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The Sissy Duckling shows different is good

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The Sissy Duckling is finally ready to fly.

Theatre Outré presents the long delayed production of the Sissy Duckling, Feb. 26-March 5 in the Casa community room.

Nicola Elson adapted Harvey Fierstein’s children’s book into a musical.

Rylan Kunkel, Devon Brayne, Erica Barr and Shannon  Murphy  star in The Sissy Duckling. Photo by Richard Amery

 

“It’s an original musical based on  Harvey Fierstein’s popular children’s book,” summarized Theatre Outré artistic director Jay Whitehead, adding  it is about a duckling who doesn’t fit in with the other ducklings.

 

“He likes to sing, he likes to dance, he likes to bake and because of that, he’s treated poorly by the other ducklings.

 

  The show has been postponed twice because of Covid, the only actor not able to participate this time from the original cast was Greg Wilson. The show features several familiar faces, including New West Theatre veterans Rylan Kunkel and Devon Brayne, who was recruited to fill Wilson’s spot as well as Theatre Outré veteran Erica Barr and Calgary actress Shannon Murphy.

 

 “ It was supposed to run in March 2020 before everything happened,” Whitehead said.

 

“So we’re excited to welcome everybody,” Whitehead said.

 

White said the play is the centre piece of a trimmed down Quaint, Quirky and Queer.

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New West Theatre reignites the passion in ‘Sexy Laundry’

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What happens when the flames start to flicker  on a long time relationship?

 

Jeff Carlson and Erica Hunt rehearse Sexy Laundry. Photo by Richard Amery

 New West Theatre explores that in their presentation of  Michele Riml’s “ Sexy Laundry,” running at the Yates Theatre, Feb. 16-26.

 

 The comedy, about a couple trying to reignite the flames of their relationship brings two old friends together, Erica Hunt and Jeff Carlson.

 

 While Hunt is a regular on New West stages, Carlson was prompted back on stage after a long hiatus after reading the script.

 

“I read the description of the play that Kelly (Reay, director) put out. And thought ‘This is me’ It’s not often I get to try something that is a little more risqué,’” said Jeff Carlson, who plays Henry Lane.

 

“It just spoke to me. Being in a long term relationship for 27 going on 28 years, every line in this script is something me or my partner has said,” Carlson continued.

“It’s exactly that— about a couple trying to reignite their relationship. They’ve been together for 25 years and they got a book called  ‘Sex for Dummies’ to reignite that spark,” added Hunt, who plays Alice Lane, noting  Henry isn’t as into it.

 

“ But he’s trying the best he can,” Carlson added. 

 

“Usually I didn’t get to see a script that pushes boundaries like this one,” Carlson said.

 

“ It definitely has mature themes and bad  language. It’s for 16 and up. There’s no nudity in it,” Hunt said.

 

“Though we tried,” Carlson laughed.

“There will be a lot of wives nudging their husbands,” Hunt said.

 

“ But probably not a lot of husbands nudging their wives,” Carlson chuckled.

Carlson and Hunt have their own long-tern relationship, as they were both involved in forming the precursor to New West Theatre close to 30 years ago.

 They have been rehearsing  “Sexy Laundry” for almost two weeks.

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University of Lethbridge explores friendship and relationships in “A Dinner Party”

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The University of Lethbridge is excited to host  “A Dinner Party” in the University Theatre, Feb. 8-12.

Claire Smith and Carter Debusschere rehearse the U of L’s new play A Dinner Party. Photo by Richard Amery

 

 New West Theatre’s Kelley Reay directs this new production by Calgary playwright Christopher Duthie.

“This is only the third time it has been performed,” said Reay.

 

Faculty advisor and Drama Department faculty and production designer, David Smith brought the play to the fore.

“I was the designer for the premiere of this play three years ago with Bad Knaps Theatre in Calgary and Christopher Duthie and I were graduate students together as well. This is a great play for our students to work on,” said Smith in a press release.

 

 “As theatre practitioners we are storytellers, and the set, although uncomplicated, provides important context where the action unfolds.”

“ I love this play , because it starts out as a dinner party but it takes off in an unexpected direction. There really is something in the that will appeal to everyone,” Reay enthused, noting “ Dinner Party” is about four friends who haven’t seen each other in a long time.

 

Danielle Baker rehearse the U of L’s new play A Dinner Party. Photo by Richard Amery

“It really subverts your expectations,” he said.

“It‘s what happens when four old friends come together,” he said.

 

The cast includes Kacie Hall as Boo, Danielle Baker as Darling, Carter Debusschere and  Claire Smith as Sweetie, the newest addition to this group of friends.

 

“She ’s really a lot of fun. She’s 10 years younger than the rest of them. She brings a lot of chaos,” Smith enthused.

“She’s kind of a granola, yoga girl. She’s a hippie but also very down to earth,” she said, adding she has enjoyed working with the cast since rehearsals began in the first week of January.

“ We’ve become really close and our characters are all extensions of our personalities,” she continued, adding the play has adult content including some profanity.

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Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival brings adventure back to Lethbridge

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The Lethbridge Public Library is excited to welcome  back the  Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival world tour to the Yates Theatre, Friday, Jan. 14

“ Lethbridge celebrated its tenth anniversary of the in person  festival, a couple of years ago,” said Jonathan Jarvie, Lethbridge Public library librarian and  one of the organizers , noting they had to cancel the event last year because  of Covid. It will be the second year they had held the festival at the Yates Theatre.

Bear Like is one oif the Films  in this year’s Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival. Photo submitted

 

The event is a  collaboration between the Lethbridge Public Library and the Banff Centre for the arts.

 Because of Covid, the event, which usually runs over four nights, has been condensed to one night Jan. 14. They usually run all of the films one and then repeat them

“It’s been really exciting to bring this event back. We haven’t been able to do any adult programming, so this is a huge step for us to connect with Lethbridge and let them know we miss them,” he enthused, adding, as usual, the festival has a nature and environmental theme.

 

“ We have seven different films ranging from four minutes to 55 minutes long from the United Kingdom, France, Canada, the United States and Switzerland,” he summarized.

 The films were chosen out of approximately 400 entries.

“They’re all nature and adventure type films. Because the event was cancelled last year they are all from 2019-2021,” he said.

 The longest film is “Bear Like” From Switzerland, about grizzly  bears in Alaska.

The three minute long French film, “Follow The Light” features freestyle skiing and hot air ballooning over a backdrop of sunsets in Turkey.

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