

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