Peter Jansen, one of St. Albert’s most enduring stage performers, has written a book about his life from the end of the Second World War up to the pandemic.
He released Let’s Take It From the Top! A Musical Odyssey and will host a book signing at Second Cup on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Born in Buckinghamshire, 30 miles northwest of London, his first memory is of his father putting his head over the corner of a pram and saying “boo.”
By the time Jansen was five, he and a friend made cardboard puppets in a box. Two years later, he had a permanent little theatre in his room. In a continuous process of development, he learned to play guitar and by 15 was leading a nine-piece jazz band called The Jazz Gentlemen.
“It was the 1960s and we played at air force bases. There were over 100 bases in our country – some shared with the RAF and there was a naval base. We worked at over 50 bases,” Jansen said.
In addition, the band performed at NATO bases across Europe, most notably American bases in Germany and France. Jansen also performed in Spain and later traveled to Bermuda where he met his future wife, Mary, also a performer.
The duo immigrated to Canada and moved out west for the lively entertainment scene.
“At that time, the greater Edmonton area had more live venues than Calgary and Vancouver. The Edmonton scene was the strongest in North America for an area of that size.”
Not long ago, Mary asked Jansen to make a list of his accomplishments prior to their meeting.
“I started and after 454 pages, I stopped,” he said, laughingly referring to his book.
Second Cup is located at Inglewood Town Square, 19 Bellerose Drive.
Christmas drag special
Mike Delamont is back as the star attraction in God is a Scottish Drag Queen: A Christmas Special. Yes, God dressed in a floral power suit, descends from above to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. Fresh from a drinking problem in the Old Testament, God walks onstage prepared to skewer everything from Yule logs and eggnog to Tiny Tim and the three wise men.
Billed as quirky standup comedy for preachers and atheists alike, this touring show is a penetrating look at pop culture and humanity through the eyes of a silly, foul-mouthed, yet charming, Scottish deity.
God is a Scottish Drag Queen: A Christmas Special takes place at the Arden Theatre on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $40. Visit tickets.stalbert.ca or call 780-459-1542.
New Hope Community Church dives straight into Christmas with the docu-drama Why the Nativity? The two-hour Christian film is a reenactment of the life of Jesus. But instead of limiting the story to bare facts, it digs deeper into Jesus’ life and those around him.
“It’s the Christmas story and what it means to you. It looks in detail at the people involved in the Christmas story,” said Donna Pullen, church organizer.
Filmed in United States by Turning Point Productions, it is written and narrated by Dr. David Jeremiah. He is the founder of Turning Point for God, an international broadcast ministry committed to promoting Biblical teachings.
Admission is one or more items for the St. Albert Food Bank. Refreshments will be served. Seating is limited and people are asked to reserve seats by calling 780-458-3440.
Why the Nativity? screens at New Hope Community Church on Friday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. New Hope Community Church is located at 15 Circle Drive, Unit 101.