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January 28, 2020 January 28, 2020

Big productions hitting the stage

Posted on December 18, 2019 by Richard Amery

This week is all about theatre.
There are two big theatrical productions happening this week.
New West Theatre celebrates their 30th anniversary with their new music comedy revue, “Celebrate.” It features cast members from the past three decades performing all your favourite musical numbers and comedy bits. It runs at the Yates Theatre, Dec. 18-Jan. 4.
And though smaller in scale, but no less important, the Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society is excited about the fourth annual “Shakespeare meets Dickens” celebration, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. at Casa.
It is coming down to the wire for Christmas concerts.
If you missed the multiple performances of TJ Waltho and Friends’ “Charlie Brown Christmas” so far, there are two more chances to catch it. They are at the Mocha Cabana, Dec. 19. The family-friendly event features food and TJ Waltho, Brad Brouwer and Paul Holden playing the soundtrack to “A Charlie Brown Christmas” with the show playing behind them. Tickets are $40 for adults, $20 for children. The fun begins at 6:30 p.m. Then they will be at the Owl Acoustic Lounge Dec. 21. Admission is by donation.
If you are out and about downtown in the afternoon on Friday, Dec. 20, Sounds of the Season, featuring local singing instructor Andi Roberts’ students, will be happening at city hall.
Another fun Christmas event, Tuba Christmas, takes place at Casa at 1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 21. If you want to play, bring your horn (tuba, baritone, sousaphone and euphonium) and sign up at 10 a.m., rehearse at 11 and take the stage at 1 p.m. Admission is free.
Casa has another fun family-friendly event on Dec. 22 with the interactive stage show Snow Sisters Christmas sing-along with everyone’s favourite snow sisters. Children are invited to dress up as their favourite princess gown snd sing and dance. Admission is $10 and there is a VIP meet-and-greet for the kids for $20. The show runs from 1:30-2:30 p.m.
The other big Christmas party is the Century 21 Gold Gala Christmas party and fundraiser for Youth One, Dec. 21. Tickets begin at $110. Dinner is included. It begins at the Coast Hotel at 5:30 p.m. for cocktails. Dinner is at 7:15. There will be door prizes at 8 p.m. and Santa will visit at 8:30 p.m.
Old School will be playing all your favourite ’80s hits after that. All proceeds go to Youth One.
If you want to escape Christmas, you have options as well.
The Mark Hall band rock Casino Lethbridge country style on the weekend.
Calgary indie rock band 36? return to the Owl Acoustic Lounge with Laura Hickli, Dec. 20.
The Slice is all about rock and roll this weekend.
Local rock bands Quick Draw and Vessel play the Slice, Dec. 20. And Taylor Ackerman’s Global Acid Reset return to the Slice with a bit of the blues on Dec. 21.
Bridgette Yarwood returns to the old Firehall on Sunday for the Bavura Brunch.
As expected, most things are closed for Christmas, so take some time and celebrate with your families.
Then get ready to party again with a couple big local shows.
Tyler Bird’s local alternative rock/alt country band Queen of the Worms usually play right after the holidays. This time they are releasing a new CD at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Dec. 27. Dark Wrangler will be opening.
Fawns plays the Slice in a big local show, Dec. 27. The Cayley and Biloxi Parish are also on the bill. So don’t miss three of Lethbridge’s best up-and-coming new bands.
Local rock band The Bamboo Guppies return to Casino Lethbridge, Dec. 27 and 28.
Get ready to celebrate the dawn of 2020 with a couple of pre-New Year’s Eve parties.
Mombod and friends play a pre-New Year’s Eve party, Dec. 28 at the Owl Acoustic Lounge. And Rancho Deluxe play the Slice, Dec. 28 as well.
Just down the road at McLennan’s in Coaldale, local rock band Good Time Charlie will be playing for the Kinsman Harley raffle announcement, Dec. 28.
New Year’s is in the middle of the week, so Teri Petz’s monthly poetry open mic at the Owl Acoustic Lounge has been moved to Monday, Dec. 30.
That clears the way for a plethora of New Year’s Eve parties. There is music for everyone on Tuesday.
Adequate plays their annual New Year’s Eve party at the Owl, Dec. 31. So get ready to get funky. There is no cover for that.
The Slice Goes ’80s with numerous local musicians including Bridgette Yarwood, Candee Burke, James Swinney, Raz Bruce, Mark Hall, Braeden Rouse, Keilan Hakstol, Sarah Wright, Ian Morrice, Tyler Vanden Dool revisiting the ’80s.
Pop’s Pub West has a surprise. Ali Hawkins returns to play New Year’s Eve with ’90s rock and pop quartet Uncovered. There is no cover for that show either.
Local blues rock band the Steve Keenan band play the Average Joe’s for New Year’s Eve beginning around 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $20.
Over on the west side, Cal Toth will be presenting his Duelling Pianos show at Mojos Pub at 8 p.m.
Tickets for that show are $25.
He will be all warmed up because he will also be playing dinner music at the Coast, one of many pricier shows featuring a banquet. Toth is at the Coast at 6 p.m. during a five-course LA Chefs custom menu beginning at 6 p.m.
After that winds up, the Chevelles will rock you into the new year. Tickets are $85.
It seems obvious to bring back swing music for the ’20s, so that is exactly what Swing Bridge Dance club are doing at their home base 418 13th St N. , Dance the night away with the Lethbridge Little big band. If you don’t know how to swing dance, this is an excellent opportunity to learn how. There will be a dance lesson at 8 p.m.. The live music is at 9 and there will be food and drink and all sorts of fun winding up with a champagne lunch at midnight. Admission is $50 per person or a VIP bundle at $65.
If you’re feeling in the mood for Italian, the Italian Canadian Club features lots of food and music by the Bamboo Guppies. Dinner is at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50.
Hippodrome holds court for New Year’s Eve again at Casino Lethbridge. There will be a dinner buffet at 7 p.m. with the band beginning at 9 p.m. Tickets are $74.95.
The major hotels have more expensive events.
Go country with Trevor Panczak and Rough Stock at the Signature Sandman downtown.
There will be a prime rib buffet at 7:30 p.m., with the music beginning at 9:30 p.m. A midnight lunch and champagne will follow at midnight. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $99.99.
Didi’s Playhaus features a New year’s Eve Panti Raid beginning at 10 p.m. if you just want to dance. There is no cover though you have to be a member to attend.

The Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society is celebrating Christmas Victorian style.
They present the fourth annual “Shakespeare Meets Dickens” night, Friday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. at Casa.
There will be plenty of Yuletide cheer, Victorian era snacks, mulled wine and an eclectic cast of board members and Shakespeare in the park veterans and newcomers performing a reader’s theatre version of Charles Dickens’ Christmas classic “A Christmas Carol.”
Plus there will be an array of talented singers getting you into the spirit, plus Jeff Graham will be performing the Porters Scene from this summer’s production of “Macbeth.”
“As usual we’ll be performing Charles Dickens’ beloved Christmas classic reader’s theatre style. John Poulsen, who will also be directing our 2020 Shakespeare play ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor,’ opening July 2 in Galt Gardens, will be performing at Shakespeare Meets Dickens,” said Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society artistic director Kate Connolly.
“Shakespeare Meets Dickens features longtime members Bryson Brown, and board members Shelley Scott and Shelly David and we also have newer Shakespeare Performance Society members Megan Fennell and Cole Fetting, Kaylee Johnson, Trevor Loman and Keith Miller who were all in ‘Macbeth’ this summer,” Connolly said.
“And new board member Ashley Thomson is performing,” she said.
There will also be a lot of carolling.
“There will also be a communal carol sing-along of Christmas songs and Shakespeare songs,” Connolly continued.
“We have talented performers Megan Wittig, Brenton Taylor, Stephanie Savage, Chris Kyle Peterson, Monica Bazcuk and as well as Nicole Furlan, the female lead of LMT’s hit musician Newsies is also performing,” she said.
“There will also be two surprise novelty acts. And there will be Tudor and Victorian treats including mince pies, shortbread and gingerbread plus mulled wine and eggnog and hot chocolate,” Connolly enthused.
“And it is all a fundraiser that goes to support our summer Shakespeare in the Park performances,” she said.
“Shakespeare Meets Dickens 4” is at 7 p.m. at Casa, Friday, Dec. 20. Tickets are $20 and are available from casa.
New West Theatre celebrates 30 years in Lethbridge with their annual December music/comedy revue “Celebrate,” running Dec. 18- Jan. 4.
To celebrate, directors and longtime cast members Erica Hunt and Scott Carpenter have brought together cast members representing each of the three decades of New West’s history.
“It just sort of worked out that way,” said Grahame Renyk, who returned home from Toronto to be part of this show.
“I was last on stage with New West seven years ago and directed the December show two years ago. I have to start work again the day after this show closes and I wouldn’t have done that for any other group,” he enthused.
“We‘re laughing a lot. We‘re laughing as much back stage as we are on stage, he continued, adding there is a lot of great comedy, which is his favourite part of the show and a cornucopia of songs ranging from ’50s doo wop, psychedelic ’60s, folk rock, ’70s glam rock, ’80s pop and novelty ’90s songs like the Bare Naked Ladies’ “Grade 9” said Renyk, dressed in a Star Trek T-short he wears in the number.
“This is pretty close to what I was like in Grade 9. Cast member Erica Hunt sports a skirt and Ramones T shirt, Co musical director Kathy Zaborsky is dressed goth. They represent the first decade of the show.
Renyk and Jessica Ens, dressed as a cheerleader, represent the second decade and Rylan Kunkel, dressed as a nerd and Katie Fellger, also dressed as a Star Trek character represent the current decade.
“I wear six different hats in the show and that’s not a metaphor. I literally wear six different hats,” he said, laughing they aren’t all in the same song.
“And there’s a lot of silly costumes, which I love,” he continued.
“There’s disco firemen, too,” he enthused.
There isn’t a lot of holiday specific content in the show as it runs until January.
“If people want to get together hand haver a night out and giggle and laugh then come out. It’s a really beautiful set.. it will be a really good evening out. I know we’re laughing a lot,” he said.
“Celebrate: The Anniversary Special” runs Dec. 18-Jan. 4 in the Yates Theatre.
Tickets are available at the Yates Theatre Box Office, Enmax Centre box office or through 4003-329-SEAT.
The show is at 7:30 each night, plus a matinee at 1 p.m. on Dec. 26, 28 and 29 and Jan. 4.
They also have a New Year’s Eve special on Dec. 31 at 7 p.m.

Dec. 18
Slice — 21st Avenue
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Standup Comedy open mic
Beaches — Open mic
Dec. 19
Slice — open mic
Mocha Cabana — A Charlie Brown Christmas with TJ Waltho
Dec. 20
Casino Lethbridge — Mark Hall band
Honker‘s Pub — afternoon open mic
The Slice— Dead Army with Vessel
Owl Acoustic lounge— 36? with Laura Hickli
City Hall— Andi Roberts Sounds of the Season 2:30 p.m.
Didi’s Playhaus Drunk Improv
Dec. 21
Honker’s Pub — open mic
The Slice — Taylor Ackerman’s Global Acid Rest
Owl Acoustic Lounge — A Charlie Brown Christmas with TJ Waltho, Paul Holden, Brad Brouwer with the Yuletones featuring Mwansa Mwansa
Good Times — Dale Ward
Casino Lethbridge — Mark Hall band
Dec. 22
Old Firehall — Bavura Brunch with Bridgette Yarwood
Casa — Snow Sisters Christmas sing-along 1:30-2:30 p.m. $10, $20 VIP
Dec. 23
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Open mic
Onion— open mic
Dec. 27
Slice — Fawns with the Cayley and Biloxi Parish
Casino Lethbridge — Bamboo Guppies
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Queen of the worms album release with the Dark Wrangler
Honker’s Pub — open mic
Dec. 28
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
Didi’s Playhaus — Drunk Improv
Casino Lethbridge — Bamboo Guppies
McLennan’s (Coaldale) — Good Time Charlie and Kinsman Harley Raffle
Slice — Rancho Deluxe
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Bon Voyage 2019 NYEEEE with Mombod and friends
Dec. 29
Old Firehall — Bavura Brunch with Dale Ketcheson and Sheena Lawson
Dec. 30
Owl Acoustic Lounge — Owl Poetry with Teri Petz
Dec. 31
The Coast Hotel — LA Chefs New Years Eve with Cal Toth and The Chevelles $85, $99 take the elevator home
Didi’s Playhaus — New Year’s Eve Panti Raid
Sandman Signature — Trevor Panczak 6 p.m. cocktails, 7:30 p.m. Presidential Prime Rib Buffet, 9 p.m. Trevor Panczak $99 or $159.99 including room
Pops South — Uncovered with Ali
Casino Lethbridge — Funky New Year with hippodrome $74.95
Swing Bridge — Roaring Twenties party with Lethbridge Little Big band
Italian Canadian Club — Bamboo Guppies $50
The Slice — ’80s dance party with Bridgette Yarwood, Candee Burke, James Swinney, Raz Bruce, Mark Hall, Braeden Rouse, Keilan Hakstol, Sarah Wright, Ian Morrice, Tyler Vanden Dool
Owl Acoustic Lounge — New Year’s Eve with Adequate Funk
Plum — $85
Mojos — 2020 party with Duelling Pianos with Cal Toth

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