THE SCENE

Arts and entertainment on the Semiahmoo Peninsula

Catherine Robertson

The colourful, bold and stylized forms of painter Catherine Robertson’s landscape art will be featured throughout the month of October at The Gallery Central Plaza (15134 North Bluff Rd.).

Well-known and followed on the Peninsula, Robertson’s art career recently received an added fillip from international recognition for her work.

In August, she was approached by the Mondial Art Academia, a gallery in southern France, to submit her portfolio for consideration. Later that month she was informed that a panel of jurors had unanimously accepted her as one of the gallery’s artists – one of some 400 in 50 different countries around the world.

“It is such a privilege and honour to be associated with a gallery of such integrity and of such reputation for recognizing and supporting artists, both professional and amateur,” Robertson wrote in an email to Peace Arch News.

“To say that I am thrilled and honoured to have been invited to present my portfolio is the understatement of the year!” she added.

“I am most grateful and will strive to offer only my very best art to this endeavor and look forward to this new and broad exposure!”

Some of the paintings that caught the Mondial’s jurors’ eye – including evocative studies of Mount Rainier, Wash. – are included in the hometown show.

The gallery is open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Secret Lives of Men

Award-winning speaker Marcus Anthony Ray – who worked as an exotic dancer in the ’80s and even won the title of Mr. Nude North America – will appear this Friday (Oct. 4) at 7:30 p.m. at the White Rock Playhouse in what is billed as an “honest talk for the ladies, uncensored,” and which promises to be a thought-provoking, as well as funny, evening out.

Ray – who recently wrote an autobiographical account of experiences, Seven Years of Skin, currently under consideration for a movie adaptation – says in promotional materials for his current speaking tour that he has decided to stick his neck out and “talk about what all men do not want you to hear.”

Formerly a rock performer, model and body builder, Ray – who also served as an RCMP officer – promises to expose “the seven characters living in every man, and the crowning secret…how to influence them.”

Ray says that he realizes his career as an exotic dancer means that “in no way, under any circumstances would I be considered a Mr. Right.”

“I failed in three marriages, but have successfully raised four amazing daughters,” he says.

“After taking a good look at myself and my shortfalls, I realized that the hard truth about men needed to be exposed. I knew if my own daughters were to have any chance at all of finding a good man, or even being able to spot one, the truth needed to be revealed.”

The evening also features a book signing and ‘surprises.’ Door prizes are to include a two-night stay in Whistler, and the Playhouse bar is also licensed to serve alcohol during the event.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with a reception and appetizers at 7 p.m., and the talk and question-and-answer session beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets ($25) are available at the White Rock Players’ box office at the theatre (1532 Johnston Rd., 604-536-7535).

Staged reading

Peninsula Productions presents the latest in its series of staged readings on Sunday, Oct. 6 at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the company’s Centennial Park black box theatre next to Centennial Arena (14600 North Bluff Rd.)

The play is Skylight, by British playwright, director and Academy Award-nominated screenplay writer David Hare, and directed by Alan Brodie, who has directed with Ensemble Theatre Co. and Sticks & Stones Theatre, and is well-known for his production design work with Bard on the Beach, Vancouver Opera and Arts Club Theatre and the Shaw Festival.

According to the show’s publicity, Skylight is about “both the state of the heart and the state of the nation.”

Kyra (Olesia Shewchuk) used to work for – and sleep with – Tom (Graham Bullen), a successful restaurateur. But the relationship collapsed when his wife discovered the affair and Kyra left.

After not seeing each other for more than 20 years, Tom – now a widower and adrift – turns up at her flat in hopes of succour, salvation and a chance to turn back the hands of time’s pitiless clock.

Also featured in the show is Daniel Bristol.

Tickets ($20) are available online at www.brownpapertickets.com; for more information on the series, visit www.peninsulaproductions.org

Dracula

As a Halloween treat, White Rock Players Club offers a variation on the classic vampire tale with a twist.

Dracula: The Bloody Truth, by Le Navet Bete and John Nicholson – which was first presented, to rave reviews, in Exeter, England, receives its B.C. premiere with the WRPC production, directed by Cathe Busswood, who helmed the very successful 2018 production of Harvey.

Abraham Van Helsing (Cale Walde, Harvey) enlists the aid of three enthusiastic – but unskilled – aides in telling the “true’ story of Dracula, as distinct from the fictionalized version stolen by what he describes as the “dreadful money grabber” Bram Stoker.

Together they play a staggering 40 different characters – in various incomplete disguises – including Jonathan Harker (Ben Odberg, Surrey Little Theatre’s The Last Lifeboat); Mina (Lori Tych, Don’t Dress For Dinner) and Count Dracula (Eric Fortin, The Woman In Black, Harvey).

Dracula: The Bloody Truth runs Wednesday to Saturday from Oct. 9-26 (with preview nights on Oct. 9-10) at White Rock Playhouse, with 8 p.m. curtain and two Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets ($24, seniors and students $20) are available at the White Rock Players’ box office at the theatre (1532 Johnston Rd., 604-536-7535) or at whiterockplayers.ca

Blue Frog Studios

Heading into fall, there’s a busy schedule planned for music fans at White Rock’s Blue Frog Studios, the city’s intimate venue for up-close concerts by national and international touring acts, as well as local and B.C.-based artists.

The Authentics (Oct. 5), will feature a veritable who’s who of Vancouver music- scene talent from the last five decades: Al Harlow (Prism), Ab Bryant (Prism, Chilliwack, the Headpins), John Hall (Prism, Seeds of Time) and Rocket Norton (the Rocket Norton Band, Prism, Seeds of Time).

Visit bluefrogstudios.ca or call 604-542-3055.

Club 240

Crescent Legion’s Club 240 (2643 128 St.) is the location for regular Live at Club 240 Friday-night dances, with a variety of bands presented by the Total Music Group (formerly Semiahmoo Music Consortium), along with other special Saturday events throughout the year and a regular Wednesday bluegrass jam.

Coming up this Friday (Oct. 4) at Club 240 are Big City Soul, followed by the Gale Force Blues Piggies with special guest blues vocalist and powerhouse trombonist Randy Oxford (Oct. 18).

Tickets ($20) are on sale at www.brownpapertickets.com and also at the legion box office (604-535-1043), which is open daily from 4-9 p.m.

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