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Max and Ruby take the stage at the Yates

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 Popular children’s television show Max and Ruby comes to life at the Yates Centre for two shows, Sept. 20.

 The popular animated rabbit siblings will be visiting Lethbridge for two fun and music filled live action shows — Max And Ruby: Bunny Party at 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Norman Foote.


“I wrote all of the music for it. I’m very proud of it,” said Juno Award winning children’s musician Norman Foote, who isn’t involved with the actual TV show, but who has a long history of  writing music for children including composing the music for numerous children’s TV  shows on CBC and for Disney, plus the theme for the Backyardigans and music for the Extra-ordinary Alien. He also wrote a dozen songs for Maurice Sendak’s Little Bear: Winter Tails.


“Max and Ruby is  very popular children’s show. They are a brother and sister and Ruby is the eldest. She is very domineering, so the plot of this show surrounds a birthday party and who to invite to it,” he described, adding the show features six or seven actors and costumes and a lot of energy plus a lot of singing. 


“It was hard to make this work for a live audience. It’s such a popular TV show and it’s based on really popular books so people really identify with the characters in it,” he continued adding  direct consultation with producer Patti Caplette kept the live show as close to the TV show as possible.


He didn’t know a lot about the TV show before he was hired to write the music for the production .

“I have a seven -year-old son and he knew more about it than I did. He was so excited when I got the job in April,” he said adding  after watching the show with his son, he began to appreciate the quality of the writing, which he tried to reflect in his songs.


“They’ve really defined the relationship between the sister and brother and that’s a key part of the show. A lot of the writing is amazing. They throw a lot of  different things into the stew,” he enthused.

“I wanted the songs to appeal to parents too. I wanted them to work on many different levels,” he said adding he writes songs for children the same way as he writes for other markets as the songs still feature the same structural building blocks including verses, choruses, riffs and hooks. 


Auditions this week for Playgoers of Lethbridge’s British farce “One for The Pot”

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Playgoers of Lethbridge is looking for a few good men and women for their next British farce to Elaine Jagielski directs “One For The Pot,” which runs in October. Photo by Richard Ameryrun in October.

The longstanding local theatre group is holding auditions this week for their October production of  Ray Cooney and Tony Hilton’s “One for The Pot,” which is scheduled to run at the Sandman Inn, Oct. 19-22.

 Auditions are Sept. 7-8 at the Bowman Arts Centre from 7-9 p.m.
 A cast of six men and three women are needed.
“It ( One for The  Pot) ran for 1,200 performances at the White Hall Theatre from 1961-64,” observed Playgoers  of Lethbridge president Ed Bayly.

“One For the Pot,” originally performed in 1959, is a farce set in the 1920’s  about a gormless Yorkshireman, Billy Hickory Wood, a wealthy northern mill owner who is looking for a beneficiary of a 10,000 pound inheritance. The only caveat is  they must be the only living relative. After Hickory Wood puts an ad in the newspaper, Billy Hickory Wood  is the first to arrive, followed by numerous others.


Creature Theatre explores creatures of the sky and night at Galt Gardens

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What’s the smartest bird in the forest? Is the the owl? Don’t be a wise acre. That’s not even close. It is the members of the corvid family — crows and ravens.

Bat (Chelsey Huber) discusses plans with Moth ( Jen Buit) during Creature Theatre. Photo by Richard Amery You can learn that and more interesting nature facts from Creature Theatre.

For the past 10 years the Helen Schuler Nature Centre staff and volunteers have been educating and entertaining  at Galt Garden’s every Thursday from 7-8 p.m.

“Creature Theatre is interactive and interpretive theatre. And it’s outdoors, which is unique for Lethbridge,” said Coreen Putman, Helen Schuler  Nature Centre  co-ordinator, who almost always brings her two children to Galt Gardens every Thursday during the summer.

This summer they are alternating between two shows, “Bird Brain,”  which takes place this week (Aug. 13) , examines which of the birds are the smartest of all through drama, costumes, action and a lot of humour, and  “Night Creatures,” which revamps a production they did in the first year,  examines Skunk’s plan to become ruler of the night over the Owl, with help of her friends, Moth, Cicada and Porcupine.


I’m getting used to dying at Fort Whoop-Up

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I’m getting used to getting shot and killed twice a week. By now, I must have more lives than a proverbial cat. I’ve got used to dying twice a week, not to mention going home half deaf from the gunfire though I don’t even fire any of the shots. Because I’m getting murdered this summer, multiple times, every Friday and Saturday until the end of August.

And sore ribs and nastTom Purcell (Jonathan Kirsch) reloads during Siege. Photo by Richard Ameryy colds aside, it’s been a lot of fun despite crowds not being as large as we hoped.

While Fred Kanouse and his whiskey trading band of scoundrels are putting the fort under siege this summer,  Northwest Mounted Police officer Cst.  Arthur C Tabor, Fort Whoop Up manager David Akers and his friends already have the situation under control.

Siege at Fort Whoop-Up — the Wedding is a production of local improv group Drama Nutz in conjunction with  Fort Whoop -Up which runs every Friday and Saturday until Aug. 28.

All of the characters in the play are based on real people around Fort Whoop Up in 1877, when the play takes place, however the situation is completely fictional.

I’m playing Joseph  MacFarland, the unfortunate groom  whose wedding to Marcella Sheran , older sister of Nicholas Sheran, Lethbridge’s original coal mining mogul, is interrupted by some of Kanouse’s cronies, looking to break him out of the Fort Whoop Up jail.

“I’ve said it again and again, never let history get in the way of a good story. We’re interested in  portraying interesting events rather than  the characters, which we admittedly don’t know a lot about. We’re bringing the Fort to life , so to speak, and using theatre is a great way to do that,” director Dave Gabert said adding the Siege evolved from previous activities at Fort Whoop -Up including  the ‘Wild West Weekend.’Marcella Sheran (Bev Stadelmaan) wields a pistol during Siege at Fort Whoop Up.Photo by Richard Amery

Gabert said the format of Siege at Fort Whoop Up is partially a response to requests from Fort Whoop Up patrons, so it combines dinner theatre (a barbecued hamburger dinner is served) with the murder mysteries Drama Nutz is known for with  suggestions from Fort Whoop  Up patrons.
Because working with real vintage 1800s weapons and real black powder can be unpredictable, there is no script per se. Gabert wrote up a detailed character descriptions, designed detailed plot points and had the actors improvise all of the dialogue, so the show is different every night.

I’ve enjoyed my first time working with Drama Nutz. And you know what? Dying hurts, rather  pretending to die hurts —  a lot. I’ve cracked a couple ribs and did something to  my left arm, while a couple cast members have dragged my body off the set. It’s all in good fun and now I know what actors who do their own stunts, like Jackie Chan and Harrison Ford, must feel like after they shoot a scene.

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