Hobson's Selection: It's all in regards to the classics this week

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On this week’s theatre highlight, a fundraiser for The Shakespeare Firm,  a brand new season of 5 performs for Stage West and a giant win for Workshop Theatre.

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In case you’ve ever puzzled what may need occurred in Verona after the tragic, premature deaths of younger lovers Romeo and Juliet, marvel no extra. In his new play, Love’s Heavy Burden, Calgarian Jim Lair Beard surmises the Italian city has develop into a well-liked vacation spot for tragic love tourism and Romeo’s one-time paramour, Countess Rosaline, is the woman each male customer desires to marry.

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“Due to the information of Romeo and Juliet’s tragic love story, persons are flocking to Verona both to fall in love or to finish their lives. Males need to woo Rosaline as a result of she was the woman Romeo cherished earlier than he met Juliet,” says Beard, who guarantees “Love’s Heavy Burden is certainly a comedy nevertheless it has its sadly candy moments, too.”

To thwart the eye of her undesirable suitors, Rosaline fakes an eight-month being pregnant however, as Beard explains “that deception backfires, igniting previous feuds and forcing her into romantic conditions generally humorous, generally severe.”

Jim Lair Beard
Playwright and Shakespearean actor Jim Lair Beard. jpeg

Love’s Heavy Burden can be offered within the Opera Room at Teatro Restaurant on June 20, 21 and 22 as a fundraiser for The Shakespeare Firm.

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“Once I was a waiter at Teatro, I might see the good potential within the Opera Room for an intimate staging of a play. We can accommodate 40 individuals every evening. The primary evening is already offered out,” says Beard, who met Haysam Kadri, the outgoing creative producer of The Shakespeare Firm, in 2019 when Kadri participated in a workshop for an additional of Beard’s Shakespeare-inspired performs, Malvolio’s Twin.

“These are the sorts of partnerships the Shakespeare Firm seeks out. We’re completely satisfied to deliver Jim’s play to life in such an attention-grabbing area,” says Kadri, who’s resigning from The Shakespeare Firm after 11 years to take over the creative management at Alberta Theatre Initiatives.

“I’m planning the subsequent season for The Shakespeare Firm and there can be an interim particular person introduced in to information it. That particular person and my season can be introduced in early July,” says Kadri.

Love’s Heavy Burdon will mark two premieres for Beard. It’s a world premiere of this play and the primary time one in all his performs has been offered in Calgary. His Tempest-inspired prequel, Blue Eyed Hag, opened earlier this month on the prestigious Rose Stage, an Elizabethan-style theatre in Twin Lake, Michigan, after a significant tour in Michigan in 2022.

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Love’s Heavy Burdon, directed by Beard, options Ainsley Daumler, Wendy Froberg, Murray Melnychuk, Irene Pool, Shelby Reinitz, Fernando Garcia Reyes, Joel David Taylor, Liam Whitely and Alice Wordsworth.

For extra data on the fundraiser, the play and to order tickets go to teatro-ristorante.ticketleap.com/love.

Frank Ferrante
Frank Ferrante in Stage West’s An Night with Groucho Marx. Courtesy, LaRae Lobdell jpeg


For its forty first season of dinner theatre in Calgary, Stage West can be serving up a heaping serving to of nostalgia.

The season opens in September with American actor and director Frank Ferrante in his acclaimed solo present An Night with Groucho, a efficiency that has gained him awards in London and New York, and was featured on PBS. In 90- minutes, each ad-libbed and scripted, Ferrante introduces his audiences to the younger Groucho Marx of stage and movie in addition to the comic’s brothers, Harpo, Chico, Zeppo and Gummo, their well-known foil Margaret Dumont, in addition to Charlie Chaplin and W.C. Fields. The present shouldn’t be solely a tribute to one in all America’s most beloved comedians but additionally a tribute to Hollywood historical past.

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Step by Step, Stage West’s vacation present, is a have a look at the evolution of the best boy bands from The Beatles to The Bee Gees, New Youngsters on the Block and The Backstreet Boys. It’s the most recent Stage West authentic tribute present written by Howard Pechet and Jason Pechet, and can have a look at how these boy bands had been created, the songs they made well-known and the dances and fashions they impressed.

Neil Simon’s 1977 semi-autobiographical comedy Chapter Two takes centre stage from February by way of April. It’s the story of a grieving widower’s hilarious makes an attempt at second love. It was impressed by Simon’s courtship of actress Marsha Mason who performed the central feminine function reverse James Caan within the 1979 movie model.

Stunning, The Carole King Musical, tells the inspiring story of King’s journey from teenage songwriter to Rock & Roll Corridor of Famer. It runs from April by way of June at Stage West. The musical appears to be like on the chart-topping hits she wrote for singers and teams like Neil Sedaka, the Shirelles, Little Eva, Bobby Vee, The Drifters and Herman’s Hermits after which at her personal breakthrough together with her album Tapestry.

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The season ends with a return of Dean Regan’s tribute musical A Nearer Stroll With Patsy Cline, which was a runaway hit for Stage West in 2007. This musical tracks the highs and lows of the nation singer’s life and profession and options such chart-topping hits as Walkin’ After Midnight, I Fall to Items, Loopy, Candy Desires and She’s Acquired You. It runs from June 29 to Sept. 1.

Season tickets at the moment are on sale at stagewestcalgary.com.

Wrestling with Andy Kaufman
AJ Pearce and Safia Elder rehearsing a scene from Wrestling with Andy Kaufman. Courtesy, AJ Pearce jpg


Workshop Theatre’s Wrestling With Andy Kaufman, written and carried out by Calgarians AJ Pearce and Safia Elder, took high honours on the latest Provincial Drama Pageant held in Lethbridge. It was named excellent new work and excellent manufacturing.

The competition was adjudicated by Deborah Deans, an actor and drama teacher from Drugs Hat.

Dean gave the directing prize to Edmontonian Rick Kiebiech for his staging of Sister and Brother Construct IKEA and the excellent technical advantage award to Captain Every little thing, a play from the Foothills Area. The performing awards went to Jocelyn Steinborn for her function as a widow heading off her three grownup youngsters who need to ship her to a retirement house in Various Lodging, and Richard Grafton for Madly Off in All Instructions, his solo present about legendary Canadian humorist Stephen Leacock.

Calgarians can have a chance to catch Wrestling With Andy Kaufman on the Workshop Theatre area at Bay H, 1003 fifty fifth Ave. N.E. on June 15 and 16 at 8 p.m.

It’s being teamed up with a second Pearce play, Our Man, which he wrote and directed for Workshop’s spring performing class. Our Man is a comedy about an actor who has been provided a job within the reboot of an previous ’70s sitcom solely to have a nightmare about waking up unprepared in an precise episode of the classic present.

Tickets for this double invoice can be found at workshoptheatre.ca and seating is restricted to 30 individuals a efficiency.

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