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Auditions for Playgoers of Lethbridge’s A Doll's house this week

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Juanita DeVos is excited to direct Playgoers of Lethbridge’s Feb. 8-11 production of Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House.”
 She already has most of her backstage crew in place, the next step is auditions, which take place, Dec. 9 and 10 at Casa.
 If  you are interested in trying out for the play, book an audition time for Dec. 9 and 10 by going to
DeVos will get back to you, if those times don’t work she will do her best to accommodate your schedule.

“The people who have booked times will be able to audition at that time and we’ll fit in people who drop in around those times,” DeVos said, noting she is excited to work with Playgoers veteran Eric Low.

“ I worked with him  for Noises Off and wanted to work with him again,” she said, noting Low was originally planning to direct “A Doll’s House,” but had to back out  due to health issues.

“But he already did a lot of research in to the characters and the production, so he will be our dramaturge,” DeVos enthused.

 The play requires a cast of four men and four women plus two children — a boy and a girl.

Playgoers is using a 1936 Thornton Wilder acting version of the play, which is about “Nora, the wife of a banker, Thorwald, has a secret debt, incurred with good intentions and a forged signature. When her husband is promoted to bank manager, the threat of blackmail threatens to destroy his career and their family life together. As circumstances unravel, Nora realizes the truth of her situation: she accuses her husband and her father before him of having used her as a doll. In one of the most famous scenes ever written for the stage, Nora slams the door on her domestic life as wife and mother until she can learn to be herself. The marriage of Ibsen's naturalistic style with Wilder's knack for emotional nuance creates a modern, vigorous acting version of this revered classic drama.” The original  play premiered in 1879.


Christmas with the classics with Dickens Meets Shakespeare

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Celebrate the Christmas season with Dickens Meets Shakespeare, Friday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. at Casa.(L-R); Heather Ladd, Jeff Graham and Kristine Alexander are getting into the Christmas spirit with Shakespeare Meets Dickens, Dec. 16 at Casa. photo by Richard Amery
 The show features a strong cast of performers, performing Charles Dickens’ “ A Christmas Carol,” followed by songs, sonnets and Shakespeare.
“The evening will begin with a performance of Charles Dickens ‘ A Christmas Carol’ and Christmas carols from the Victorian period,” said Shakespeare In The park co-ordinator Kate Connolly.
“It will be followed by all things Shakespeare including scenes, songs and sonnets,” she added.

A Christmas Carol will be performed by a lot of familiar faces from Shakespeare in the park including Andrew Legg and Dj Gellatly, who have directed Shakespeare in the Park productions and Derek Stevenson who has performed with the local Shakespeare troupe.

 It will also feature veterans from community theatre like Shelley David and Jeff Graham and some familiar faces from the University of Lethbridge’s drama productions.
“We have a lot of directors, actors and board members from community theatre performing,” Connolly said.

“ A Christmas Carol” is widely regarded as a Christmas classic, but it is more than that.
“Dickens wrote the stories in the 1840s. It was a time known as the Hungry ’40s because of an economic slump and the rising food prices which lead to a huge rise in poverty especially in London,” Connolly said.
“Dickens wrote  ‘A Christmas Carol’ to draw attention to the plight of the urban poor. There’s Scrooge, the grasping miser who learns to true meaning of Christmas through the intervention of three ghosts of Past, Present and Future. It also includes Bob Cratchett and his family including Tiny Tim, a young crippled boy who has this amazing love for all humanity,” she continued.
Megan Wittig, the music director of the musical portion of the evening will be singing and is coaching several performers including Matt Cameron, Chris Peterson, Brenton Taylor and Erica Barr.
Jeneva Moxon, who was stage manager for this summer’s production of Romeo and Juliet will be directing Shakespeare Meets Dickens.


This week sounds like Christmas

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It’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas in Lethbridge as this week features a plethora of Christmas parties and concerts happening on the weekend.
 But before that, begin the week with some jazz and blues.
 The Owl Acoustic Jam hosts  a jazz jam with HBO3 and Josh Davies, Wednesday, Dec. 7.

And the Slice Dory and the Weathermen play this week. Photo by Richard Amerybrings in Invermere blues band The Chisel Peak Blues band, featuring the talents of Emily Rawbon, who has been compared to musicians like Tracy Chapman. There is no cover for the Dec. 7 show.

 Two big Christmas parties happen on Dec. 9
 University of Lethbridge based community radio station CKXU hosts a Very Merry CKXUing Holiday Extravaganza on Dec. 9 at the Slice. The show begins at 9 p.m. Tickets are available at Blueprint for $10 in advance or $15 at the door.
It will feature a variety of local bands putting their own twisted take on your favourite christmas carols and Christmas themed music. There will also be door prizes, eggnog drink special and silent auction. The man in red, Santa Claus, will be on hand for photos as well.

But classic rockers will want to be at the Smokehouse, Dec. 9 where Dory and the Weathermen will be decking the halls with the sounds of classic rock and whatnot. The party begins at 7 p.m.. Tickets are five dollars. They play classic rock and contemporary hits and are always entertaining.

The other big Christmas party is at the Southminster United Church the next night, where the Lethbridge Community Gold and Silver bands will be playing the 25th annual Mayor’s Christmas concert beginning at 7 p.m.
Special guests include the Cardston School Senior Choir, under the direction of Linda Burwell, and Mayor Chris Spearman.


Shaela Miller showcasing roots musicians with Windy City Opry

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If you love roots and folk music, mark  every second Wednesday on you calendar and  make a point of being at the Slice for the Windy City Opry.Shaela Miller will host  the Windy City Opry. Photo by Richard Amery

 Local musician Shaela Miller is organizing this special showcase of touring roots/ folk/ country musicians.

 The first Windy City Opry, Dec. 14 at the Slice, features Calgary musician Amy Nelson plus Saskatoon’s Rugged Little Thing and new tour mate Eliza Mary Doyle , who was just in Lethbridge with the Dead South.

“This one is a banjo showcase and it’s all female artists,” said Miller, who was inspired to start the Windy City Opry by Boots and The Hoots who host a regular Pinecone Opry in Red Deer.
“It will mostly feature out of town bands. It will be a showcase of roots music including roots and folk music,” Miller said.

“Boots and the Hoots do the Pinecone Opry in Red Deer, which is where I got the idea from.  My band has played it a couple of times.

They play at every one of their Oprys. I may play one or two songs, but this is all about the touring artists and giving them a good night here, it’s not about me,” she continued, adding she chose to hold  the Windy City Opry on a weekday to catch touring acts on the way to play bigger centres like Calgary on weekends.
“I love booking bands and bands contact me anyway  about booking a gig,” Miller said.


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L.A. Beat is Lethbridge, Alberta's only online arts and entertainment magazine.

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