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New West Theatre and Theatre Outré explore the lighter side of death with Vigil

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New West Theatre has a busy month with three productions taking place all over the city in the next two months.

Erica Hunt and Jay Whitehead star in New West Theatre/ Theatre Outré’s production of  Vigil, Nov. 18-25 at the Trianon Gallery. Photo By Richard Amery
 First up is a “dark comedy with heart,” as New West Theatre  and Theatre Outré bring Calgary playwright Morris Panych’s “ Vigil” to life at the Trianon (104 5th Street South), Nov. 15-25.
“It’s a bucket list role for Jay. And Erica gets to play the old woman we all know and love,” observed director Kathy Zaborsky, who has worked with cast members Jay Whitehead and Erica Hunt with both Theatre Outré and New West Theatre productions.

“It’s my first time directing a straight  ahead play rather than a musical comedy revue,” Zaborsky said.

“Vigil is a classic Canadian play, It has been produced all over the place over the past 20 years,” she said.

 Vigil is about a young man who comes to visit his dying aunt in her attic, but the visit lasts a lot longer than he expected to because she continues to survive.

“ It’s a dark comedy about caregiving for an elderly relative. So anybody who has ever been a caregiver will be able to identify with it,” she continued.

“This play has a lot of comedy, but it also has a lot of heart,” she added.
 “I absolutely love this play,” she said.
Jay Whitehead, who plays the young man, Kemp, is enjoying being part of the production.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 15 November 2017 09:18 ) Read more...

Plenty of plays and fundraisers this week

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It is a relatively slower week for live music, however the theatre scene is hopping with two plays running this week.Gabriel Thaine and Friends  are playing a fundraiser for the Lethbridge Food Bank this week. Photo by Richard Amery
Hatrix theatre brings 12 Angry Jurors to the Nord Bridge Seniors Centre, Nov. 15-18 at 7:30 p.m. each night. The play, inspired by the hit 1957 movie, includes a lot of familiar faces as well as some valiant newcomers. Tickets are $15 from Blueprint Records. There is also a 2 p.m. Matinee on Saturday, Nov. 18.
 New West Theatre and Theatre Outré also premiere their new Canadian play Vigil, penned by Calgary playwright Morris Panych , Nov. 18 at the Trianon Gallery.
 It runs Nov. 15-25 at 7:30 p.m. each night. They also have a matinee on Saturday at 1 p.m., Nov. 18.

For live music, once again, things begin early in the week with a couple of excellent indie rock/ pop shows happening.
Moose Jaw musician Brodie Moniker of PandaCorn and Fancy Diamonds, stops by the Slice, Nov. 15 with  local  indie rock/ alternative rock band the Mormon Girls and Makiisma.
 The Owl Acoustic Lounge welcomes back Phoenix raised pop/ indie folk musician R Ariel with local alternative rock duo Birch Barks and local hip hop collective ONTK and Calgary’s Pierre Mvono. The music begins at 8:30 pm. Admission is by donation.

 As usual there are a lot of open mics sprinkled throughout the week. Coulee brew has an open mic on Wednesday, Nov, 15. The Slice has their regular open mic on Thursday and Honker‘s Pub has their open mic on Friday night and Saturday afternoon.
 The Owl Acoustic Lounge and Onion also have regular open mics on Monday nights.
 This week, the Owl Acoustic lounge hosts their family jam at 1:30 p.m, Saturday afternoon, Nov. 18. Later on, Nov.18, blues band In Cahoots will take the stage.
Girls rock  the weekend at the Owl Acoustic Lounge as they welcome San Diego based post riot-grrl, noise pop band Soft Lions, plus local lo fi band Ground Sloth Orchestra and synth pop band W.I.T.S. performing on Friday, Nov, 17.
Calgary based soul rock trio Flowshine return to the Slice, Nov. 17 with local band Birch Barks.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 November 2017 10:15 ) Read more...

Del Barber takes time to re-evaluate life and write

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Winnipeg area musician Del Barber took the past two years to re-evaluate his life, work on the farm and write new material.Del Barber plays the Geomatic Attic, Nov. 17. Photo By Richard Amery
 He brings his trio of guitarist Grant Siemens and bassist Bernie Thiessen to the Geomatic Attic, Nov 17.

 After releasing his most recent CD of hockey songs “The Puck Stops Here,” he parted ways with his record label True North and took some time to stay at home and reflect  while working his wife‘s parent’s farm and write some new songs.

 The hockey album was an enjoyable lark, that he and his band the No Regretzkys enjoyed doing.

“The record company was dragging their heels on releasing  a new album, so this was idea I pitched to them and they liked it,” Barber observed. The album includes covers of Tom Cochrane’s “ Big League,” Gary Glitter‘s “ Rock and Roll part 2,” and , of course, Stompin’ Tom Connor’s “The Hockey Song” and obscure hokey songs like the Pursuit of Happiness’ “Gretzky Rocks” and the Hanson Brothers” “Hockey Night Tonight” and even the Coach’s Corner Theme.

“There’s probably enough material for for two more albums, but when it came down to it, we just picked the ones that worked,” he said.

“ It was just a fun little project that was bonus content,” Barber said, noting he hasn’t decided what the Lethbridge show and tour will sound like.

“It’s not a big tour, but it is something. It‘s hockey season so, we’ll probably play some of that CD, but probably not a lot. I’ll drive to Winnipeg and playing with the band and we‘ll see what works,” he continued, adding he’d like to focus on the new songs he’s been writing though he has an established career including five albums to draw from including the Juno nominated 2014 CD “Prairieography.”


R Ariel returning with new pop sound on new CD

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Phoenix , Arizona raised artist Rachel Crocker aka R. Ariel is a woman of many disciplines.

R Ariel returns to Lethbridge this week. Photo submitted
 She is a photographer, author and musician who returns to Lethbridge to play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Nov. 15 with  Birch Barks, hip hop collective ONTK and Calgary/ Lethbridge  rapper Pierre Mvono.

 Crocker is supporting her latest CD “Oh.”

“This one is more pop leaning,” said Crocker, en route to a tour date in Seattle, adding it has been approximately a year and a half since her last Lethbridge visit.
“Then Lethbridge audience was  really chill. And it was real sweet,” she said.

 she is pleased with the new CD, which she recorded in San Francisco over approximately eight months and released it on Nov. 1.

“I did a lot of experimenting with beats and MIDI sounds to create it,” she continued.

“It depended on what the song needed. Sometimes it was guitar,” she said, noting she was inspired by growing up.
“A lot of the album was inspired by more poetic, more self-reflective events, self love and  heartbreak — life stuff,” she said.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 12 November 2017 11:25 ) Read more...

Leeroy Stagger a highlight of Barney Bentall’s Cariboo Express

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Barney Bentall’s Cariboo Express tour always puts a smile on my face,even as the snow started to fall out side the Southminster United Church.Barney Bentall and the Cariboo Express opened their tour in Lethbridge last week. Photo By Richard Amery
 I only caught the last hour of the show, which was a fundraiser for Youth One.

 Bentall mainly took a back seat during the portion of the show I caught, taking a seat in the audience while talented tour mates like Leeroy Stagger, Ridley Bent, Kendall Carson and Bentall‘s son Dustin, took centre stage though Bentall would join them to help add harmonies and to lead the orchestra through a couple of songs from his new album.

 I arrived as Leeroy Stagger was leading the crack band through his epic  “Run Rabbit Run” from his new CD “Love Versus.”
 The always entertaining Ridley Bent  played “ Bobby and Suzanne” from his album Buckles and Boots.”

 And, as always in a show with so many great musicians, there are always pleasant surprises. Kendel Carson’s hot fiddle playing was a highlight on everybody’s songs.

Leeroy Stagger and Kendel carson were a highlight of barney bentall’s Cariboo Express Lethbridge show. Photo by Richard Amery Another highlight was the country stylings of Angela Harris who sang “Tears I’ve Cried.”

 Everybody returned to stage including Bentall, co-host Matt masters and to help Dustin Bentall sing his  big song “ Three Thousand Miles,” with Barney Bentall, Leeroy Stagger and Matt Masters each taking a verse and everybody singing beautiful harmonies.

Leeroy Stagger got to end the home town show kicking off the tour by singing a brand new song “ Broken Generation.”

— By Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 November 2017 11:38 )
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