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Comedian Derek Edwards promises big bag of silly for In Praise of the Ostrich tour in Lethbridge this week

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Timmins born, Toronto based comedian Derek Edwards promises “ a big bag of silly,” when he returns to the Yates Memorial Theatre, Sunday, June 9 as part of  his new “In Praise of the Ostrich,” tour.

“There is so much bad stuff in the news, I just like to stick my head in the sand. Because ignorance is bliss,” Edwards said of naming the new tour. “ In Praise of the Ostrich.

 

He hopes his show will take people away from  the bad news for 90 minutes.

 

Comedian Derek Edwards returns to Lethbridge June 9. Photo submitted

“It’s mostly new material. And psychologically it helps to escape the bad news. I know it helps me to do  shows,” said Edwards, who has been called the funniest  man in Canada by numerous news organizations and renown comedians including Rick Mercer.

 

 The show includes  Edwards deadpan delivery of observances of modern life including commentaries on the influx of pot stores, self-driving cars, gambling tips, the challenge of staying youthful and dressing warm.

“My  show is just a big bag of silly. So far , so good,” he laughed. 

 

 While he is proud to be from Timmins, he hasn’t performed there for a few years.

 

“ When you’re driving  for eight hours, the weather is a fact. It’s rocks and trees and a little bit of blue. But they have a comedy festival there now. I said I’d perform there if I could open for my friend Mike Winfield, who is a comedian who has performed all over the world,” he said.

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New West Theatre has something for everyone in thirty-sixth season

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Coming off a record breaking season, New West is excited to present another eclectic season this year.

 This season really does have something for everyone,” said New West Theatre Artistic Director Kelly Reay.

 

Kelly Reay announces New West Theatre’s new season. Photo by Richard Amery

The first official show of the season is a music comedy revue “ Totally ’80s,” which is a tribute to the music and styles of the ’80s.

 “We’ve never fully explored  the ’80s before in our music comedy  revues. There are a lot of young families and professionals who will be really interested in that show,” Reay said.

The show runs  Aug. 7-24.

 

 But there are a couple New West Theatre adjacent shows happening before that.

 Up first, get all shook up with A Tribute to Elvis,” starring Matt Cage.

“ He played Elvis during the Million Dollar Quartet. Tickets are selling really fast for that show. It was a nice opportunity to bring him back,” Reay said.

 That show is happening for two nights only, June  22 and 23 at the Yates Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Each night.

 Then, Hootenanny returns to Galt Gardens with a new  original theatre for Young Audiences show  “Scout and the Rarest Badge Ever,” written and  directed  by Hootenanny veteran Ahona Sanyal.

 

“ That’s a great story ,” Reay said, adding part of New West Theatre’s  goals is developing up and coming young artists.

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Hatrix opens sold out run of Agatha Christie’s murder mystery the Mousetrap at the Moose Hall

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Hatrix Theatre is excited to open a sold out run of Agatha Christie‘s classic murder mystery The Mousetrap at the Moose Hall, May 1-4.

 

“ I’m very pleased it is sold out,” said director Karolyn Harker, who has a long history of  working with the Mousetrap.

Jeff Graham and Jocelyn Steinborn rehearse a scene from the Mousetrap, Photo by Richard Amery

““It’s run for 70 plus years in London,”” Harker continued, adding she is pleased to bring the Mousetrap to the Moose Hall.

 The Mousetrap is a classic Agatha Christie murder mystery.

 

An assortment of strange guests arrive in the middle of a blizzard at Monkswell manor, a rooming  house just opened  by newlyweds Molly and Giles. But there may be a murderer afoot.

 There are  twists and turns and Three Blind Mice as the constant refrain as  the couple, guests and “Sergeant Trotter” try to a unravel the murderer’s scheme.

 

“There’s some funny moments, but it is a mystery,” Harker described.

 

“ There’s a great characters. We’re fortunate to have a great cast and crew,” she said, noting they have been rehearsing since the end of January for the production.

“ My favourite part of the show is working with  all of these talented people how have some great ideas,” Harker said.

 

“ People are taking their time away from their families and jobs because we love to do it,” Harker continued.

“Everyone involved has been so generous,” she said.

 

Hatrix Theatre veteran Vittorio Oliveri is looking forward to  playing Paravicini,  a surprise guest whose car breaks down in the middle of the  storm.

“I think the character Paravicini gets a raw deal. He‘s usually played as a clown. But I’m hoping to  do a little bit more with him,” he said, adding he always enjoys working with hatrix.

“It’s great to be part of a great cast,” he said.

 

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Experience theatre debuts with original play about siblings on the family farm

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A new theatre company  gives up and coming actors  more chances to “Experience” theatre without leaving Lethbridge. Their first play “I Hear Abel Singin’ in the Fields,” penned by local playwright Jess Serrat, runs at the casa community room  April 21 at 2:30 p.m.  and at 7:30  p.m., April 22, 24  and 25.

 

Jesse Thibert, who played Hamlet with The Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society’s  production of Shakespeare’s renown tragedy Hamlet  a couple of years ago and who directed Taming of the Shrew last summer, brings his new theatre company Experience  Theatre to life with Jess Syratt’s original  play “ I Hear Abel Singin’ in the fields.”

Jesse Thibert and Logan Hockley rehearse I Hear Abel Singin’ in the Fields. Photo by Richard Amery

 

 “I wanted to have more opportunities for actors especially those  graduating from the University of Lethbridge.,” Said Thibert on founding Experience Theatre company.

 

“Lethbridge is a growing city. We have a great theatre community of students and  professional actors, so I felt  they should have more opportunities to perform  here without having to move to another city,” Thibert said.

 

Experience Theatre has been rehearsing for their first production since January. They will be staging two more this year.

“We  hope to double that next year,” Thibert said.

 

He has wanted to do Syratt’s play for a couple of years.

“It’s about two  brothers. One wants to stay on the family farm and the other wants to move to the city,” said Thibert, who  plays the brother who wants to stay on the farm. 

 The play features Thibert as James, Logan Hockley as his brother Noah and  Aiden Boon as  Eden.

“ James is a rough and tumble guy who wants to stay on the farm,” Thibert  said of his character.

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