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Local bands and art to help raise money for Roger’s Pass movie this weekend

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Friends and family look out for each other. So local musician Evan Van Reekum is organizing a special fundraiser at Henotic to help his friend, writer/ director and artist Colin Asker complete post-production on his film ‘Roger’s Pass,’ April 24.
Evan Van Reekum prepares for the April 24 fundraiser  by hanging Roger’s Pass artwork on the walls. Photo by Richard Amery“Colin is one of my best friends and I know his family quite well. His dad passed away and the movie is based on that, so I’m the Lethbridge connection for the fundraiser in Lethbridge,” Van Reekum said adding some of his own music may also be featured in the film.

Roger’s Pass is an independent movie  based on the story of Colin Askey’s dad who passed away  from cancer.

The youngest son, ‘Dennis’ is a  free spirited artist with a  ninja fascination who must step up and take care of his dad while his successful older brother, who he has always been overshadowed by is away in Guatemala and expecting a child with his beautiful Guatemalan wife.

“We want to make some money for the post-production. I’ve seen the move completed so far, but much needs to be done,” he continued adding the money will go towards  touch ups like colour correction which can cost up to $9,000 as well as the costs of  festival distribution.


Comedian looks on the bright side of the downturn

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Montreal based comedian Lorne Elliott, a mainstay on the Canadian comedy scene for close to 30 years, is looking on the ‘bright side of the downturn’ for his new  one man show, which comes to the University of Lethbridge Theatre, April 12.
“Laughter is the best escape. But this show is not so much an escape as it is a chance to get above it so you can go into the next day with a more positive attitude,” said Lorne Elliott is at the University Theatre, April 12.Elliott from his farm outside of Montreal.
He will be performing several shows in a row including  April 13 in Medicine Hat, April 15 in Red Deer,  then Airdrie, Bragg Creek  and Golden right in a row.
“Since I had my heart attack, I’ve had to slow down,” said Elliott , known for his big hair, manic personality and mini-stratocaster.
“I’ll be bringing that  and I’ll also be playing some Jimi Hendrix on the ukulele,” he said adding the secret to  his longevity on the comedy scene is to always pay attention and keep working.
“Most of my jokes start with something that actually happened to me. You want to always start with something people can identify with. Like in Lethbridge, the wind. Everybody knows that. I was in Fort Macleod and I had a joke about  the wind farms . You wouldn’t want to hang glide through them,” he continued.

Life’s a Dream at the University of Lethbridge

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Life really is a dream for director Richard Epp, who can’t wait for the curtain to open on March 23 for the debut of Pedro Calderon do la Barca’s 1635 masterpiece, ‘Life’s a Dream.’
Margaret Rodgers (Rosaura) and Mike Sanger (Astolfo) rehearse Life’s A Dream. Photo by Richard Amery“It’s one of these plays a director waits his whole life to direct ,”  enthused Epp.
“And I’m finally going to do it,” he added.
 ‘Life’s a Dream’ is about a Polish king who has his infant son imprisoned, after fearing an omen that his son is going to kill him. Then, fearing he will be heirless, releases the son and makes him king for a day.

“The prince is brought to the palace where he’s a disastrous king, so he’s told that he’s been dreaming and is sent back to prison,” Epp summarized, adding he has seen the play performed a couple times.
“You usually have to travel a long way to see it,” he said.
“There’s a great set, lots of action and rich characters,” Epp said, describing the play as being very exciting with both dramatic and  comedic moments as well as a sword fight.
“When people think of the Renaissance, they usually think of Shakespeare, but the Spanish had their own style,” he said.
“As a director I approached it as bringing an old play forward into the twenty-first century so there are a lot of lights and special effects.”
 He said Pedro Calderon de la Barca was a prominent playwright of Spain’s Golden Age.

Written around 1635, Calderon was as well known and respected in Renaissance Spain as Shakespeare was in England. ‘Life’s a Dream’ is a great old masterpiece that has entertained audiences the world over for nearly 400 years.


New West puts on fine production of Three Fine Girls

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What is is about returning to the family home that makes one revert to  one's childhood family dynamic?
 That is the situation in New West Theatre’s new production of The Attic, the Pearls and Three Fine Girls where three sisters, eldest Jojo (played by Erica Hunt), middle sister Jayne (played by Lesley Galbecka) who return to their family home  where youngest sister Jelly (Meghan Porteous) has been taking care of their dying dad.Lesley Galbecka, Erica Hunt and Meghan Porteous are Three Fine Girls. Photo by Richard Amery

Though Jojo and Jayne are stars in their professional fields as a professor and high powered banker respectively, it doesn’t take long for them to revert to their childhoods, fighting with each other, saying spiteful things to each other, dredging up the baggage from the past while trying to set up one last big party in memory of their father.
 Erica Hunt is at her loud, brash best who is also kind of scary when she brandishes a huge cake knife.

Lesley Galbecka makes a fine hyper-competitive, drunk middle sister with a secret. The two of them mercilessly bully aspiring artist Jelly, when they notice her at all, but also care for their younger sister like surrogate parents. Porteous, who was just as hyperactive and appealingly childlike in Munsch Time, is a marvel, being able to switch from hyperactive to heart-wrenching in the span of a sentence.The girls not only deliver their lines impeccably and play off each other perfectly they also bond and scrape on stage like actual sisters. And while the fight scenes are  particularly fierce, they also include a fair amount of humour.

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