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University ready to rock Jesus Christ Superstar

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The University of Lethbridge brings Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s popular  rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar to the stage just in time for Easter, though the timing is purely coincidental as is  the musical’s proximity to its fiftieth anniversary.



 The popular movie was released in 1973, though the musical was first performed in 1971.

 Jesus Christ Superstar runs March 12-16 in University Theatre.


“The fact that is close to Easter was a serendipitous surprise,” said director Doug MacArthur.

“You need strong singers for this  show,” MacArthur said.


“It’s a rock opera, so there is no dialogue. Everything is sung,” MacArthur said, adding he is pleased with the cast and crew, who have dedicated a lot of time and effort to the production.

“ It’s a big show,” MacArthur said, adding there are  25 cast members and 12 musicians, who have been rehearsing since Jan. 8.


The ranks of close to 50 people including backstage crew include University of Lethbridge music and drama students plus prominent community members including musical director Bente Hansen, Sandra Stringer and Jillian Bracken who plays Judas as well as choreographer Madisan Cowan from Van Dance and New West Theatre, plus Hootenanny veteran and assistant director  Ahona Sanyal.


“ The show focuses on the last week of Jesus Christ’s life. It is somewhat narrated  by Judas who becomes sort of a sympathetic character, as much as he can be,” he said.

“ I’ve always wanted to do a musical. Students love doing them,” MacArthur said, adding he can’t remember the University of Lethbridge  putting on an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical during his tenure at the university.

“ It’s really  exciting and spectacular. There has been a lot of student collaboration,” he said, adding working  on a large scale musical  like Jesus  Christ Superstar is great experience   for the students which translates well to  the outside world.


Auditions this week for Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society’s summer production of A Twelfth Night

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The Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society are revisiting Shakespeare’s comedy A Twelfth Night , for their thirteenth season, 10 years after they first performed it in 2014.


Actors of all ages are welcome to audition for one of 15-20 roles.


 Auditions are  March 1 and 2 with callbacks happening March 3.

 University of Lethbridge grad and Playgoers of Lethbridge/ Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society veteran Cole Fetting is excited to direct his first show with the troupe with his mentor Sharon Peat.

“She taught me drama in high school.  She has done a lot of productions for m LCI, New West Theatre and Chinook High. And she and I have a lot of similar ideas. So we got to talking about them and presented it to the board and they approved it,” Fetting enthused, adding the play will be set in Shakespearean  times.


“I’m a big fan of classical Shakespeare. Though I really enjoy it when people set it in other eras,” he continued.   


“ We had a lot of requests from people for A Twelfth Night, who said they regretted not seeing it the first time we did it,” he continued.

A Twelfth Night is a romantic comedy believed to have been written by Shakespeare around 1601-2 for the close of the Christmas season.

It is about twins Viola and Sebastian who are separated  by a shipwreck. In her search for her brother, Viola disguises herself as a man  called Cesario and falls in love with Duke Orsinio who falls in love with Countess Olivia.


New West Theatre focuses on the music for Legends of Rock and Country

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New West Theatre’s music comedy revue Legends of Rock and Country will emphasize the music.

 The new show runs at the Yates Theatre from Feb. 15-25.


Legends of Rock and Country features some familiar faces including. Alinafe Lupwayi, Devon Brayne, Erica Hunt, Katie Fellger, Scott Carpenter, Kathy Zaborsky, Keenan Pezderic, Scott Mezei and new performer from Calgary, Ray Val.  Music director/ keyboardist Kathy Zaborsky’s husband Tyson Maiko  will be playing bass for this show.


“He’s a great bass player and  they don’t get to perform together too often,” said Director Kelly Reay, who is excited about the show.


“We wanted to do something a little different, so we‘re focusing on the tribute part of the show  and a handful of interpretations. But most of  it will be tribute with the cast dressing up as the  performers ” he continued, noting Devon Brayne will be reprising his Johnny Cash performance, which is only one of the many highlights of the show.


Playgoers of Lethbridge bring a slice of Canadiana to the stage with curling comedy Hurry Hard

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Playgoers of Lethbridge  are ready to “Hurry Hard” at the Sterndale Bennett Theatre, Feb. 7-10. So sweep up your tickets at the Enmax  or Yates Theatre box office and get in the house as this new Canadian play will rock and make you laugh, so you’d better not skip it.

Noc Barker and Trevor Loman rehearse Hurry Hard. Photo by Richard Amery

 “You don’t have to understand curling to  enjoy the play,” said director Greg Wolcott, who makes his directing debut with Playgoers of Lethbridge.

He is enjoying  directing Kristen DaSilva’s comedy which he described as a “slice of Canadian life” about a group of friends who want to win one last  bonspiel before their club closes.

The play is about a couple Bill and Sandy, whose curling team splits up along with their marriage.

 But they reconcile for one last bonspiel.


“The couple have been divorced for seven years. And one of the characters has never won a bonspiel so he really wants to win one before the club closes,” Wolcott said

“Hurry Hard” was first  produced in 2019.


“It takes place in Ontario, but it could be any small town in Canada,” Wolcott said.


“It all takes place on the second floor of a curling club. The audience  is the ice they’re looking down at, so that’s a neat concept that breaks the fourth wall,” he said. 

“Hurry Hard stars some familiar faces including Trevor Loman, Teresa Huszar, plus Jason Lisburn, Genevieve  Saunders and Nic Barker.

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