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The Pink Unicorn visits Didi’s Playhaus to explore parenthood and LGTBQ issues

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Local actor Ashley Thomson takes a third shot at Elise Forier Edie’s 2011 one woman show “The Pink Unicorn,” Nov. 15 ad 16 at Didi’s Playhaus for a special Theatre Outré presentation.Ashley Thomson brings the Pink Unicorn to Didi’s Playhaus this week. Photo by Richard Amery
 “Jay Whitehead was gracious enough to offer me the chance  to  perform at Didi’s Playhaus,” said Thomson, who performed the play during  Pride fest, June 9 and in September at the Allied arts Council SOAR cabarets.

“ It is about a really conservative Texan mother in a small town  and her daughter, Tricia, who comes out as  LGTBQ and sets up a gay-straight alliance in her school, which is blocked. So her mother supports her as she tries to make the gay straight alliance a reality,” said Thomson, noting she plays several different characters including the mother, the daughter Tricia, her friend, her grandmother, the bigoted school principal and several others.


LMT makes auspicious return with Newsies

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 To borrow a line from Evan Row’s Davey, Lethbridge Musical Theatre made an “auspicious” return to the Yates Theatre with a big collaborative production with Chinook High School of Disney”s  Broadway hit “Newsies”  Reid Mills plays Crutchie in Newsies. Photo by Richard Amery
The two week run ends tonight at the Yates Theatre.
 As expected, the kids steal the show , as well they should as they have been rehearsing for it  as part of their curriculum since September.

 Plus it is all about kids– particularly child labour in 1899, New York City, where the newspaper delivery boys have finally had enough when publishing magnate John Pulitzer decides to increase  revenue by increasing the price of the paper for the the newsies, which falls on them as they have to buy the papers and then sell them.
 That leads the boys and girls , inspired by an ongoing trolley strike, to go on strike themselves.
As expected in a musical, there is a lot of singing and dancing.


University of Lethbridge takes on Titus Andronicus— Shakespeare‘s bloodiest work

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The University of Lethbridge brings William Shakespeare’s bloodiest play to the University Theatre stage, Nov. 5-9.Cole Pryor,  Maya Green and Taran Duncan rehearse a scene from Titus Andronicus. Photo by Richard Amery
 Titus Andronicus features more than two dozen cast members performing an abridged version of the play, which is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach.

“ Theres a lot of people who die violently and other violent acts,” said director Jay Whitehead, coming off a successful sold out run of Theatre Outré’s  production of A Streetcar Named Desire.

“ This is the first time I’ve directed Shakespeare, I’m more of a contemporary theatre guy,”  Whitehead continued.
 U of L faculty member Justin Blum cuts the original in half with the abridged version.

“ We’ve cut it down to the core. So it will be more accessible to audiences,” he continued, adding, the play has been set in a contemporary, near future world.

“ It’s definitely a tragedy, but we’ve brought out the lighter moments,” Whitehead said.

Titus Andronicus is set during the latter days of the Roman Empire and tells the fictional story of Titus, a general in the Roman army, who is engaged in a cycle of revenge with Tamora, Queen of the Goths. It is Shakespeare's bloodiest and most violent work.


Lethbridge Musical Theatre returns with massive production of Newsies

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Lethbridge Musical Theatre is back after a five year hiatus with a massive collaborative production of Newsies, happening at the Yates Theatre, Nov. 1-9.Ainsley DeBoer, Brooklyn Stuckart and Alina Kuk rehearse a scene from Newsies. photo by Richard Amery
Lethbridge  Musical Theatre teamed up with Chinook High School students and their teacher Dave Mikuliak, who directs the 60-member cast.

“It’s a massive production. It’s a large show. It has big energy, And it’s a joyful show, so if you want to be entertained, come to the Yates Theatre. Because we‘d love you to see Newsies,” Mikuliak said.

Newsies allows the actors to really explore all three of the triple threat skills — singing, acting, and especially dancing.

 He got the students to rehearse as part of their classes. Mikuliak chose his cast after auditions in June. He is especially pleased with how well it has come together.
“ It’s gone really well. Everyone has really gelled,” he said adding the 30 students have been working well with the 30 community members.

“They’ve really learned a lot. It’s been really reciprocal between my students and the more experienced community members. It’s really been inspiring,” he enthused. He has a long history of working with Lethbridge Musical Theatre going back to 1989, so he is excited to bring Newsies back as a LMT production.

 Chinook High School teacher Alisha Hornberger has  developed a lot of  dance choreography for the production.
“ There are six of my own students in the production, but almost everyone has had to learn to tap dance from scratch,” she said.
“And my sister Hillary has co-choreographed it with me. She  has extensive theatre experience,” she said.
“ It has been exciting to watch students who  were not  comfortable with dancing or nervous about dancing, learn to dance,” Mikuliak added.
Newsies is inspired by the  1899 newsboys strike in New York City, but it touches on a lot of social issues.


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