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A little something for everyone

Posted on May 8, 2019 by Richard Amery

There is a little something for everyone this week.
First up, boogie woogie for Streets Alive at a special fundraising concert at Southminster United Church, Wednesday, May 8. Diane Lines celebrates swing, boogie woogie and jump blues in her show “Jump.” It begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 with all proceeds going to support the Streets Alive mission. It is one of two fundraisers for Streets Alive, as local bands CODA, Good Time Charlie, Horizon and Continuum play the first annual Piggy Stock Roast Pig dinner and dance. The licensed and catered event is at the Polish Canadian Club beginning at 5 p.m. Tickets are $40 for adults, $15 for children under 15. They will be taking donations of food and clothing for Streets Alive.
Also on Wednesday, the May edition of the Windy City Opry features B.C. songwriter Dennis Bouwman, Calgary alt country musician Jess Knights and bluegrass/country group the Local Group performing at The Slice at 8 p.m. sharp. As always, admission is $10.
Average Joe’s goes rap on Thursday, May 9 with Odin and Evolution’s Firestarter tour featuring Alberta rappers Odin and Evolution with Craigles O’Grady, Crisko, Kropp Hopper and Chad L.A. McGhie. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10.
It is all about rock for the weekend. Biloxi Parish, plus Medicine Hat alternative rock band Old Youth and indie rock band the Northern Coast play The Owl Acoustic Lounge, Friday, May 10.
The Owl is a busy place this weekend as the Lethbridge Girls Rock Camp host the family jam at 2 p.m., Saturday May 12, followed by an all ages show in the afternoon. Experimental jazz combo Sandwich play in the evening.
Local rock band Dead Army are at the Smokehouse, May 10 as well. Admission is $10.
It is country night at The Slice on Friday with the Cody Hall band performing at 9 p.m. Admission is $10.
But they turn things up a notch on Saturday with Taitanium’s punk extravaganza featuring the Hockey Moms, Concrete Funeral and Medicine Hat thrash metal band Crimson Caliber, death metal/thrash metal band Concrete Funeral and local punk band the Hockey Moms. Admission is $10.
Taitanium has a busy weekend at The Slice, as the next day the venue is opening on a Sunday to host Querétaro Mexico doom/death metal band Majestic Downfall and Palma De Mallorca, Spain, metal band Helevorn. Admission is $10 for the show which will start early at 8 p.m.
If you want to laugh, Good Times features comedian Ed Hill on Saturday, May 11. He will be performing two shows at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $10.
They also have a special Monday show, Sunday, May 13 with Fancy Cat, one of Jamaica’s top comedians and Sarge. Tickets are $20.
They will also be performing two shows at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Meanwhile Jolene Draper and the Inquisitive Few return to the Watertower Grill, Friday and Saturday.
And the Bow City Underground return to Casino Lethbridge, Friday and Saturday, as well.
Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens opened for the season, May 3 with a lot of fun activities planned for the year including everything from Sumo Wrestling to kite flying and yoga.
“Because it’s a federal and municipal park, we can’t make any physical change, but what we have done is increased our programming and creative, collaborative, cultural experiences,” summarized executive director Michelle Day.
There are many regular events including the yoga experience, Yukata Shimatsu on weekends, reflexology, Nodate open tea services, a special board game night Go Fridays, where participants play the popular Japanese game Go, Okinawa Doughnuts, Sunset Sake and specialty tours.
Next weekend, the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden features a special Mother’s Day event May 12.
Something really special starts May 19 as the first of Sumo Sundays begins. There will be professional sumo wrestling matches on a big screen TV featuring the highlights of the week, during the season. So Sumo will be featured May 19 and 26, July 12 and 19 and Sept. 15 and 22.
If you have a hankering to try sumo, sumo suits will be available to try on and test your best moves.
“We couldn’t have professional sumo wresters come because of the cost and they are like rock stars in Japan,” said Day.
“But it will be timely,” she said adding they will be getting the footage from Japanese TV featuring the week’s highlights and some of the best matches.
“It’s going to be something unique for Lethbridge,” she said , adding Sumo Sundays are a part of the Nikka Yuko’s expanded programming.
She noted the season is also a celebration of a new era in Japanese history as the country has a new emperor Naruhito who replaced his father Akihito, who abdicated.
“This year’s focus is tailored to providing guests with not only an authentic Japanese experience, but also ensuring they have the opportunity to learn the story of Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden,” said Day.
“The season is a celebration of Japanese customs and traditions,” she said.
They are also collaborating with the Lethbridge Blues and Jazz Festival again this year to bring in Kaley Kinjo and the Hypocrites, June 7, who will be playing the City Hall foyer, at 7 p.m. There will also be Okinawa Donuts, Japanese appetizers,special Coulee brew Green Tea Pilsner and Nikka Yuko’s signature sake. Tickets are $50.

New West Theatre celebrates 30 years with a new general manager and a new take on old ideas.
“We’re known for our musical comedy revues. Those are our tent pole events so we‘d never stop doing those because our audiences have stayed with us and expect those, but we’re expanding the schedule because we also want to increase our audience,” said general manager Kelly Reay, who directs the first musical comedy revue, not taking place until August. It is a tribute to the women of music. Divine: The Divine Women of Song runs Aug. 7-24. The other musical comedy revue is their popular Christmas show. “Celebrate: The Anniversary Special will run Dec. 18-Jan. 4
“We’re doing longer runs and we’ve added a few Tuesday shows and Sunday matinees,” he observed.
“It’s our 30th anniversary so we’ve got a bigger season. it will be a nod to our past but it also shows we’re looking at the future,” he continued, noting they have added a “fun pirate tale” called “The Legend of the Lost Tooth,” penned by U of L professor Nicola Elson. For their New Year’s theatre for young people show.
“It’s a fun. It’s got something for kids and adults because we don’t want them to get bored,” he said.
Inspired by the success of the rock and roll musical “The Million Dollar Quartet” last year, they are doing two more for this season.
Alan James and Rob Bettison’s “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story” runs at the Yates Theatre Sept. 4-21.
They held an open audition call for that show.
“We’ve cast Fraser Elsdon as Buddy Holly. He’s played the part before. But it’s a large cast of 11 people,” he continued, adding they are in the process of finalizing the cast for that show.
He is especially excited about the next musical — “Dear Johnny Deere” is a 2015 musical inspired by the music and lyrics of renowned Canadian folk/country/alt country singer Fred Eaglesmith, written by Ken Cameron. It will run March 4-14, 2020.
“It’s about a farm family going through some tough times. In this show, the cast will also be playing instruments. It’s a smaller cast of six,” he observed, adding he is most excited to present this play.
“I’m a big fan of Ken Cameron,” he said, adding they are glad to be back in the Yates Theatre.
“We couldn’t be there last year because of renovations,” he observed.
In addition to using the Yates, they also have several productions out of town and elsewhere in the city.
They are bringing a musical comedy revue “Roots: back To The beginning,” June 21 and 22 in the Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod.
“It’s our 13th year, so we wanted to go back to the Empress,” he said.
They also have two Andrew Legg penned summer productions at the Galt Museum and Fort Whoop up.
“Trader Tales is slightly changed version of last year’s Trader’s Tales,” he said.
It runs May 2-Aug. 28.
New West is exploring dinner theatre with Life on the Whoop-Up Trail, Wednesday nights July 10-Aug. 21.
“When I arrived, I had a lot of people asking me if I was going to make any changes. I didn’t want to make change for changes’s sake, but I did want to encourage growth, especially when there may be tough times ahead for funding,” he said.

Reviews
Double Helix at the Slice
The Slice featured Vancouver jazz duo Double Helix playing for owner Derek hoyle]s birthday, Wednesday, April 29.. Brothers Tony and Peter Chotem, played mostly instrumental music, crouched on chairs and hidden behind music stands.
One of the brothers punched buttons on a drum machine for a couple of numbers, which they didn’t really need, but it freed them both up to solo.
One played a nylon string classical guitar, the other had an acoustic.
They played mostly originals and mostly instrumental, though they sang a little.
A couple of highlights were a pretty instrumental version of Glen Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman.”
Though they had only a handful of people, they played a third set as a few people trickled in from the sold out Tea Party concert at the Yates.
They opened that by singing happy birthday to Derek.
A highlight of that set, full of pretty finger picking and harmonics, was a jazzy version of blues classic “Sweet Home Chicago.”
Ken Hamm is so talented, he usually makes me want to burn my guitar, and his Lethbridge visits are rare, so I was glad to catch a second set from the Forget, Saskatchewan based blues and folk musician at the Lethbridge College Cave, winding down the Lethbridge Folk Club’s season, Saturday, April 27.
I missed the Karen Romanchuk 3’s set and with the freak blizzard blowing in, I was sure no other show would be as good as this one was.
Hamm grinned, sat perched on a bar stool, as he worked his way through a set of gorgeous fingerpicked blues, folk and instrumental music on a National Steel Guitar, a banjo and acoustic guitar. He played some Robert Johnson, Pete Seeger and lots more, leaving the 80 some people with their jaws on the floor at least mine was.
He played a lot from his latest CD “Mokomon.” His version of the instrumental “Anji” was beautiful as was his cover of J.S. Bach’s ”Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring,” which he played on banjo. He had the audience singing along with Barbados musician Eric Minns’ “You Ain’t Hurryin Me.”
I especially enjoyed the heartfelt version of “Tell Old Bill,” which caused a few goosebumps after really listening to the lyrics.
He always sings brilliant renditions of blues. He covered Robert Johnson’s “Walking Blues,” and a great version of “Rolling and Tumbling” and an exceptional version of Leadbelly’s “Relax your Mind.”
Of course he was called back for an encore of a new instrumental featuring some hot finger picking. While I didn’t burn my guitar, after hearing that I too humbled to play for three days.
May 8
Beaches — open mic
Southminster United Church — Diane Lines’ Jump $12 7 p.m.
The Slice — Windy City Opry with Dennis Bouman, Jess Knights, the local Group
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Chinook High School Rocks concert 4:30 p.m.
May 9
Average Joe’s — Odin and Evolution Firestarter tour with L.A. McGhie. Craigles O’Grady, Crisko , Kropp Hopper $10 8:30 p.m.
Slice — open Mic
Good Times: Amateur Comedy night

May 10
Watertower Grill — Jolene Draper and the Inquisitive Few
Smokehouse — Dead Army
The Slice — Cody Hall band 8:30 p.m.$10
Honker’s Pub — open mic
Casino Lethbridge — Bow City Underground
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Biloxi parish/ Old Youth/ Northern Coast
May 11
Polish Canadian Centre — 1st annual Piggy stock pig roast dinner coda, Good Time Charlie, Horizon, Continuum 4 p.m. $40 adults $15 children 15 and under
Watertower Grill — Jolene Draper and the Inquisitive Few
Good Times — Ed Hill 7 p.m. 9:30 p.m.$10
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Casino Lethbridge — Bow City Underground
Owl Acoustic Lounge — 2 p.m. LGRC Family jam/4 p.m. LGRC Saturday matinee/9 p.m. Sandwich
Slice — Taitanium presents a punk extravaganza with Concrete Funeral, Crimson Caliber?, Hockey Moms,

May 12
The Slice — majestic Downfall and Helevorn $10 8 p.m.
Casa — ukulele jam 2-3 p.m.
May 13
Good Times — Fancy Cat 7 p.m., 9:30 p.m.
Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
May 14
The Slice — Slice of blues jam with Keith Catfish Woodrow
May 15
Beaches — Open mic
Slice — Mystery Love with Mollythe Boycat and Guests
May 16
Slice — Montgomery Street band and C A Jackson
Average Joe’s — Jojo Mason and Lauren Mayell $20 in advance
The Zoo — Thursty Thursdays
Good Times — Amateur Night
May 17
Watertower Grill — Karen Romanchuk 3
Casino Lethbridge — Mark Hall band
Slice — Death by Misadventure— Tribute to the Brian Jonestown massacre with Taylor Ackerman and friends
Owl Acoustic Lounge — The Parsons (formerly Clayton and Joelle)
Honker’s Pub — open mic
May 18
Stoketown — brunch Concert Series with High Level Blues Duo 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Slice — Bellevue, Homeless In Hawaii, Chief State, Cam Langhofer, The Cayley $10
Watertower Grill — Karen Romanchuk 3
Good Times — Kathleen mcGhee
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Carter and the Capitals with Adequate
Casino Lethbridge — Mark Hall band
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
May 19
Good Times — Cindy Rivers 7 p.m. 9:30 p.m. $10
May 20
Owl Acoustic lounge — Open mic
Onion — open mic

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