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Hatrix brings 12 Angry Jurors to the stage

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 The more Hatrix the merrier.Clive Abbott and Carrie-Ann Worden are excited to be back with Hatrix theatre as Juror 4 in 12 angry Jurors, running Nov. 15-18 at the Nord Bridge Senior’s Centre. Photo by Richard Amery

 While one arm of the local theatre company are blowing your mind with Little Shop of Horrors at the Moose Hall, the other arm is doing something a little different — a drama, 12 Angry Jurors— which is a departure from the cornucopia of comedies, farces and musicals usually happening in Lethbridge. It takes place at the Nord Bridge Seniors Centre, Nov. 15-18.

“It’s an older script by Reginald Rose, which is totally still relevant today,” observed director Karolyn Harker.

 In addition to being the timeless story of 12 people from different socio-economic backgrounds, who must decide on the guilt or innocent of a boy accused of stabbing his father to death, the larger cast gives more people an opportunity to be involved with Hatrix.

“It takes place in a larger city, which we‘ve decided is Chicago. The 12 jurors come from different societal backgrounds and cultural backgrounds and they must decide on the fate of a young maShelly David addresses the jury during 12 Angry Jurors rehearsals. Photo by Richard Ameryn accused of murdering his father, but the characters reveal their prejudices and backgrounds and their anger,” Harker described, noting the dialogue heavy production means all of the actors are on the stage for the whole show. As the audience never sees the actual trial, the jurors present the evidence.

 Some people might know the play from the 1957 movie “12 Angry Men” starring Oscar award winners Henry Fonda, Martin Balsam and Ed Begley, though most of the cast had not seen the film, preferring to create their own back stories for their characters, as the dialogue leaves a lot of room for character development. The audience doesn’t even learn their names or the names of the victim or perpetrator, which is all left up to their imaginations.
“It was a teleplay first and then turned into a movie. It reminds me of Thornton Wilder, who is my favourite playwright,” Harker said.

The play shares some of the dialogue of the movie, but has also been turned into a co-ed production.
 The production features some familiar faces from Hatrix Theatre’s Fall 2016 production of “The Game’s Afoot: Holmes for the Holidays,” including Carrie-Ann Worden who plays Juror Number four, stepping in after a couple previous Juror number fours were unable to participate due to family issues.


New West Theatre and Theatre Outré explore the lighter side of death with Vigil

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New West Theatre has a busy month with three productions taking place all over the city in the next two months.

Erica Hunt and Jay Whitehead star in New West Theatre/ Theatre Outré’s production of  Vigil, Nov. 18-25 at the Trianon Gallery. Photo By Richard Amery
 First up is a “dark comedy with heart,” as New West Theatre  and Theatre Outré bring Calgary playwright Morris Panych’s “ Vigil” to life at the Trianon (104 5th Street South), Nov. 15-25.
“It’s a bucket list role for Jay. And Erica gets to play the old woman we all know and love,” observed director Kathy Zaborsky, who has worked with cast members Jay Whitehead and Erica Hunt with both Theatre Outré and New West Theatre productions.

“It’s my first time directing a straight  ahead play rather than a musical comedy revue,” Zaborsky said.

“Vigil is a classic Canadian play, It has been produced all over the place over the past 20 years,” she said.

 Vigil is about a young man who comes to visit his dying aunt in her attic, but the visit lasts a lot longer than he expected to because she continues to survive.

“ It’s a dark comedy about caregiving for an elderly relative. So anybody who has ever been a caregiver will be able to identify with it,” she continued.

“This play has a lot of comedy, but it also has a lot of heart,” she added.
 “I absolutely love this play,” she said.
Jay Whitehead, who plays the young man, Kemp, is enjoying being part of the production.


Plenty of plays and fundraisers this week

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It is a relatively slower week for live music, however the theatre scene is hopping with two plays running this week.Gabriel Thaine and Friends  are playing a fundraiser for the Lethbridge Food Bank this week. Photo by Richard Amery
Hatrix theatre brings 12 Angry Jurors to the Nord Bridge Seniors Centre, Nov. 15-18 at 7:30 p.m. each night. The play, inspired by the hit 1957 movie, includes a lot of familiar faces as well as some valiant newcomers. Tickets are $15 from Blueprint Records. There is also a 2 p.m. Matinee on Saturday, Nov. 18.
 New West Theatre and Theatre Outré also premiere their new Canadian play Vigil, penned by Calgary playwright Morris Panych , Nov. 18 at the Trianon Gallery.
 It runs Nov. 15-25 at 7:30 p.m. each night. They also have a matinee on Saturday at 1 p.m., Nov. 18.

For live music, once again, things begin early in the week with a couple of excellent indie rock/ pop shows happening.
Moose Jaw musician Brodie Moniker of PandaCorn and Fancy Diamonds, stops by the Slice, Nov. 15 with  local  indie rock/ alternative rock band the Mormon Girls and Makiisma.
 The Owl Acoustic Lounge welcomes back Phoenix raised pop/ indie folk musician R Ariel with local alternative rock duo Birch Barks and local hip hop collective ONTK and Calgary’s Pierre Mvono. The music begins at 8:30 pm. Admission is by donation.

 As usual there are a lot of open mics sprinkled throughout the week. Coulee brew has an open mic on Wednesday, Nov, 15. The Slice has their regular open mic on Thursday and Honker‘s Pub has their open mic on Friday night and Saturday afternoon.
 The Owl Acoustic Lounge and Onion also have regular open mics on Monday nights.
 This week, the Owl Acoustic lounge hosts their family jam at 1:30 p.m, Saturday afternoon, Nov. 18. Later on, Nov.18, blues band In Cahoots will take the stage.
Girls rock  the weekend at the Owl Acoustic Lounge as they welcome San Diego based post riot-grrl, noise pop band Soft Lions, plus local lo fi band Ground Sloth Orchestra and synth pop band W.I.T.S. performing on Friday, Nov, 17.
Calgary based soul rock trio Flowshine return to the Slice, Nov. 17 with local band Birch Barks.


Del Barber takes time to re-evaluate life and write

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Winnipeg area musician Del Barber took the past two years to re-evaluate his life, work on the farm and write new material.Del Barber plays the Geomatic Attic, Nov. 17. Photo By Richard Amery
 He brings his trio of guitarist Grant Siemens and bassist Bernie Thiessen to the Geomatic Attic, Nov 17.

 After releasing his most recent CD of hockey songs “The Puck Stops Here,” he parted ways with his record label True North and took some time to stay at home and reflect  while working his wife‘s parent’s farm and write some new songs.

 The hockey album was an enjoyable lark, that he and his band the No Regretzkys enjoyed doing.

“The record company was dragging their heels on releasing  a new album, so this was idea I pitched to them and they liked it,” Barber observed. The album includes covers of Tom Cochrane’s “ Big League,” Gary Glitter‘s “ Rock and Roll part 2,” and , of course, Stompin’ Tom Connor’s “The Hockey Song” and obscure hokey songs like the Pursuit of Happiness’ “Gretzky Rocks” and the Hanson Brothers” “Hockey Night Tonight” and even the Coach’s Corner Theme.

“There’s probably enough material for for two more albums, but when it came down to it, we just picked the ones that worked,” he said.

“ It was just a fun little project that was bonus content,” Barber said, noting he hasn’t decided what the Lethbridge show and tour will sound like.

“It’s not a big tour, but it is something. It‘s hockey season so, we’ll probably play some of that CD, but probably not a lot. I’ll drive to Winnipeg and playing with the band and we‘ll see what works,” he continued, adding he’d like to focus on the new songs he’s been writing though he has an established career including five albums to draw from including the Juno nominated 2014 CD “Prairieography.”


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

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