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Rainbow of artists destined for Morinville

2014 to be an eclectic year at cultural centre

By: Anna Borowiecki

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jan 01, 2014 06:00 am

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  • FUNNY MAN – British-born comedian Chris Gibbs will be in Morinville Jan. 10.
    FUNNY MAN – British-born comedian Chris Gibbs will be in Morinville Jan. 10.
    Supplied photo
  • EAGLES TRIBUTE – Tribute band Hotel California swings through Morinville on Feb. 22.
    EAGLES TRIBUTE – Tribute band Hotel California swings through Morinville on Feb. 22.
  • MEET THE WIZARD – Missoula Children’s Theatre mounts two full-scale shows of The Wizard of Oz on March 22.
    MEET THE WIZARD – Missoula Children’s Theatre mounts two full-scale shows of The Wizard of Oz on March 22.
  • FIDDLE CHAMP – Popular entertainer Calvin Vollrath will headline three days of fiddling in late May.
    FIDDLE CHAMP – Popular entertainer Calvin Vollrath will headline three days of fiddling in late May.

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The Morinville Community Cultural Centre’s first half of the season was very successful and it’s ready to roll out the red carpet for 2014.

For the next five months from January to May, cultural services manager Laurie Stalker has pulled together an eclectic lineup of comedy, musical theatre, ballet, rock music, country fiddling and a special children’s show.

Leading the pack on Jan. 10 is comedian Chris Gibbs with a stand-up routine that every parent can sympathize with. The British-born actor’s 2009 show Like Father, Like Son? Sorry explores the fears about being a father and the night sweats associated with making the big decision to be one.

“A comedy is such a good way to start the new year. Sometimes after Christmas you get down in the doldrums and a little humour helps on cold January nights,” Stalker noted.

Following Gibbs on Saturday, Jan. 18 is Alberta Opera’s Aladdin. Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, this musical theatre institution has consistently provided world-class family entertainment to schools and small communities across the province.

Aladdin’s four local actors and original music score takes the theatre patron to a faraway, exotic land where the young thief’s life is destined to change after he finds a magical object that grants him every wish.

On Friday, Feb. 14 Valentine’s Day, Ballet Jörgen’s jewel-box production Romeo and Juliet masterfully recreates Shakespeare’s tragic tale of star-crossed lovers.

“We are particularly thrilled that Morinville dancers are incorporated into the performance. The company is also offering a meet and greet with the artistic director and hopefully one of the principals.”

In an about face Hotel California, the longest running Eagles tribute show in North America, is ready to rock out on Saturday, Feb. 22.

“They’ve been touring for 25 years and in the last while there’s been a resurgence of Eagles music. They’re a good fit for Morinville. Their music strikes a chord with a lot of people. Their melodies are very easy to sing along to and enjoy. And they do define a generation.”

Exactly a month later on Saturday, March 22 the Missoula Children’s Theatre mounts two full-scale shows of The Wizard of Oz. The company’s truck pulls into Morinville a week before to hold auditions and rehearsals with about 60 local K to 12 local students.

“This is an exciting project and I hope it inspires us to go further and host drama camps. I think there’s a good appetite for this here.”

On Saturday, April 5 with the arrival of spring comes Robert Post’s one-man variety show. He is an actor, mime, puppeteer, juggler, ventriloquist, stand-up comic and improviser with a knack for keeping audiences mesmerized with his tricks.

“He really is a great event entertainer and with some superb, expert routines.”

Morinville son Calvin Vollrath returns for a three-day whoop-up from May 23 to 25. During this fiddling extravaganza, Vollrath celebrates his 21st anniversary CD release party and salutes some of Canada’s top fiddle champs.

“Calvin is releasing his 59th and 60th CDs which is incredible. He is famous across all of North America and this year his special guest is Byron Berline, a musician whose repertoire runs from old-time to ragtime to bluegrass to country rock and beyond.”

Closing the season on Saturday, May 31 is La Folia, the Edmonton based Baroque string ensemble founded by the very versatile cellist Josephine van Lier.

“They play early music from about the 1500s to the 1800s with authentic instruments that have gut strings and bows.”

For Stalker and her team, this year has been an excellent opportunity to explore new artists.

“Overall the season we offer has a good variety in both halves, not just as a whole.”


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