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L.A. Beat


Playgoers of Lethbridge hope audiences will “Exit Laughing” from fall dinner theatre

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Playgoers of Lethbridge hopes their audience will “Exit Laughing,” from the Country Kitchen, Oct. 22-26.Shelly David, Jocelyn Steinborn and Marcie Stork rehearse a scene from Exit Laughing. Photo by Richard Amery

 Playgoers of Lethbridge volunteers are  embracing Paul Elliott’s 2014 dark comedy “Exit Laughing” for their annual fall dinner theatre.

 Playgoers of Lethbridge, at 97-years-old this year, are  the oldest amateur theatre company in Canada, so director Linda Johnson wants to do the company’s history proud with their new production.

“ It’s a really funny dark comedy,” summarized Johnson, Playgoers of Lethbridge‘s co-artistic director.
 The comedy stars several familiar faces including Teresa Huszar as Rachel, who made her Playgoers of Lethbridge debut in the spring production of “Where’s Oscar.”
 The play also features Playgoers mainstay Shelly David as the simple, sometimes ditzy Millie, Jocelyn Steinborn as Rachel’s mother the conservative and always astute Connie, Marcie Stork as the wise-cracking, hairdresser Leona who was in ‘Til Beth Do us Part” and Josh Hammerstedt as the policeman.


Del Barber back with empathetic “Easy Keeper”

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Winnipeg area musician Del Barber returns to the Geomatic Attic, Tuesday, Oct. 22 in support of his new CD “Easy Keeper,” a record he never thoughDel Barber returns to the Geomatic Attic, Oct. 22. Photo by Richard Ameryt he’s ever get to make.
“I’ve been busy being a dad and trying to reconcile that with touring and not being there,” said Barber, who has a busy tour schedule booked into 2021.
Barber underwent a period of soul searching when he parted ways with True North Records and his manager, around the same time he settled down on his wife’s parents’ farm in southern Manitoba.

“I didn’t think I would get to make music again, so a lot of songs come from that point in time. I’m always writing. But people still want to hear from me,” Barber continued, adding Rolling Stone magazine just published an interview with him abut the new album.
“That’s the first time they have ever paid any attention to me so that’s like the Holy Grail,” he said.

 No Depression magazine, the go to source for alt country and roots magazine, also interviewed him.
 “I’ve been doing this for almost 10 years and people are starting to listen,” he said.


Lots of rock, pop and country this week

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This week rocks and pops.The Bridgette Yarwood duo plays twice this week. Photo by Richard Amery
Things get started with Gabe Thaine’s High Level Variety, Show onOct. 15 at 8 p.m.  Michael Bartz is the host.
Classic rock fans will be in hippie Heaven as Creedence Clearwater Revival’s  John Fogerty returns to the Enmax Centre, Wednesday, Oct. 16 with his “My 50 Year Trip Tour.”
 Expect to hear CCR classics and Fogerty’s solo hits.

 Tickets are $29.95, $49.50, $79.50, $99.95 (Incl. GST) + s/c . The show begins at 7:30 p.m.

 For a little bit of a contrast to that, Sherwood Park alt-pop band The Royal Foundry return to the Slice, Oct. 16 as well. Winnipeg based songwriter Roman Clarke is also on the bill plus local singer songwriter Tyson Ray Borsboom.
 Expect a plethora of wild and wonderful musical instruments and manic ’80s pop energy from Royal Foundry.
For something a little more mellow, Northern Albertan country musician Maddie Storvold, who was on CTV’s the launch and recently released her hit single ’Don’t Say you Love Me’, plays the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Oct. 16 as well.

If you love acoustic guitar pyrotechnics and percussion, Australian born, Nashville based virtuoso, Daniel Champagne returns to the Slice, Oct. 17.
Admission is $20. He sold out the Slice almost exactly a year ago.
The weekend is all about pop music.
 Average Joes features welcomes Tyler Shaw’s “Wanted” tour to the stage, Friday, Oct. 18.
 Shaw was nominated a for the 2019 pop album of the year for his sophomore CD  “Intuition,” which spawned the hit singles ”With you” and  “To the Man Who Let Her Go.”
 He will be joined by Craig Stickland on guitar.
 Strickland, who has toured with Alessia Cara and Matt Good, will also be opening the show, which begins at 10:15 p.m.
Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

 Jon Martin returns to the Owl Acoustic Lounge with Edmonton musician St. Arnaud, Oct. 18.

 It’s great to see Bridgette Yarwood on stage again. She brings her jazz/ pop duo to Good Times, Oct. 18 at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $5 in advance $10 at the door. If you miss that show, she is also playing a big afternoon  fundraising concert at the Gate Church, Saturday, Oct. 18. Also on that bill are local blues band Coda, Deacon Harley and thew Spark and Behold.  Tickets are $10. The show runs from 1-5 p.m.

Average Joes presents the a eleventh annual Scotchtoberfest, Oct. 19 from 8-11 p.m. with local rock bands DNR, the Nova Scotiables and the Lethbridge Firefighters Pipes and Drums.The event is a fundraiser for A New Dawn. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

This week’s folk fix comes courtesy of Winnipeg musician Vince Andrushko who plays the Slice, Oct. 19 with George Arsene. Prairie Huckster play folk  and roots music music at Plum on Oct. 19 as well.They are also at Theoretically brewing on Friday with Casati and john Greenshields. The show begins at 7 p.m. Admission is $10.

Hanna born, Lethbridge based Trevor Christensen and El Mule  will be be playing country and rock at Casino Lethbridge all weekend.


Hollerado wind up a dozen years of irreverent fun with best album yet

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Ottawa area based indie rock/ pop band Hollerado are calling  it a day after about a dozen years on the road. They return to the Slice one last time, Tuesday, Oct. 22.
 They just released one last album “ Retaliation Vacation,” but all people want to talk about is their retirement.Hollerado returns to Lethbridge, Oct. 22. Photo by Ryan Faist

“We think it’s our best one yet, but all everyone wants to ask us about is our retirement,” observed frontman Menno Versteeg.
 To go along with the new album, they released a weird video for “Time on Earth, featuring a break dancing battle between an old man and an alien.

“We’ve always been irreverent so it just suits us. Besides it’s our last tour, so we didn’t really care if anyone likes it,” Versteeg continued, adding people ended up really liking it.
Guitarist Nixon Boyd, drummer Jake Boyd and bassist Dean Baxter complete the quartet.

“We’ve always marched to the beat of our own drum,” quipped drummer Jake Boyd.
“Oh, a drummer joke,” Versteeg chuckled.

“It’s just time to retire. How many of your favourite bands’ sixth album is your favourite,” Boyd added.

“We‘re still best friends, so there’s no juicy gossip,” Versteeg emphasized.

“ We’ll probably miss it during festival season. But now we’ll all just be going to the festivals to watch and without having to lug any gear. And we’ve got enough friends that we can go back stage and hang out with them and drink their beer and eat their food and play their instruments and maybe play a Hollerado set,” Versteeg laughed.

 They are pleased with the new CD.
“We did it all ourselves. We recorded it in Nick’s studio down the street. It was a really fun process,” Versteeg said, adding they didn’t  have to cull any songs from the collection.


New West Theatre embraces the life and music of Buddy Holly in Buddy

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New West Theatre explores the life of rock and roll icon Buddy Holly in their new musical “Buddy; the Buddy Holly story, running at 7:30 p.m. each night Sept. 4-21.
The 12 member cast of the Alan Jones penned rock and roll musical all multi-task, playing different instruments as well as characters.

Fraser Elsdon plays Buddy Holly in New West Theatre’s production ofBuddy: The Buddy Holly Story. Photo by Richard Amery
“ It’s great I get to work with a really big band,” enthused musical director Kathy Zaborsky, who also plays  Vi Petty.
“ This show is pure joy. It’s a celebration of rock and roll,” she enthused.
“It’s a biography of Buddy Holly. It’s a musical that tells the story of his life from his hits to the his last show before the plane crash,” Zaborsky continued.

“ We have 12 cast members which is large for a rock and roll musical,” she said.

 There are several familiar faces on the cast including Garrett Mallory Scott, who was in Shakespeare in the Park this year, New West Theatre veteran Rylan Kunkel, Jocelyn Brayne who returns to New West after a few years hiatus and Lethbridge singer Mwansa Mwansa who returns home from Toronto for this show. The cast also includes  Tony Zappone, Daniel Sequeira, Joel Gray, Zach  Peterson and Theo Lysyk.

“We’ll see Buddy Holly and the Crickets being forced to play country music against their will when they record at the Decca Studios. Then they go to New Mexico to record Nor-Va-Jak studio and play rock and roll. And they end up in New York where Buddy meets and falls in love with Maria and I won’t reveal any more than that,” Zaborsky said.
 The productions also includes several  people who have performed in the  show before including Fraser Elsdon, who plays Buddy Holly and Nayeli Abrego, who plays his love interest  Maria Elena and Marlena Walker. Elsdon, not only looks like Buddy Holy, but does a great job of performing his songs and showing his stubbornness  in terms of his music.
“ You’re the nicest guy in the world, unless it’s about your music, then you’re stubborn,” quips Hipockets Duncan, his first manager and the first DJ to give Holly a break.

 The first half of the show shows Buddy Holly and his band the Crickets as young, hungry, up and coming musicians determined to play their music their way. It explores a hectic 18 months in 1957 leading up to their final concert , Feb. 3, 1959.

They work on their version of  rock and roll in studios in Lubbock, has run ins with DJ/ manager  Hipockets Duncan, gets sent to New Mexico to record with Norman Petty and writes a string of popular hits, changes the name of Cindy Lou to Peggy Sue to appease his bassist, who’s girlfriend is named Peggy Sue. Garrett Mallory Scott adds a lot of comic relief to an already hilarious show first as Norman Petty and later as the Big Bopper. Holly’s hits are well represented in the show including “Peggy Sue”, “That’ll Be The Day”, “Oh Boy”, “Not Fade Away”, “Everyday”, “Rave On”, “Heartbeat”, and “Raining in My Heart,” to name a few. That eventually leads them to New York, where they bravely play the Apollo Theatre, because music has no colour. There, a sassy Mwansa Mwansa sings a beautiful soulful version of “You Make me Want to Shout,” and warns the Crickets that they’d better be good or else they’ll be dead. I wanted to hear more of her, so her version of “Shout” and her sassy humour is much welcomed.

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