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    Categories: Entertainment

Spotlight

In its 24th season, the Freewill Shakespeare Festival presents two tempestuous productions – Julius Caesar and The Tempest now playing at the outdoor amphitheatre in Hawrelak Park.

John Kirkpatrick, a St. Albert Children’s Theatre alumnus and one of Western Canada’s most illuminating interpreters of the Shakespearean catalogue, directs both productions.

In Julius Caesar, duplicity makes its insidious mark. As the Ides of March approach, Caius Cassius whispers rumours that Caesar plans to abolish the republic and crown himself emperor of Rome. The senate is divided and the seeds of deception grow thick and fast. A conspiracy to kill Caesar reaches a bloody climax and war is on the horizon.

On the other hand, magic is a major motif of The Tempest. After 12 years of exile, Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, sets his revenge in action and shipwrecks the entire court of Milan as they sail by his island. Usurped by his brother, Prospero and his daughter Miranda have lived on an island after they were left to die at sea on a raft.

But as the tempest-tossed noblemen, including his brother, wander on the magical island, new treachery reveals itself while a passionate love blooms. Is Prospero intent on revenge, or does the crafty duke have another plan in mind?

The alfresco productions run in repertory on alternating days until July 22. A full schedule is available at www.freewillshakespeare.com.

Tickets are $25 adults, students/seniors $17, any two shows $40. Pay what you will at the Tuesday evening show and Saturday matinee. Free student Sundays with I.D.

Call 780-420-1757 or online at www.tixonthesquare.ca.

Over at Teatro La Quindicina, director Stewart Lemoine revives A Grand Time in the Rapids. It’s a classic thrill-ride of door-slamming, drink-throwing, towel-wearing farces where a well-intentioned etiquette expert’s earnest attempts to spread the gospel of gracious living degenerates into chaos.

Returning from the 2005 original cast are Jeff Haslam and Ron Pederson, back with Teatro after a two-season absence. Joining them is the charming Jocelyn Ahlf.

The story is set in Michigan 1959. Sleek widow Thalia Cumberland enlists the help of etiquette expert Ted Todd in finessing an encounter with her new paramour Boyd Mayhew. Things proceed splendidly and then they don’t.

A Grand Time in the Rapids plays at the Varscona Theatre, 10329 – 83 Avenue from July 5 to 21. Tickets are $22 to $27. Call 780-433-3399.

This coming Tuesday, the Moosehead Barsnbands brings out Robert Fernandez (keyboards) of the Oil City Sound Machine and Cody Forsberg (drums) from Paula Perro and the Project.

Fernandez, who learned to play piano at eight and experimented with jazz-funk, fusion and R&B, even played at Germany’s Grosse Freiheit, the former Star Club where the Beatles were discovered in 1962.

Tonight he is paired with R&B stylings of Forsberg, a drummer who picked up music savvy from his family.

“Growing up sitting behind his legendary bass-playing father, Big Daddy, gave Cody a taste of performer smarts,” says host Mark Ammar.

The jam starts at 9 p.m. at LB’s Pub. No cover.

St. Albert Gazette: The St. Albert Gazette has been the source for news and community information in St. Albert and area since 1961. Today the twice-weekly full-colour tabloid delivers award-winning journalism in print, online and on mobile.