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Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society lends a laugh with Merry Wives of Windsor online

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Shakespeare performed in a pandemic, so The Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society plans to  perform  during the Covid 19 crisis— one way or the other.
 As Covid safety protocols have been lessened, The 12 actors had their first read through on Thursday of John Poulsen’s reader’s theatre version of the farce the Merry Wives of Windsor, for an online presentation of the production on July 3 at 7 p.m., to be filmed at the Gate.

Chelsea Fitzsimons returns to play Slender in Merry Wives of Windsor. Photo by Richard Amery
“Thursday was an unmitigated disaster, wasn’t it,” asked Poulsen asking for confirmation from a few of the actors trickling into the Gate for rehearsal.
“But Friday was a lot better. So it was a mitigated disaster because we learned a lot. Though everyone left feeling kind of bummed. All 12 actors stayed. They were willing to experiment,” he continued.


The first read through was also a test of whether they would be able to use Zoom to broadcast, but ran into a few technical issues, so they tried an alternate approach during Friday’s rehearsal and moved to a two camera strategy for Saturday’s rehearsal.


 The end result is there will be broadcasts on Youtube as well as the Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society Facebook page on July 3, 11 and 17 most likely from the Gate Church with a limited audience of 50. There may be future broadcasts added this summer including possibly at Galt Gardens.


 They also have a couple of performances scheduled for the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens, though the official date is to be announced.


“Shakespeare performed during a pandemic (the bubonic plague in 1603-1613, during which London playhouses were shut down 60 per cent of the time) and he went on the road with his troupe and wrote plays. I think he rewrote Romeo and Juliet during it,” Poulsen said.

“This could change the way we do things in the future,” Poulsen said.

Poulsen has written several reader’s theatre adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays including Merry Wives of Windsor.


“Part of my job at the university is research and I found 50 per cent of kids really hate Shakespeare and the other 50 per cent love Shakespeare. So I wrote a 25 minute reader’s theatre designed to fit in a high school class and a 45 minute version.

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Covid inspires the Summer Salon at Casa

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Covid 19 got the creative juices flowing during quarantine. In addition to about a dozen local musicians releasing CDs in the past few months, local visual artists have been hard at work.

Darcy Logan examines one of the paintings in Casa's new Summer Salon exhibit. Photo by Richard Amery
 The 68 artists’ recent works culminates in The Summer Salon, the new exhibit at Casa, which officially opened on Monday, July 6.


“We have everyone from emerging and self taught artists all the way up to academic and professional artists,” said Casa curator Darcy Logan.
 The Exhibit, on all floors of Casa, runs until Aug. 21.


 “So it runs all summer,” Logan continued, adding he was impressed with the quality of the art submitted.


“We weren’t even sure if we  were going to be able to open casa,” he continued, adding organizing the exhibit came together quickly.

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Sound Garden reopens this week with the Chevelles

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Things are slowly starting to reopen. Last week the Slice had  a successful show featuring seven bands. This week is the Sound Garden Over 21 Club’s chance to shine. They reopen on Friday, July 17 at 7 p.m. with local favourites long standing classic rockers the Chevelles.

The Chevelles help SOund Garden reopen this week. Photo by Richard Amery
 Proper social distancing measures will be in place. There is a five dollar cover.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge is testing the waters for open mics on their expanded patio beginning tonight at 7:30 p.m. Solo performers  are only allowed, and if you have your own microphone, bring it, though sanitized mics will be  on handed to swap out between performers.


 It is a good week for drama. The Lethbridge Shakespeare Perfomance Society’s first open air live performance of Merry Wives of Windsor  at the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens is sold out.

 

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Local musicians help out the Slice

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Live music is cautiously coming back amidst Covid 19.

Waterfront at the Slice, July 11. Photo by Richard Amery
As expe cted Musicians are feeling a little lost and venues are suffering.


 So an eclectic group of musicians played the Slice, July 11 to help the popular local venue out.


 I was an impressively eclectic line up. It showed just how many different kinds of acts the Slice features. They were doing their best to social distance with hand sanitizer at the door and limiting capacity to  45.

And all the vocalists brought their own microphones. This show featured majestic metal, classic rock, ’90s funk rock, alternative rock and straight ahead bare bones hard rock and roll.

Celtic metal band or Celtic screamoAndi Roberts band’s Sheldon Arvay at the Slice, July 11. Photo by Richard Amery band Minstrels of Crevas formerly Night Blaed, opened up the show right on time at 8 p.m. The band dressed in their finest Celtic makeup and clothing  put on a majestic show of heavy, Celtic inspired metal.

Vocalist/ keyboardist Ryan Radley aka Cordell played pipes and other Celtic instruments on his keyboards, while narrator Tempest screamed as if bewitched and narrated bardic tales, which were lost in a muddy mix.


 Guitarist Aanaris played tasteful guitar, ending their set with a flurry of two handed tapping.


 The Andi Roberts band were up next to supply the classic rock rock fix of the night.
 They have a special place in my heart as Andi Roberts is my vocal instructor.Minstrels of Crevas’s Tempest at the Slice, July 112. Photo by Richard Amery


 She belted out spirited version of  Journey’s “Any Way You Want.”
Robert’s introduced “Crazy Train” by yelling, I don’t know about you, but Covid is driving me crazy.”

Arvay and Tristan Leacock effortlessly traded guitar solos.
Tyrants of Chaos Drummer Ryan Dyck and bassist Joey Steckly, supplied a thunderous backbeat.
 For something a little mellower, they  played a spirited Version of  Tom Cochrane’s “Life is A Highway.”


 They picked up the pace again for “Sweet Child O Mine” and ended their set with a hot version of AC DC’s “Highway to Hell,” before Roberts asked everyone to toast Derek and the Slice.Quick Draw at the Slice, July 11. Photo by Richard Amery

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About L.A. Beat


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

It is designed to support music, art, drama and other cultural endeavours in and around the city.

It will start out as an online presence and then evolve into a print edition which will be distributed at numerous locations in the city.

If you have an event you want L.A. Beat to promote, contact us by e-mail.editor@labeat.ca

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