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U of L explores language and lies in the Importance of Being Earnest

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The University of Lethbridge  is excited to bring Oscar Wilde’s classic 1895 comedy “the Importance of Being Earnest” to the University Theatre, Nov. 22-26 at 7:30 p.m. every night.Cecily Cardew played by  Jacqueline Halase, sips some tea during U of l’s production of the Importance of Being Earnest, Nov. 22-26 at University Theatre. Photo by Richard Amery

“It has beautiful language,” said Rebecca Fauser who plays  Gwendolen Fairfax in the play, one of two women competing for the attentions of the elusive Ernest.

“(Director) Andrew Legg has really helped us find the humour and bring it back to our own experiences,” added Jacqueline Halase, who plays the younger would be suitor Cecily Cardew, who competes with Fairfax for Ernest’s attentions.

She is enjoying playing Cecily.

“She’s the younger of the two characters and she’s a dreamer who is always making up stories and poems about love and writing in her diary,” Halase said.

“Gwendolyn is very high society. She has huge expectations  and very strong ideals about society,” Fauser said.
“And we’re both engaged to Ernest,” Halase added.



Theatre Outré explores models in 1920's Paris in Montparnasse

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Theatre Outré continues this season’s celebration of the human body with Erin Shields, Maev Beaty and Andrea Donaldson’s play Montparnasse, which runs at Club Didi, Nov, 16-20.

Carolyn Ruether and Kathy Zaborsky rehearse a scene from Theatre Outré’s presentation of MontParnasse, which runs at Club Didi, Nov. 16-20. Photo by Richard Amery“It is about two lifelong friends from Canada in the 1920s who reunite in Paris, France. One is an artist and the other is an artist’s model. Together they navigate world of an artist in Paris as nude art models,” described director Jay Whitehead.

 Montparnasse stars Kathy Zaborsky as the model Mags and Carolyn Ruether as the artist Amelia and Nick Bohle, who plays  several smaller roles as well as provides musical accompaniment on guitar, accordion and cello. All three play multiple characters.

 The nudity doesn’t perturb the actresses.
“I’ve actually been an artist’s model for the past 15 years,“ said Kathy Zaborsky.

“This will be the first time I’ve appeared on stage as a nude female in a while, though I have appeared as a nude male in Castrati,” she continued.

 “My best friend in the world, Erin Shields,  wrote the play. She’s moved to Montreal and I miss her, so it makes me feel closer to her  to be able to say her words,” she continued.

Carolyn Ruether wanted to be part of the production after reading the script.

“It’s simple yet complex. There’s only two main characters in it, but there’s so many layers to it,” she said.
 Whitehead noted Montparnasse fits in with Theatre Outré’s mandate.

“We‘re excited to help present a body positive and sex positive play about the female body,” Whitehead said.


New West explores their more adult side in Nightlife

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 If you ever suspected New West Theatre was holding back during their family friendly music/ comedy revues, then get ready to see some of you familiar cast members unshackled and uninhibited during “Nightlife,” a special cabaret night at the Sterndale Bennett Theatre, Nov. 4-5. Tickets are already selling quickly for the three shows, 7:30 a Nov. 4 and 5 and a special 10 p.m. encore presentation Nov. 5.Erica Hunt and Kathy Zaborsky are familiar performers with New West Theatre. Photo by Richard Amery
 The core cast for the 18 plus show include Erica Hunt, Kathy Zaborsky, Scott Carpenter and David Barrus plus special guests including a burlesque act.
 The show will be a ribald evening of songs, stories and lots of comedy.

“It has very much a cabaret feel. Part of the concept is let’s push the boundaries with material that is a little too risqué for the big show. So a lot of the comedy is a little risqué and we swear and have the freedom to say things we wouldn’t usually say in a show,”said New West Theatre general manager Derek Stevenson.

“It will be definitely above what you’ve seen New West do before. You just wouldn’t see this in a music comedy revue,” he added.
It is also a new model, as some of the extravagancies have been stripped away from the show and after covering basic expenses like the rental of the Sterndale -Bennett Theatre, most of the ticket price goes directly to the performers.
“It’s very Fringesque like that,” he said, noting Fringe festivals use a similar model of tickets prices going to the artist.
“And it’s very up close and personal. Scott and Erica and Kathy and David are all up close,” he said adding there will be a bar as well.
“So you can get up and have a drink during the show, which is really different for New West,” he continued.

 Musical numbers include pop hits and darker fare like John Prine’s “In Spite of Ourselves,” plus comedic songs.
Scott Carpenter is excited to be able to push the boundaries of what people expect from a New West show.


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
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