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Drowning Girls opens U of L mainstage theatre season

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 The University of Lethbridge opens up their new main-stage season, Oct. 18-22 in the David Spinks Theatre with a thought provoking, Alberta play “the Drowning Girls.”

 Shea Heatherington, Maddie Taylor Gregg and Shelby Wilson rehearse a scene from the Drowning Girls, running in the Sterndale Bennett Theatre, Oct. 18-22. photos by Richard Amery
University of Alberta students Beth Graham and Charlie Tomlinson and professor Daniela Vlaskalic penned the The 70 minute play in 1999 for the Edmonton Fringe Festival, basing it on the true story of George Joseph Smith who was hanged in 1915 for drowning his three wives in the early twentieth century.

“It’s the story of the experiences of a man who manipulates three women into marrying him and then kills them at different times,” said Madeleine Taylor-Gregg, who plays Margaret. She is joined by cast mates Shelby Wilson and  Shea Heatherington.

“They all meet in the future, though it is up to the audience’s own judgement to determine if it is in the afterlife,” she continued. After the three women meet they discuss how they met this man, their relationship to him and what happened to them.

“Margaret is the oldest of the three and is only married to him for one day before she is murdered,” she said.
“I think it’s a very well told and interesting story,” she said.
Director Gail Hanrahan is excited to present a popular Alberta penned play as the first production of the season.

“ It‘s a very short play, only 70minutes long, based on the story “Brides of the Bath,” Hanrahan continued, noting the play has been relocated to the east coast of Canada rather than England where the original story took place.
 She noted it is  a pretty popular play.


Billie Zizi excited to share second CD

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Edmonton musician Billie Zizi brings her trio to Lethbridge in support of her brand new second CD “Moon of Honey” on Saturday.
 Zizi, the daughter of well known Edmonton fiddle player Cam Neufeld, was a hit at the South Country Fair in July.

Billi Zizi plays Lethbridge, Oct. 22. Photo submitted“ I’ve never played Lethbridge before, but I played the Fair. It was beautiful. It was really nice and relaxing,” she said.
 Neufeld won’t be joining her on stage for the Lethbridge show.

“Dad’s staying at home this time because we have family coming from out of town,” Zizi said, adding she will be accompanied by drummer Tom Bennett and bassist Josh McCann.

 She is pleased with the new soul and rock and roll direction the new CD has taken her.

“I’ve been working on it for about a year-and-a-half including writing and recording it with Harry Gregg. I’ve definitely been playing the songs at least a year before I recorded them. It let me see them take shape,” she continued.

“I wanted to play more guitar on this CD and have a more guitar driven sound on this CD,” she said.

 She  has been inspired a lot by her dad.


Eclectic week of laughter and alternative rock

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An interesting week of entertainment begins on Wednesday, Oct. 20 with a fascinating couple of shows.Outrun the arrow play an intimate unplugged show at Plum this week. Photo by Richard Amery
 If you like classic rock, singer songwriters and vocal harmonies, join Lunch at Allens at the Yates Theatre, Oct. 9. The quartet features the many hits of Murray McLauchlan, Ian Thomas, Marc Jordan and country siren Cindy Church. They play on each other’s songs and perform their own together.
Lunch at Allen’s performs at the Yates Centre, Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets cost $45.

 A little later on the same night, Oct. 19, Ottawa based nerd-rock  trio Double Experience share their love for heavy metal and pop culture with Attainable Records where they will be playing with local stoner rock band Rainbow Patrol and Field Holler.
The show begins at 8 p.m.
 There is a $10 cover.

On Oct. 20, Lethbridge welcomes back Canadian songwriting legend Fred Eaglesmith playing an intimate show at the Geomatic Attic with frequent collaborator Tif Ginn. Eaglesmith has penned a number of hits covered by other artists like “Time To Get a Gun,” “49 Tons” and “ Freight Train.”
 His most recent CD is the ’60s rock inspired “Tambourine.”
 The show begins at 8 p.m.. Tickets are $32.50 plus fees.

Local hard rock band Outrun the Arrow plays an intimate unplugged show, Oct. 21 at Plum. There is an 8 p.m. start time.


Fred Eaglesmith returns to Lethbridge with Tif Ginn

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Juno-award winning singer songwriter Fred Eaglesmith has been touring the world singing his amazing songs for close to 40 years, but he tries not to analyze things so much, especially  his fruitful relationship with Austin songwriter Tif Ginn, with whom he is currently in the middle of another tour with which brings him to the Geomatic Attic, Oct. 20.

Fred Eaglesmith and Tif Ginn return to the Geomatic Attic, Oct. 20. Photo by Richard Amery
He is playing with Austin Texas based Tiff Ginn a lot more. In addition to playing harp, two different ukuleles, mandolin, melodica and accordion she also sings and has no fear on stage.
“She’s not afraid to play a bad note. She reminds me of another person who used to be in the band— Willie P Bennett. He was never worried about playing a bad note either,” said the 60-year-old Eaglesmith from a tour stop in Kelowna. He has always played by his own rules, never being swayed by the trend of the week.

“Now I’m more concerned with being honest than good. A lot of people can be as good as me, but nobody can be as bad as me,” he said.

“Even Keith Richard plays bad notes,” he said.
“Anybody can make a good record. I think there’s a button you can push which says ‘make a good sounding record, but not everyone can make an honest sounding record,” he laughed.

“I’m lucky I can keep playing new songs and not have to play the same old songs. A lot of my friends who are big stars have to keep playing their older songs. I can play new songs and people are okay with it,” said Eaglesmith, who has a lot of good songs people always want to hear like “49 tons,”“Freight Train,” and “Time to Get A Gun.” which have been covered by artists like Toby Keith, Allan Jackson, Miranda Lambert and the Cowboy Junkies.
“The Travelling Steamshow broke up. I did that for two years. And the new album is late, so I’m touring with Tif,” he said.


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

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