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L.A. Beat


The L.A. Beat

Quaint, Quirky and Queer helps Theatre Outré celebrate 10 years

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This years Quaint, Quirky and Queer festival has a cornucopia of good times as the cornerstone of Theatre Outré’s tenth anniversary, April 6-22.

 So to celebrate, Theatre Outré welcomes a variety of acts, several old freinds and two major productions happening at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Good Times Comedy Club and Did’s Playhaus.


Theatre Outré has been hosting Quaint, Quirky and Queer for over 20 years even before Theatre Outré was founded to showcase Lethbridge artists, particularly LBGTQ artists.

“The space that Theatre Outré has created in Lethbridge is really, really rare and really, really precious,” said actress Ash Thomson.


DJ Rabbyt stars in  How To Make Electronic music as part of Quaint Quirky and Queer This Year. Photo by Richard Amery

“I know, for myself, having this community of people has sort of given me strength to challenge some of those really common social narratives.”


Quaint, Quirky and Queer has evolved from a one night cabaret/ variety show to a two week long festival this year.


“There will be something happening almost every day. I think we only have three dark days,” said David Gabert, who has been involved with Theatre Outré since 2016. He stars with Ash Thomson in improvised tragicomedy “ No Way Out.”


There are two feature presentations bookending this year’s festival. “How to Create Electronic Music” is a theatrical music experience coming back to Theatre Outré after a sold out run in February created by Deonie Hudson and Lyndsay Labreque, aka  DJ Rabbyt .

“We both came down with Covid over the Christmas break and we created it then,” Hudson said.

“ How to  Create Electronic music” runs April 6-8, 2023 at  8 p.m. every night at Didi's Playhaus - 517a 4th Ave S.  It is about music lover Megan who has decided she wants to learn how to create music and be a DJ. She orders Rabbyt's course to learn the ways of her musical hero. Rabbyt guides Megan through the five steps to becoming a musical mastermind. 


“ It’s very visceral,” Gabert said.

The show combines several of Labreque’s passions— electronic music and  multi-media.

“The screen is in front of my and I’m performing behind it,” Labreque said.


“ It’s about  electronic music, but it’s also about the arts as a way of life,” Hudson said.

“I found a way to blend acoustic and electronic instrumentation, and smash it together with my background in visual effects to create an exciting, emotional and perhaps a slightly educational experience," Labreque said.

“ No Way Out” is a popular improvised tragicomedy created by  local improv troupe Impromptu.


“ It”s different every night. We take audience suggestions at the beginning of the show  and choose one. But the audience doesn’t know which one we’ll be doing,” he said.

 Gabert and Thomson.


The cast features David Gabert, Ash Thomson, Erica Barr and Greg Wilson plus special guests each night including Jay Whitehead, Katie Fellger and more to be announced.

“It is about two siblings who have a conversation that there is no way out of,” Gabert summarized, noting they have explored a variety of  serious topics in previous productions of the show.

 Gabert and Thomson improvised a scene about a discussion between the brother and the sister about the sister coming out to their dying father at the media call for the event..

“ But that won’t be part of  the show,” Gabert said. 


Lots of laughter and country bring in April

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March is ending with a roar and that’s no joke,  with April Fool’s Day on the horizon there is plenty of entertainment happening.

Peter and the Wolves have two Lethbridge shows this week. photo by RichardAmery

Start the week tonight, Monday, March  27  at Mojos where Luke James Bruce is hosting an open mic.


 The Lethbridge A And District Music and speech Arts Festival winds up with  performances all week and the Stars of the Festival concert, April 1 at 2 p.m. at Southminster United Church.


 Music at Noon continues in University Theatre on Tuesday, with Megumi Masaki and Keith Hamel performing at 12:15 p.m.

 The Owl Acoustic Lounge’s weekly open mic is on Tuesday.


 Paul Holden and James Oldenburg return to the Water Tower Grill  to play some jazz music  beginning at 6 p.m.

 The Slice’s weekly open mic is Wednesday.

 Gabe Thaine hosts an open mic at Theoretically Brewing on Thursdays beginning tab 6:30 p.m.


 Get ready to dance at the German Canadian Club on Thursday, March 30 as the Geomatic Attic hosts a  blues and rockabilly dance party with rockabilly band Peter and the Wolves and blues rock trio MonkeyJunk. Tickets are $50. The show begins at 8 p.m.


 Peter and the Wolves have had a busy week in Lethbridge as they were also at the Slice, on Friday. They also play the Red Tie gala at the Coast Hotel on April 1 for the United Way which recognizes the dedication and hard work and spirit  of individuals in Lethbridge.

 Tickets are $150 for dinner, the ceremony and the show. Things begin at 5 p.m. with cocktails and a silent auction followed by dinner and then the music.



MonkeyJunk celebrates 15 years with new videos, music and tour

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Get ready to rock out March with the Geomatic Attic who are going to get you dancing with MonkeyJunk and Peter and the Wolves, March 30 at the German Canadian Club.


Ottawa based blues trio MonkeyJunk have been putting their own unique brand on blues music for 15 years, so they are excited to be play again together in between many other projects.

 Frontman Steve Marriner has a great new solo album “Hope Dies Last,” and spends a lot of the year touring with Colin James.

 Drummer Matt Sobb also has several different projects and plays with guitarist Tony D’s (Diteodoro)  band.

MonkeyJunk return to Lethbridge with Peter and the Wolves, March 30. Photo by Richard Amery


 Sobb is excited about the 15th anniversary tour  with MonkeyJunk , which is just one of many plans they have for  2023 including releasing videos and a new single, due out March 24.

“It feels like it’s gone by super quick and a lifetime all at the same time. It’s kind of  strange,” Sobb said.


“When you’re going about your business you don’t really notice how much time goes by. But it’s kind of an opportunity to look back at all the miles we‘ve driven and all the places we‘ve been and it’s kind of fun to look back and look forward too, ” Sobb said.


While Marriner is also busy with other projects, Sobb and Diteodoro go back a long way even before MonkeyJunk formed.


“Before we formed MonkeyJunk, I played drums in the Tony D band. And Tony has fronted his own band for many many years, since the early ’80s. And so I’ve been playing with Tony since 2001. So when MonkeyJunk isn’t active I play with Tony in his band and I also play around the Ottawa scene with a lot of local bands here as well. Tony is busy continuing on with his own career. And all those things happen in between MonkeyJunk happening,” Sobb continued.


He noted it can be challenging to put the Monkeyjunk suit back on after spending time on other projects, but Sobb said the band has a special connection.


“That’s a really good question. And depending on the size of the break in between our shows or getting together the studio or what have you, it kind of varies. It’s crazy to me, well not crazy, but it’s intriguing to me how when we get together it’s like time never passed. It’s like that comfortable old sweater you just throw on and go. And it feels like time hasn’t passed at all. I think that’s the mark of a pretty good band that there’s that chemistry musically and personally and camaraderie,  just the cohesion that happens when the three of us are in a room or on a stage,” he said.

MonkeyJunk have some  big plans for their 15th anniversary including lots of touring beginning with a quick tour of Alberta, starting in Coleman at the Rumrunner, March 29.


“Beginning with this tour, we’re headed back out to to Alberta. Alberta’s been a great, great area for us almost since the start of our band and we‘ve played in Lethbridge many times. This show as well as I think pretty much every show we’ve done in Lethbridge has been organized and presented by the great folks at the Geomatic Attic by Mike Spencer and his crew. Mike is great. He’s always supported us and we’ve always had a great time in Lethbridge as a result. And then we’ll be playing a few other shows including one in Coleman, Alberta down near Crowsnest Pass and of course Calgary and Edmonton,” he said.

“Mike Spencer and the Geomatic Attic has always been great to us and we really appreciate their support,” he said.


“We really appreciate the support of live music fans in Lethbridge. We’ve always had great shows. I think it was two years ago that Mike had set up a one day festival up  and it was like on top of a parking garage and it was great. Folks came out and we had an amazing evening there. It’s always been great in Lethbridge. We‘ve made some lasting friends there and just can’t wait to get back there and see everybody again,” he said.

“We’re very excited to get back to Alberta. Hopefully the weather will be okay. We’ll see,” he said.


They are also releasing a series of live videos including one with harp master and multi- instrumentalist Paul Reddick, who the band has worked with for many years .

“We came up with this idea. We’re doing a couple of things to commemorate our 15th anniversary  as a band. And one of the ideas  we had was to do a series of live videos. And invite some friends and colleagues and co-conspirators and people that we have a  history with or that have been influential to us and what have you. So far we’ve released two of them. Our plan was to release 15  for the  15 years throughout the  calendar year 2023. The first one was just ourselves the three of us. The second one was with Paul Reddick,” he said.


Lethbridge and District Music and Speech Arts Festival features live events and new concerts

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The Lethbridge and District Music and Speech Arts Festival is back, March 20-April 1 with a full line up of talented performers from Southern Alberta and Lethbridge, plus a bonus concert.


This year there are 3,584 participants performing solo and with choirs, orchestras, bands and choirs, performing 753 pieces. Participants mostly come from Lethbridge, but there are a few of out of towners from Cardston, Taber and even High River.



“We have a full week of bands Tuesday to Friday and a full week of choirs,” enthused Jaimee Jarvie, the new general manager of the Lethbridge and District  Music and Speech arts festival.


“ It’s been great. It’s been a learning curve. It’s been amazing. But I’ve been involved with the festival as a performer or teacher since I was in Grade 1,” Jarvie said.

“It’s been a little easier because I already know a lot of the students and teachers. So it’s a joy to connect with them again and getting them excited about the festival again. It’s been wonderful, ”continued Jarvie, who has performed in the festival as part of several school, university and  community choirs as well as a solo performer.


There are performances every day beginning at 9 a.m. at Southminster United Church, St. Augustines Church and sanctuary,  Sterndale Bennett Theatre, Casa as well as the Owl Acoustic lounge. There are no performances at the Yates Theatre.


 There is also a new concert, opening the festival on Wednesday, March 22 at 7 p.m. in Southminster United Church.


The Musical Theatre Showcase Concert is March 25 at 2 p.m.and  The Stars of the Festival Wrap Up Concert is April 1 at 2 p.m.

The festival begins with Senior piano in the Casa Community Room, Monday,  March 20 and woodwind/ brass solo in St. Augustines sanctuary.


 The schedule and more details are at

Jarvie is excited to bring back handbell classes, Tuesday, March 21 at St. Augustine’s sanctuary as well as pipe organ, Friday March 24 also at the St. Augustine’s sanctuary   which they weren’t able to do because of Covid.

“ We weren’t  able to do those during the pandemic festival, but they’re back and we’re really happy about that,” she said.


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

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