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New West Theatre has a story to tell this season

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New West Theatre  has  a ‘story’ to tell during their their new season, which they revealed after much secrecy at a special  gala evening in the Sterndale Bennett Theatre, April 27.Scott Carpenter sings ‘Crocodile Rock,’ April 27. Photo by Richard Amery
Bente Hansen played piano while  artistic director Nicholas Hansen  and general manager Jeremy Mason gave an audience including lots of familiar New West Theatre  faces, board members and patrons, a summary of the season past and let helium balloons  attempt to lift paper covering up posters for each show, revealing the surprise line up.
 Scott Carpenter sang ‘Crocodile Rock’ for the audience, accompanied by Bente on piano.
This season’s theme ‘Have We Got A Story for You’ includes a familiar formula — three gala music and dance productions of favourite hits and  a couple of great Canadian plays.
The first production is a wild west themed musical production  just in time for the Calgary Stampede called ‘Rockin’ The Rodeo’ which runs  July 2-24 and will feature  country hits and comedy from Hank Williams to Shania Twain and country fried comedy numbers.
“We really keep our ears to the ground about what is popular in Lethbridge as well as what is happening in Canada,” said Jeremy Mason,  New West Theatre’s general manager adding the actors have pretty much been chosen for the first two musical productions.
“The actors for the  summer musical productions will be very similar to last year. There will be Erica Hunt, Kathy Zaborsky, Scott Carpenter, Jessica Enns and some new faces,” Mason observed.

One Act play festival will be lots of fun on Friday

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It has been a struggle  to get it going this year, but Playgoers of Lethbridge director Rita Peterson is looking forward to this Friday, April 30 when the One-Act play Festival will take over the Yates Centre.
“It’s getting harder and harder to put this on. Because of the time commitment involved in directing and acting, ” observed director Rita Peterson adding they only had one play last year.
“People are just really busy at this time of year. Even for one act plays, there is a fairly substantial time commitment,” she said adding they would like to have more participation from university students, though she understands students are busy  with exams at the end of April.
 This year there are two plays — an old Ring Lardner ‘nonsense’ play from the 1930s called ‘Tridget of Greva,’ which will be directed by Karolyn Harker and a longer play — John Patrick Shanley’s ‘The Dreamer Examines his Pillow’ from Medicine Hat’s Hometown Acting Studios.

Actors needed to lay siege to Fort Whoop-Up

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Fort Whoop-Up will be under siege this summer. So with that in mind, the Drama Nutz are looking for 20 good men and women for this year’s event by holding auditions at the Fort,  this Wednesday from 7-10 p.m.A scene from last year’s Gunfight at Fort Whoop Up. Photo by Drama Nutz
“It’s the second year we’ll be doing this. We did it last year and found out what didn’t work, which wasn’t a lot, and decided we’d try to improve on it,” enthused Drama Nutz director David Gabert. His drama group, which  has been doing dinner theatres and improv shows for corporate and business gatherings in Lethbridge since 2006, are preparing for a new summer dinner theatre, which will run Friday and Saturday nights July 23-Aug. 29-Aug. 10 from 6-10 p.m. at Fort Whoop-Up.
“It’s a different story this year but people who came last year will see some of the same characters. And of course there is still the gunfight at the end,” Gabert continued.
“This year it takes place during a wedding. The dinner is at 6 p.m and it is set up like it is the wedding dinner, however the wedding never happens because there is a prisoner and bandits take advantage of the open gates to attack and free him and the groom is killed,” he said adding the doors will open at 6:30, giving the audience a chance to interact with the scoundrels for the Fort. Dinner will begin at 7 p.m., with the hour-long gunfight to follow at  8 p.m.

Fort Macleod welcomes eighth annual CinéImagine film festival

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CinéImagine is looking forward to bringing a touch of French culture  to Fort Macleod  during the eighth annual  Alberta French Film Festival, April 30-May 2 at the Empress Theatre.Xaviar Dolan, star and director of J’ai Tu ma mere, which opens CinéImagine’s film festival in Fort Macleod.
“ Half of the movies are from Quebec the other half are from France,” said CinéImagine Youth co-ordinator Marie Héléne Lyle.
“What I like about it is that you are in the middle of Fort Macleod and everybody will be speaking French,” she continued  adding one of the many highlights in addition to having French films from all over the world as part of this annual festival, will be speaker Carole Mondello, executive producer of ‘J’ae tué ma mere’ (loosely translated as I Killed My Mother) which  kicks off the festival at 7:30 p.m. Friday night.
“Its important to have famous people like Carole Mondello coming to answer questions about the movie,” Lyle continued adding having these guest speakers is an important aspect of CinéImagine’s grant applications.
In addition to films, most of which are subtitled in English, there will be a coffee shop, Café Jazzette for people to gather afterwards, have some coffee and discuss the movies.
“People enjoy  going out after seeing a film to talk about it,” she continued adding a new feature will be having Calgary’s Theatre á Pic  Inouk Touzin ‘animate’ and  facilitate a discussion group on Saturday and Sunday. He will  invite the spectators  to share their experiences of the movies. He’ll also cover cinematographic elements and present a different perspective by looking at  the movies from an artistic point of view.
She is looking forward to seeing ‘I Killed My Mother’ which isn’t about killing  a mother at all, but rather is a thought provoking story of a 16-year-old boy whose homosexuality puts him in conflict with his mother. The 2009 Xaviar Dolan  film was Canada’s nomination for the best foreign language film Oscar category.
“It (the festival) is about  the community coming together and enjoying French films, even if they don’t speak French because they all have English subtitles. So you don’t even need to know French,” she added, noting there are all kinds of films from thought provoking, to comedies and scary movies.
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