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Club Didi has busy fall full of activities

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Club Didi is well into a busy fall season of  fun activities.

Erica Barr and David Gabert are among the cast of Gammorah High. Photo by Richard Amery
Last week they had a Halloween themed horror improv “Tales from the Haus.”

“ It’s a trio of improvised horror stories. The closest comparison is the Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror,” said Club Didi’s David Gabert.
Last weekend they also hosted the YO Mamma Comedy battle.

In addition to  regular dances and lip synch events they have also partnered with community members for a regular open mic night  on the third Tuesday of every month, which has been a  success.
 But they have a couple big events winding down October and kicking off November.

The Halloween Panti Raid party was Oct. 28 at 10 p.m.  After the Panti Raid,  the third installment of the improvised soap opera Gammorah High, will be happening at 10 p.m., Nov. 4, which featured a talented cast of familiar face playing a cornucopia of high school archetypes.

“Everyone is embracing their characters of the bully,  jock, the nerd, the student  counsellor, the foreign exchange student. All of those people you went to high school with,” Gabert said.

 He is excited to have Jay Whitehead return to Lethbridge after spending several weeks working in Halifax.

 Whitehead will be directing the play “Mont Parnasse,” Nov. 17-20.

“ It is about two women in Paris in the 1920s,” Gabert said.
 December will include the fourth instalment of Gamorrah High as well as Club Didi helping out Aids outreach group ARCHES.

 —By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Beggar’s Opera crosses boundaries of usual opera

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The Beggar’s Opera isn’t your grandma’s opera. The U of L opera society present the John Gay penned 1728 fun little opera in The David Spinks Theatre,  Oct. 28 and Oct. 29.
“It’s a revolutionary piece that split from all other operatic conventions,” described director Dr. Blaine Hendsbee.

Emily Fletcher, Dan Hall and Hannah Nickel are part of the Beggar’s Opera, Oct. 28 and 29 at the David Spinks Theatre. Photo by Richard Amery
“It’s sung in English and it is about the common people— the underbelly of society — highway men and tavern women and people loved it, ” Hendsbee continued.
“It is about a love triangle between a highwayman, MacHeath and Pauline who is rather sweet and demure and Lucy, a tavern woman who is a little more straight-forward and she’s pregnant by MacHeath,” he said.

“It largely surprised theatre audience because it ‘borrowed’ in air quotes operatic music and replaced it with songs that people would have known and able to recognize,” he said.
“In the past 300 years it has been resurrected. Originally it was four hours long but we had to trim it to two hours including the intermission,” he said, adding it has a large cast of 35 people, which has been double cast.

“It’s brisk, fun and lively,” he said.

“It has period costumes designed by Leslie Robison- Greene and professor Douglas MacArthur is in the cast, which is fun,” he said adding they have always wanted to do an opera in the David Spinks Theatre instead of the Recital Hall.
“Usually they are performing in a proscenium arch, but this time it is a three corner stage, which has been a great learning experience for them,” he said adding the concert is already two thirds sold out.
“So we hope people will pick up tickets to avoid being disappointed.”


Drowning Girls opens U of L mainstage theatre season

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 The University of Lethbridge opens up their new main-stage season, Oct. 18-22 in the David Spinks Theatre with a thought provoking, Alberta play “the Drowning Girls.”

 Shea Heatherington, Maddie Taylor Gregg and Shelby Wilson rehearse a scene from the Drowning Girls, running in the Sterndale Bennett Theatre, Oct. 18-22. photos by Richard Amery
University of Alberta students Beth Graham and Charlie Tomlinson and professor Daniela Vlaskalic penned the The 70 minute play in 1999 for the Edmonton Fringe Festival, basing it on the true story of George Joseph Smith who was hanged in 1915 for drowning his three wives in the early twentieth century.

“It’s the story of the experiences of a man who manipulates three women into marrying him and then kills them at different times,” said Madeleine Taylor-Gregg, who plays Margaret. She is joined by cast mates Shelby Wilson and  Shea Heatherington.

“They all meet in the future, though it is up to the audience’s own judgement to determine if it is in the afterlife,” she continued. After the three women meet they discuss how they met this man, their relationship to him and what happened to them.

“Margaret is the oldest of the three and is only married to him for one day before she is murdered,” she said.
“I think it’s a very well told and interesting story,” she said.
Director Gail Hanrahan is excited to present a popular Alberta penned play as the first production of the season.

“ It‘s a very short play, only 70minutes long, based on the story “Brides of the Bath,” Hanrahan continued, noting the play has been relocated to the east coast of Canada rather than England where the original story took place.
 She noted it is  a pretty popular play.


Playgoers of Lethbridge serves wedding laughs with Always a Bridesmaid

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Playgoers of Lethbridge invites Lethbridge to several fabulous weddings, Oct. 18-22 where they will be serving up laughs and amazing costumes with their upcoming dinner theatre, Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten’s comedy “Always a Bridesmaid” at Country Kitchen.

Jocelyn Steinborn, Emily Frewin and Rita Peterson rehearse Always a Bridesmaid. Photo by Richard Amery
“It’s about  four women who promise to always be each other’s bridemaids. Only they don’t realize it is life long commitment,” summarized Jessica Meaker, who plays Kari, the daughter of one of the characters who is speaking at her own wedding and recalls the stories of each of these lifelong friends’ wedding adventures in this six woman production.

“She’s begins each scene speaking at her wedding,which sets the scene for one of the weddings the other four women are in,” said Meaker who is enjoying being part of her second production with Playgoers. She was in “Leading Ladies” last February.

“They‘re a really fun group to be part of. There are  a lot of laughs, for sure,” she said.

“And this just seemed to be a little bit different. It’s just a really funny show,” she  continued.
Playgoers of Lethbridge president Elaine Jagielski returns to the stage as Sedalia in “Always A Bridesmaid,” after taking a some time away from the stage.

“She’s the owner of Laurelton, the establishment where all of these weddings take place. She’s the gregarious, energetic Virginian hostess and life force,” Jagielski described.

“She doesn’t take any nonsense and wants everything to go without a hitch,” she continued, adding that creates hilarious conflict between her and other characters including Charlie, played by Emily Frewin. There are several familiar faces in the cast including Shelley David as  Monette, Rita Peterson as Deedra and newcomer Jocelyn Steinborn who is commuting from Taber to be part of Always a Bridesmaid as Libby Ruth.

“ She has created some issues which created a fiasco which is a no no at Laurelton,” she said.

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