Contributed photo Small Town Talk (led by Chris Thornley, centre) will bring its jazz styling to Surrey’s The Studio as part of Royal Canadian Theatre Company’s fundraiser Club Royale, Saturday (March 30).

THE SCENE

Arts and entertainment on the Semiahmoo Peninsula

Open-mics

A live open-mic for musicians, hosted by well-known local musician and open-mic organizer Dennis Peterson, is a new regular Saturday night feature, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Pelican Rouge Coffee Shop, 15142 North Bluff Rd. (Central Plaza).

Sign up is at 5:30 p.m.

The popular monthly Open-Mic Night created by The Drama Class’ Michele Partridge, meanwhile, has proven so popular it is now at a new and larger venue.

Held on the last Sunday of each month at 7 p.m., the night is now at the White Rock Community Centre, 15154 Russell Ave. (underground parking available).

Open to actors, musicians, singers, comedians and storytellers of all ages – and featuring a regular lip-synch contest each month – the show is hosted by well-known local actor and director Dann Wilhelm.

Upcoming date is this Sunday (March 31), plus April 28, May 26, and June 30.

Admission for audiences members is $5 at the door; performers can register at the sound check at 6:30 p.m. or, in advance, by email to dannwilhelm@gmail.co

Club Royale

Evoking the cool, hip ambience of a 1950s-1960s jazz club in New York City, Club Royale – a fundraiser for Ellie King’s Royal Canadian Theatre Company – comes to The Studio, 10660 City Parkway (opposite Chuck Bailey Stadium) this Saturday (March 30) from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. A blend of spoken word (by Michael Charrois) and jazz (courtesy of Chris Thornley and his group Small Town Talk), the evening will raise money to pay for costumes, scenery and more for the company’s Youth Mentorship program.

Also included is a 50/50 draw, a cash bar and a silent auction. Tickets ($15 in advance) are available from www.clubroyale or brownpapertickets.com, or are $20 at the door.

Drama Class open-mics

Joni Mitchell tribute

Acclaimed concert and musical theatre artist Merideth Kaye Clark will perform legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell’s iconic album Blue at Surrey Arts Centre’s main stage, tonight (March 27) at 7:30 p.m.

“Joni Mitchell has been a huge influence throughout my career as both a singer and songwriter,” the Missouri-born Clark said, discussing her decision to present Blue as a live touring show.

Clark will accompany herself on guitar and dulcimer, with Mont Chris Hubbard on piano and violin.

Singer Raine Hamilton, accompanied by a small string ensemble, will open for Clark.

Surrey Arts Centre is located at 13750 88 Ave. For tickets ($29 and up) or more information, contact tickets.surrey.ca or call 604-501-5566.

Present Laughter

White Rock Players’ next production is Present Laughter, by the master of 20th century wit, Noel Coward, April 3 to 20 at The Playhouse (formerly the Coast Capital Playhouse) at 1532 Johnston Rd.

Directed by Susanne de Pencier, the comedy follows a few days in the life of Garry Essendine, a successful and self-obsessed actor in the midst of a mid-life crisis – juggling a fawning ingénue, a crazed playwright, a seductress, his ex-wife, and the personal lives of his extended ‘family’ of friends.

The cast includes audience favourites Dann Wilhelm as the besieged Garry, Lori Tych as his ever-present ex Liz Essendine, Michelle Collier as Garry’s faithful secretary Monica Reed, Jenn Lane as femme fatale Joanna Lyppiatt and Bryce Paul Mills as manager Morris Dixon. Rounding out the cast are Janelle Carrs as the besotted Daphne Stillington; Greg Tunner as Henry, Joanna’s aggrieved husband and Garry’s producer; Reginald Pillay as obsessive would-be dramatist Roland Maule; Paul Cowhig as valet Fred, Dianna Gola-Harvey as housekeeper Miss Erikson, and Heather Christie as the regal Lady Saltburn.

There will be a gala opening night April 5.

Evening performances are at 8 pm, Wednesday through Saturday, with Sunday matinees at 2:30 pm.

Tickets ($19 to $22, $10 on Wednesdays) are available at the box office (604-536-7535) or on line at www.whiterockplayers.ca

Social justice film

Next conversation-starting presentation of the White Rock Social Justice Film Society is the documentary Killswitch: The Battle to Control the Internet, Friday, March 29 at the White Rock Community Centre (15154 Russell Ave.). Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the screening at 7 p.m.

Filmmakers Lawrence Lessig, Tim Wu and Peter Ludlow tell the story of two young hacktivists, Aaron Swartz and Edward Snowden, and how they came to symbolize both the disruptive, and the dynamic, nature of the Internet.

In what might be seen as cautionary tale by some and a spark for revolution by others, the film traces how their lives paralleled one another as they freed information to millions on the Internet – putting them directly in the cross-hairs of the most powerful interests in the world.

For more on society programs, visit whiterocksocialjusticefilmsociety.com

Blue Frog Studios

White Rock’s Blue Frog Studios continues to provide an intimate venue for up-close concerts by national and international touring acts, as well as local and B.C.-based artists.

Coming up are acclaimed Canadian blues singer Samantha Martin and her band Delta Sugar (March 29), and the ecologically-inspired concert Voices For The Salish Sea (March 30), in which The Wilds (including Holly Arntzen and Kevin Wright) join forces with popular roots group Tiller’s Folly (Bruce Coughlan, Nolan Murray and Laurence Knight).

Launched last year, the project comes to Blue Frog following successful shows in Bellingham and Coquitlam.

For tickets and information, visit bluefrogstudios.ca or call 604-542-3055.

Traditional jazz

White Rock Traditional Jazz Society’s regular series of 2-5 p.m. Sunday dances to live New Orleans and Chicago jazz and small-band swing continues most weekends at Crescent Legion Branch’s Club 240.

Sunday (March 31), the Square Pegs Jazzy Band will dispense its stylish dance music, followed on April 7 by bassist Casey Tolhurst and guitarist Don Olgivie’s newly-formed White Rock Rhythm Kings.

Coming up are ace reedman Gerry Green’s Crescent City Jazzers, featuring trumpeter-trombonist Jim Armstrong (April 14) and the Joseph Abbott Band (April 21).

The venue is at 2643 128 St.; admission is $10 at the door (WRTJS members); $12 (non-members) and $6 (students with ID).

Club 240

Crescent Legion’s Club 240 (2643 128 St.) is the location for Friday-night dances organized by the Semiahmoo Music Consortium, along with other special events throughout the year on Saturday nights, as well as a regular Wednesday bluegrass jam.

Consortium shows continue Friday, April 12 with a show by Blue Voodoo – marking the return of co-leader Rick Dalgarno following recovery from last year’s heart scare.

Coming up on the schedule are The Mojo Stars (April 19) and The Retrogrades (April 26). Tickets for Friday-night dances ($20) are on sale at www.brownpapertickets.com and at the legion box office (604-535-1043), which is open daily from 4-9 p.m.

Gallery show

South Surrey White Rock Art Society vice president Peter Klemm is featured artist through March at The Gallery, Central Plaza.

Klemm, whose work includes animal portraits and figurative painting, makes a specialty of meticulously-detailed, realist landscapes emphasizing the interplay of both direct and indirect lighting and shade.

An active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, Klemm has had his work accepted into seven signature qualifier jury shows including one earlier this month at the federation head office gallery on Granville Island, which now allows him to apply for signature status with the organization.

The Gallery is located at 15134 North Bluff Rd.

Emilie Mae

Pathways are the key to the bold and lively landscapes and semi-abstracts of White Rock painter Emilie Mae, whose work will be showcased through March at Newton Cultural Centre (13530 72 Ave.).

“In my landscape paintings, I often include some sense of a pathway, whether it be up a mountain or down a city street,” said the artist, raised in the Detroit area, who discovered her love of painting while living on the island of Kauai.

For more information on opening hours, call 604-594-2700.

Bingo for arts

Penmar Community Arts Society’s weekly Wednesday bingo at Star of the Sea Community Centre (5262 Pacific Ave.) is an ongoing fundraiser for events and concerts on the Semiahmoo Peninsula.

Organizers David Geertz and Dione Costanzo note the society was founded as a national arts charity dedicated to developing entertainment programs for communities outside of major metropolitan areas, with a mission to pay artists a fair, living wage.

Doors open at 5 p.m., early bird games run to 6 p.m. and regular games start at 7 p.m.; there is free parking behind the venue and a concession on site.

Coffee house

The Crescent Moon Coffee House is at Kwomais Point Park’s Sanford Hall every Thursday night from 8-11 p.m. Parking is free at the venue, at 1367 128 St.

Organizers note this open mic/jam session is held in a non-commercial setting, with no coffee grinders or the sounds of business in the background to compete with the music although tea, coffee and cookies are available .

The aim is to encourage making and sharing music in the community, with a special focus in fostering and supporting emerging talent of all ages, and in addition to a good sound system, the event usually has supporting members on bass and drums.

Suggested donation at the door is $5. For more, subscribe to Crescent Moon’s newsletter at http://bit.ly/cmcoffeehouse

Encore concerts

Encore Peninsula Concerts, co-sponsored by the City of White Rock, continues Sunday afternoon concerts at its new venue – Mount Olive Lutheran Church (2350 148 St.)

The 2019 Piano Fest – selected by its artistic director, concert pianist Eugene Skovorodnikov – continues April 7 with masterworks for piano duo by Skovorodnikov and Anna Vavilova (April 7) and an all-Chopin program by acclaimed Italian pianist Achille Gallo (April 28).

Tickets for Piano Fest 2019 performances are $25 each ($22 for students and seniors). All concerts are at 3 p.m.

Crescent Choirs

Give is the title of the Crescent Choirs’ upcoming concert for the Peace Arch Hospice Society, Sunday, April 7 at 7 p.m. at St. John’s Presbyterian Church.

It’s also the theme of the event, aimed at raising funds for society programs including end-of-life support and family grief counselling.

Featuring the Crescent Youth Choir and the Lux Children’s Choir directed by Samara Ripley (ably continuing the traditions of mentor Sarona Mynhardt’s White Rock Children’s Choir on the peninsula) the concert also features special guests the Trinity Western University Concert Choir, directed by Cathrie Yuen.

The Crescent Youth Choir is a mixed-voice ensemble for ages 15 to 23, while the Lux Children’s Choir is a mixed-voice ensemble for ages nine to 13.

The church is located at 1480 George Street.

Tickets ($10) are available from crescentchoirs.com/wegive

Tannahill Weavers

One of Scotland’s premier traditional bands will make a stop in White Rock as part of it’s 60th anniversary tour.

The Tannahill Weavers will play at Blue Frog Studios, Thursday, April 11 at 7 p.m.

Inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame in 2011, the band features a diverse, centuries-spanning repertoire of fiery instrumentals, topical songs, lullabies, foot-stomping jigs and reels and original ballads highlighting the rich musical heritage of the Celtic people.

Praised by the New York Times as “an especially eloquent mixture of the old and the new” the acoustic quartet is celebrated for its exuberant performances, driving rhythm, rich vocals, tight harmonies and “powerful, inventive arrangements.”

The venue is located at 1328 Johnston Rd.

For tickets ($44), visit bluefrogstudios.ca

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