ARtsSeen Moves… and Prepares to Move One More Time…

This will be the final post for this blog as I’ve now moved everything over to the new site, located at http://www.artseenokanagan.com

There will be one more shift to come into my final landing place but for now, please exit this blog and follow me on the temporary new home at http://www.artseenokanagan.com. Watch for one final shift to my new domain at http://www.ArtsSeen.ca in the weeks ahead.

Please make sure to check out my awesome Calendar of Events tab on the new site that will keep you up to date with what’s happening in and around the Kelowna area.

Thanks for reading!

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Roots and Blues Comes of Age

moon and main stage
Turning 21 is a milestone to be celebrated, especially when it comes to a festival. So many festivals in BC’s interior have come and gone – Merritt Mountain Fest, Nakusp’s Saddle Mountain High, Komasket, Kelowna’s Blues Fest – there has been a string of festivals that for one reason or another, just couldn’t make a go of it. But Roots and Blues just keeps on going.

This year’s line up is packed with headliners and favourite bands such as Bruce Cockburn, City and Colour, Ben Waters, Daniel Lanois, Harry Manx, Five Alarm Funk, Jason Collett and Sherman Doucette. But for those who know the festival, it’s always the bands you’ve never heard of before that you discover while you’re there that makes the festival so memorable.

Catching up with Hugo Rampen, the artistic director of the festival, he seems pleased with ticket sales so far this year, with just a week to go before the gates open. While they’re not expecting the 34,000 crowd they got the year K’naan, Bedouin Soundclash and Michael Franti took over the stages, they should be close to last year’s 24,000 over the course of the three days.

With Cockburn as one of the highlights, it’s no wonder seniors ticket sales are the highest on record over the past several years. It may also have to do with the fact that for many, the festival has become a ritual holiday and after 21 years, they’re finally old enough to qualify for Senior’s tickets!

But on the opposite end of the spectrum, Rampen noted that that this year’s youth tickets are also at a recent high.

Ticekts are on sale for day passes, day and evening passes and full weekend passes at their website, rootsandblues.ca

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FAME – Baby Remember My Name!

Fame Junior

Baby remember my name! At least, that’s how the song goes and some of the kids who have been working this summer towards putting on the show Fame Jr. at Kelowna Actors Studio are definitely going to be names to remember!

I dropped into a rehearsal earlier this week and listened with a smile on my face to these young kids who are pursuing their passion in musical theatre. Having caught last year’s student version of Les Miserable, I already knew the quality would be a lot higher than your average kid production.

It’s through these shows that the kids get to hone their skills, preparing them for the main stage acts that KAS has become so well known for.

This week I’ve been doing some photography work for Opera Kelowna and have had the joy of hearing KAS alumni Mark Wells, Chad Abrahamson and Carmen Harris singing. While their training and talents cannot be attributed to KAS, the theatre was where they got to cut their teeth and hone their skills, preparing them for the opera careers they’ve chosen.

If you have kids and are looking for a fun show to take them to that won’t cost huge amounts and lets them see other kids in action, then Fame Jr. should be a perfect fit. Tickets are just $14 at the KAS box office and the show is nearly sold out, so if you’d like to go, act soon!. Show time is 2PM Friday, Aug. 9.

You might also want to go just for the fun of it, even if you don’t have kids and are just looking a chance of one day saying, yes, baby, I remember your name!

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Miss Quincy Not to be Missed

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Coming up at the Minstrel Cafe on Wednesday night, (Aug. 7) Miss Quincy returns to Kelowna.  This all girl band likes to destroy the girl musician stereotypes and is described as “channeling Joan Jett and the early Stones spending the night together in a Tarentino movie.”

I’ve been lucky enough to catch Miss Quincy when she was touring through on her own and have to say, I’m looking forward to seeing her with the band. 

There’s a $10 entertainment charge and reservations are recommended, especially with the good weather and there really being no nicer place to sit outside and listen to live music then under that beautiful tree on the patio at the Minstrel Cafe. Music starts at 8 p.m., come for dinner – there is no wrong choice on the menu. Call 250-764-2301 for reservations.

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Private Eyes Twists and Turns Like Bach on Westside Road

Nabil Ayoub, Madeleine Suddaby and Xavier de Salaberry in Private Eyes

Nabil Ayoub, Madeleine Suddaby and Xavier de Salaberry in Private Eyes

With more twists and turns then Westside Road, Kelowna Summer Theatre Festival’s production of Private Eyes is definitely not the kind of play you can put yourself into cruise control mode to sit back and enjoy. It’s more like listening to a piece written by Bach where, if you pay attention, you get the joy of hearing the same phrases being repeated throughout but in different voices with different intonations and meanings.

The wind, too played havoc with hair and props last night but that’s all part of the fun of outdoor theatre, and on a warm summer night, it’s a treat to sit outside and catch a play.

The story starts off with Lisa (portrayed brilliantly by Madeleine Suddaby) arriving for an audition – or so we are led to believe. The first big twist in the story happens about 10 minutes in and from that point on, you never really quite know what to expect.

Graham Miles brings an incredibly intensity to his part as Matthew and Nabil Ayoub is the perfect “prick” in the part of Adrian. The cast is rounded out with Xavier de Salaberry and Stephanie Moroz – neither of whom are quite what they appear to be.
Private Eyes, written by Stephen Dietz and directed by Neal Facey, continues its run outdoors at the Rotary Centre for the Arts with shows July 28 and 31, as well as Aug. 2, 4, 6, 8 and 11.

Also part of the Kelowna Summer Theatre Festival, you’ll find the same actors and crew in different roles in the musical [title of show], which plays on alternate nights. Remaining shows are July 27 and 30 along with Aug. 1, 3, 7 and 10.
Tickets are $25 at the gate or purchase online in advance at http://www.KelownaSummerTheatreFestival.com

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Spamalot A Must See!

Once again, Kelowna Actors Studio has hit the ball right out of the park, creating yet another smash hit with Spamalot.

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From flying cows and calls to “Bring out your dead!” to a Trojan Rabbit and a killer bunny, this playful Monty Python musical is a delightful rip-off of their cult movie The Holy Grail and the stellar cast at KAS do a fabulous job of singing and dancing their way through the show.

KAS has found some very talented dancers to augment the cast and Sammi Morelli as The Lady of the Lake can seriously stop you in her tracks with her voice, especially when she storms on stage near the end, noting that they’ve kept her backstage far too long and that it’s high time she was back in the spotlight.

Brandon Shalansky as Patsy, Mac Mackay as Sir Robin, Chad Abrahamson as Galahad, James Long as Sir Bedevere and Jordan Davies as Sir Lancelot all have their shining moments in the spotlight as well and the supporting cast of Wells Dearborn, Jacob Holloway, Thomas Fornier, Marko Prodanovic and the rest of the company and dancers are incredibly strong, especially Holloway who just wants, just, just wants to SING….

If you’re a Monty Python fan, you’ll love this show.

Spamalot plays Wednesday through Saturday from now through to Aug 3, tickets available at Kelowna Actors Studio for either dinner theatre or just regular theatre seats.

For more information, you can give them a call at 250-862-2867.

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Kelowna’s Theatre Buffet

From starvation to gluttony, the Kelowna theatre scene went nuts over the weekend with a veritable smorgsbord of live theatre productions to choose from. New Vintage Theatre ran their production of Super 8 in the Black Box Theatre (July 17 to 20), Kelowna Actors Studio’s Spamalot opened at their theatre July 17 (review and photos to follow, runs until Aug. 3), Bumbershoot  Children’s Theatre started their run of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (BCT July 18 to 28), and the Kelowna Summer Theatre Festival kicked off its festival with [title of show] on July 18 as well. 

The Kelowna Summer Theatre Festival (KSTF) has two different shows to offer this summer along with life music on the theatre’s dark days. [title of show] is the musical they’ve opened the festival with. The second show, Private Eyes, opens July 25. Then the two shows will begin playing on alternate nights. Private Eyes, is a relationship thriller comedy about love, lust and the power of deception in which nothing is quite what it seems and [title of show] is a musical about a couple of guys trying to write a musical, hence the rather strange name. 

You can get all the scoop as well as purchase tickets on the KSTF website at www.kelownasummertheatrefestival.com

 

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