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L.A. Beat

Playgoers showcase Southern Alberta arts at A Taste of the Arts

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Playgoers of Lethbridge celebrated their one hundredth anniversary with a two day extravaganza of Southern Albertan artists at the Yates Theatre/ Sterndale Bennett Theatre, April 21 and 22.


Joel Bhaskaran, Darrell Croft and Teresa Huszar in A Dog’s life at A Taste of the Arts. phot by RichardAmery

They featured a little bit of everything running throughout the two days on both stages and workshops in the mezzanine, where there was also a historical display of memories of Playgoers from through the ages.


David Mikuliak plays one of MacBeth's witches at A Taste of the Arts. photo by RichardAmery

There was lots of dance from local youth dance companies, Troyanda Ukrainian Dance, local jazz bands, some film , a performance from the Father Van Tighem Performing Arts, Métis Jigging, hoop dancing, Lethbridge community Taiko, the Southern Alberta chorus and even acts for children and families

I only caught a few of the acts.


As expected there were plenty of plays.

All three entrants from the Taber Players reprised their plays from this year‘s  Chinook One Act  Drama Festival. The Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance  Society offered a taste of Shakespeare, and Lethbridge Musical Theatre performed Ed Bayly’s Priscilla Pringles’ Predicament.


 I missed most of Friday, but made a point of catching the Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society.

hey  offered up a  menacing version of the witches scene from MacBeth featuring some familiar faces including David Mikuliak and Jeff Carlson.


 They also played a brief scene from Othello.


But the best part was getting a sneak preview of this summer’s  production of Taming of the Shrew.


 Though the summer production will be set in the ’60s, they put on a traditional version of the immortal Kate and Petruccio wooing scene featuring the actors who will be playing Kate and Petruccio this summer.

I got there relatively early  on Saturday to catch part of a children’s show with the Band Formerly  known as Karen, Lewis and Pam featuring Ash Thomson, Gabe Thaine  and Jillian Bracken backed by upright bassist and drummer Brad Brouwer. They played a few Sharon, Lois and Bram songs and  a few of their own children’s songs. Rufus the mime was in the audience silently cheering them on and getting the kids to participate.


Taming of the Shrew at A Taste of the Arts. photo by RichardAmery

 I  took part in  a stage fighting workshop which was a lot of fun and very informative, but cut it short because I didn’t want to miss  the return of “ A Dog’s life, which was my favourite One act.  Darrell Croft reprised his award winning role of Ben, the old hobo dog.

 As a bonus, Teresa Huszar stepped into the role of cute, naïve puppy Ginger. It’s always a pleasure to see her on stage.

Ryland Moranz and Mickey Hayward looked a little worse for the wear during their headlining set with bassist Kurt Ciesla.


 As always Moranz was an affable and captivating frontman, playing his always uplifting songs on banjo and guitar. He added a couple of harp solo.

 His fleet fingers flew over the frets in between telling jokes and stories about  touring Europe and playing songs from his last album  XO 1945.


He added couple new songs he wrote during the pandemic with only his wife as the audience.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. beat Editor

The band Formerly Known as Karen, Lewis and Pam at A Taste of the Arts. photo by RichardAmery
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