White Rock Players’ Present Laughter, by the master of 20th century wit, Noel Coward, opens for previews tonight (April 3) and runs until April 20 at The Playhouse (formerly the Coast Capital Playhouse) at 1532 Johnston Rd.
Directed by Susanne de Pencier, the 1930s comedy follows a few days in the life of Garry Essendine, a successful and self-obsessed star of London’s West End in the midst of a mid-life crisis – juggling a fawning ingenue, a crazed playwright, an aggressive 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; Michelle Collier as faithful secretary Monica Reed; Jenn Lane as amorous 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 Hugo, 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 on April 5.
Evening performances are at 8 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, with Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets ($19 to $22, $10 on Wednesdays) are available at the box office (604-536-7535) or on line at www.whiterockplayers.ca
The Elizabeths are back.
Beloved Peninsula artists Elizabeth Carefoot and Elizabeth Hollick are joining forces again for a ‘quirky’ show of new work at the Landmark POP-Uptown Gallery at 15140 North Bluff Rd. (Central Plaza) opening tomorrow night (April 4) at 7 p.m.
The show, Wound and Bound, brings together the equally colourful inspirations and obsessions of both artists, with a unifying theme of woven fibres that literally and figuratively bind us.
For Carefoot – a fibre artist with a background in textile arts as well as painting – the winding and binding is physically manifest in the way she interweaves fibres with a variety of other materials and found objects to present unconventional bundles and hangings.
“The use of recycled materials, I feel, gives the work an energy flowing from their former life as more mundane objects,” Carefoot said.
“It is the process that shapes my imagery and dictates the conception, she added.
“I also allow chance and memory to play its part.”
For Hollick, the theme has sparked a collection of paintings, in her singular vibrant and fanciful style, that look at her relationships with family, groups and friends – all of which she has characterized as animals she “found, borrowed, made up or looked up in reference books,” bound together by string, wire or fabric.
“I hope these paintings give (people) a lift – I giggled often while doing them,” she said.
Wound and Bound runs until April 29 at the gallery, to be followed by another duo show, Eccentric Narratives, by Peninsula artists Linda Pearce and Jack Turpin.
Mixed media artist Lee Caufield is the current featured artist at The Gallery, Central Plaza (until April 21) in a show titled The Constant Gardener.
Her paintings, largely inspired by a love of gardening and birds, include water media paintings that combine iridescent and opaque pigments, as well as several larger acrylic mixed media paintings on canvas.
Caufield is a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, the South Surrey White Rock Art Society and MIX, a contemporary art collaborative based in the area.
Her work can also be viewed in the much-anticipated Bloom show at Federation Gallery on Granville Island, April 2-14, and on her website www.leecaufieldart.com
The Gallery is located at 15134 North Bluff Rd., White Rock and is open Monday through Saturday.
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 (April 7), music will be in the capable hands of the newly-formed White Rock Rhythm Kings, featuring bassist Casey Tolhurst, guitarist Don Olgivie and drummer Scott Robertson.
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).
Encore Peninsula Concerts, co-sponsored by the City of White Rock, continues 3 p.m. Sunday 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 featuring himself and frequent collaborator Anna Vavilova, and concludes with 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).
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 St.
Tickets ($10) are available from crescentchoirs.com/wegive
Townhall Public House in South Surrey is presenting a live comedy night Tuesday, April 9 at 8 p.m.
The “triple-feature” line-up of comics is Steev Letts, Sophia Johnson and Ola Dada.
The venue is located at 3140 King George Blvd., and admission is $10 at the door, or tickets at www.eventbrite.ca
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.
One of Scotland’s premier traditional bands, The Tannahill Weavers, will make a stop at the venue Thursday, April 11 at 7 p.m. as part of its 60th anniversary tour.
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.”
Other upcoming shows include Brandon Isaak and his Saints of Swing (April 5), The Music of John Denver, starring Jim Curry (April 7) and the all-star Ladies Sing The Blues (April 13).
For tickets and information, visit bluefrogstudios.ca or call 604-542-3055.
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.
Combining the double-guitar threat of Dalgarno and Ted Tosoff, with Gary Berg on bass and John McCreath on drums, Blue Voodoo – past Maple Blues and WCMA awards nominees – have also achieved local legend status through such prestigious milestones as being invited to perform for Joni Mitchell’s 60th birthday celebrations, and opening for the likes of Pinetop Perkins, Bo Diddley and Coco Montoya.
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.
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.
The burgeoning Semniahmoo Peninsula scene for open-mics continues to grow.
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 long-established 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
For fans of stand-up comedy, and aspiring comics, Lizzie Allan’s Addictive Comedy presents a regular open-mic every second and fourth Friday (7 p.m. to 9 p.m.) at Unit 1, 1381 King George Blvd.
It’s advertised as “a safe space to try comedy, get ready for shows or just watch.”
Admission is by donation.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-354-3369.
Meanwhile, the popular monthly Open-Mic Night created by The Drama Class’ Michele Partridge, 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 located 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 over-the-top lip-synch contest each month – the show is hosted by well-known local actor and director Dann Wilhelm.
Upcoming date is April 28, with other nights scheduled for 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 email@example.com
Lizzie Allan’s Addictive Comedy will present an evening of live stand-up April 12 at Elgin Hall (14250 Crescent Rd.), with performances at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.
Founded in the U.K. in 2012, and transplanted to White Rock in 2017, Addictive Comedy provides a therapeutic comedy course that allows people dealing with issues of addiction and mental illness to share their stories through humour.
Eight students of the course will be showcased in the presentation, which will also feature new material from previous graduates. A promotion for the show encourages audiences to “come and support the bravest people in the world.”
“If we use (humour) in the right way it helps people reconnect with their passion and creativity, whilst at the same time enabling us to process our traumas and losses,” Allan said in an earlier news release.
Tickets are $20. To purchase, or for more information, visit www.eventbrite.ca
Coming up April 25-May 5 at White Rock’s Playhouse is FVGSS – A Musical Theatre Society’s production of Seussical.
Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens’ musical – bringing to life all the beloved characters of Dr. Seuss – is produced by Chantelle Dewar and directed by Brad Dewar, with musical direction by Tim Tucker, and choreography by Tamara Jaune, assisted by Elizabeth Lay.
The Playhouse is located at 1532 Johnston Rd.
Evening performances are at 7:30 p.m., with weekend matinees at 2:30 p.m.
For tickets and information, call 604-536-7535 or visit fvgss.org