John Cousins (as the ghost of John Barrymore), Rebekah McEwan (as Dierdre) and Matt Loop (as reluctant Prince of Denmark Andrew Rally) are featured in I Hate Hamlet by Paul Rudnick, latest production of White Rock Players Club, opening June 3 at White Rock's Coast Capital Playhouse.

John Cousins (as the ghost of John Barrymore), Rebekah McEwan (as Dierdre) and Matt Loop (as reluctant Prince of Denmark Andrew Rally) are featured in I Hate Hamlet by Paul Rudnick, latest production of White Rock Players Club, opening June 3 at White Rock's Coast Capital Playhouse.


Arts and entertainment happenings on the Semiahmoo Peninsula

The Collection

A new show by edgy, experimental, South Surrey-based dance company Diskordanse hits the studio theatre at Surrey Arts Centre this Friday and Saturday (May 29-30) at 8 p.m.

The Collection, created and choreographed by Diskordanse artistic director Nela Hallwas, is described as “a new form of fairy tale, unlike anything you’ve seen before” featuring Diskordanse’s trademark mix of projected imagery, extensive costuming, makeup and theatrics.

It imagines a world unlike our own, where an unusual ensemble of characters have been trapped, over a period of centuries. Ensnared by false hopes and promises, the angry Glass Queen, the rebel Crystal Princess, the Preserved Flower, the Still Goddess, the Silenced Voice, and the curious Surreal Bird, have all become the property of a faceless Collector; never seen, but always there.

Featured in the production, danced to the original music of Dasha Duquette, are company dancers Jenessa Stobbs, Carolyn Zaruk, Skye Ferguson, Amadea H., Kate Barker and Elizabeth Tichelman.

Surrey Arts Centre is located at 13750 88 Ave. For tickets, visit https;//



I Hate Hamlet

White Rock Players’ Club next production, I Hate Hamlet, directed by Dale Kelly, opens June 3 at Coast Capital Playhouse, and runs to June 20.

But lovers of the Bard can take heart. In spite of the title, Paul Rudnick’s 1991 dramatic comedy is a witty exercise sure to amuse both fans of Shakepeare and theatre lore in general .

The statement does, however, sum up the feelings of Rudnick’s central character, successful television actor Andrew Rally (Matt Loop), who finds himself torn between accepting a new and lucrative opportunity and pleasing his girlfriend Dierdre (Rebekah McEwan) and his agent, the extravagant Lillian Troy (Sheila Keating) – not to mention the ghost of legendary actor John Barrymore (John Cousins) – by appearing on stage as the melancholy Danish prince.

The troubles begin when Andrew rents an eccentric, gothic New York City apartment that was once the home of Barrymore, famed early 20th century stage and film star – and legendary alcoholic scoundrel.

As the result of a seance held by real estate agent Felicia Dantine (Coleen Byberg), Barrymore’s shade returns to harangue Andrew into accepting the opportunity to appear on stage in Barrymore’s greatest role – Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Complicating matters is pompous producer Gary Peter Lefkowitz (Pat McDermott) who can’t understand why Andrew doesn’t leap at the chance to return to Los Angeles for a plum series part.

Coast Capital Playhouse is located at 1532 Johnston Rd. Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for students and seniors. To reserve, call 604-536-7535.



Auditions for youth

Paging young actors: artistic director Susan Pendleton’s highly-regarded Peninsula-based Surrey Youth Theatre Company (The Giver, Stuart Little, Pinkalicious, Madeline’s Christmas) will be auditioning boys and girls aged eight to 17 for its 19th season.

Auditions will be held this Thursday (May 28) – 3:30 to 5 p.m. for ages eight to 12; 6-8 p.m. for ages 13-17.

Auditionees must pre-register, and preparation materials are required.

To register, and for and details of audition venue, email

For more information, visit


Good Day Sunshine

Arts-friendly Good Day Sunshine Cafe, 100 – 2950 King George Blvd. features regular exhibitions by local artists.

The latest, Freedom of the Heart, is a first solo show of heartfelt abstract acrylics by painter Doris Anderson (until May 31).

For more information on all events, call 778-989-0369.


Traditional jazz

The two-beat sounds of Dixieland and retro jazz continue to set toes tapping through the spring with White Rock Traditional Jazz Society’s regular sessions  2 to 5 p.m. most Sundays at the Royal Canadian Legion Crescent Branch 240 (2643 128 St.). Admission is usually $10.

Upcoming performances include Holly Arntzen’s ‘Some Like It Hot’ show (May 31) and the Crescent City Jazz Band (June 7).

Tickets are available now for the Jazz Band Ball festival – this year hosted by the WRTJS – at Pacific Inn and Resort Centre,  Sept. 25-27.

House band Red Beans & Rice can also be caught at Porter’s Bistro, 21611 48 Ave., in Langley’s historic Murrayville, most Friday nights from 7 p.m. (call ahead to confirm and for reservations at 604-530-5297).

For more information on upcoming events, visit


Cory Weeds concert

Jazz impresario/alto saxophonist Cory Weeds (Cellar Jazz Series, Cellar Records) has reached an impressive milestone – a 100th release by the label he founded in 2001.

To launch Condition Blue – an album inspired by the music of hard-bop saxophonist Jackie McLean, and featuring New York-based organist Mike LeDonne – Weeds is bringing LeDonne and his own Vancouver quartet to White Rock for an intimate concert at Blue Frog Studios, May 30 at 8 p.m.

Blue Frog Studios is located at 1328 Johnston Rd.

Tickets are available at or by calling 604-542-3055.


A Night of Passion

And now a classical concert with a real difference.

Audience members have two choices for seating for A Night of Passion: Gala Opera Concert & Silent Auction a celebration and benefit for the re-launch of the Young People’s Opera Society of BC (Saturday, June 6 at Surrey Arts Centre’s studio theatre).

For $35 one can see it the traditional way, from the audience section.

But for just $45 you can actually sit right on stage with performers – and new YPOS artistic directors – Debra Da Vaughn (soprano) and Christopher Simmons (tenor), who will be joined by the equally talented mezzo-soprano Dionne Sellinger and baritone Andrew Greenwood, and musical director/pianist Angus Kellett for a sparkling evening of glorious melodies and operatic passions.

Host for the concert, which begins at 7 p.m., is Colleen Maybin, education and community engagement director for Vancouver Opera.

But the fun begins even earlier, at 6 p.m. with a fundraising auction offering the potential for bargain prices on such valuable items as a new Mason and Hamlin grand piano – likely available for just above cost – a Charles Walther upright grand, a giclee print from famous Hawaiian painter Fanny Bilodeau, plus tickets for sporting events; dance items, hotel stays, restaurant certificates, spa packages, and a deluxe evening at the Vancouver Opera.

Also included in the ticket price: a chance to meet the artists at a post-concert reception.

To reserve tickets, call 604-501-5566, or visit


Semiahmoo Strings

Peninsula student ensemble The Semiahmoo Strings will present its year-end concert, String Potpourri, Friday, June 12, at 7:30 p.m., at Earl Marriott Sacondary’s Wheelhouse Theatre.

Special guests, the VSO School of Music String Ensembles, will help create what co-director Harold Birston describes as “the richest string sound we could possibly muster.”

The program, conducted by artistic director Carla Birston, will include Elgar’s Serenade for Strings, Rossini’s Overture to The Barber of Seville, and Borodin’s In the Steppes of Central Asia.

The orchestra will also welcome three dazzling soloists: principal cellist Yu An Cheng performing Tchaikovsky’s Andante Cantabile, Alan Liu, classical guitar soloist for Faure’s Pavane, and guitarist Braden Williams, in Harold Birston’s arrangement of the music from The Magnificent Seven.

Tickets ($12, $8 students and seniors, are available Tapestry Music or by calling (604) 538-1460.


Erika Bennedik students

It’s an afternoon of music and nostalgic recollections.

Current students and distinguished alumni of well-respected Ocean Park violin teacher Erika Bennedik will be on hand for a special 30th anniversary student recital, Saturday, June 13 at 3 p.m. at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, 2350 148 St.

In addition to soloists and four quartet ensembles, musicians will include a former Bennedik student who is now, herself an instructor in the area, and another who is a member of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and a regular extra with the famous Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.


Swamp City

Randy (Mojo Zydeco) Schultz’ new band, Swamp City makes its Peninsula debut with a CD release party Saturday, June 13, at 8 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion Crescent Branch 240.

As the name suggests, it’s still about Southern roots, but with a wider range of influences than simply zydeco (although the washboard is still a part of it, and Schultz admits he’ll still pick up the accordion once in a while).

Like all Schultz projects, the emphasis is on upbeat, feel-good, toe-tapping Southern-style dance music – but it’s also agreeably eccentric, with some highly individual Schultz-built instruments, including a guitar with a license plate resonator, and a sophisticated version of the traditional washtub bass.

Joining Schultz in Swamp City are such stalwarts of the local scene as Tony Rees (guitar), Kat Wahaama (vocals), Mickey Hovan (bass) and Delta’s Joe Bakus on drums.

The Crescent Branch is located at 2643 128 St. Tickets $15 are available at Tapestry Music and at the legion, 604-535-1080.


Jesse Roper

White Rock Blues Society is marking its eighth anniversary with a dance Saturday, June 13 at The Pacific Inn’s Rhumba Room, featuring rising Canadian blues guitarist Jesse Roper.

Praised for the mesmerizing “raw energy” of his performances, Roper’s versatile blues-rooted soul, rock and country funk is both accessible and rapidly gaining momentum on the blues scene.

It’s a sound with nostalgic nods to the vintage Texas blues of Stevie Ray Vaughn, but with a current edge – evidenced by the way Roper is becoming a staple on modern rock radio.

Opening for Roper is another dynamic guitarist, WRBS co-founder Jason Buie and his Blues Band.

The Pacific Inn is at 1160 King George Blvd. Tickets ($20) are available from Surfside Music, Tapestry Music and the Surrey Arts Centre box office (604-501-5566) or online at


Beach House Theatre

Live theatre returns to Crescent Beach this summer as Beach House Theatre Society prepares to present a fourth season in its state-of-the-art tent setting.

In the interim, a fundraising dance for the season will be held June 20, 7:30 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion Crescent Branch 240 (2643 128 St.), featuring the  classic rock sounds of The Diggers, featuring the powerful vocals of Joani Bye.

There will also be a change of pace this year: instead of Shakespeare the company will be highlighting Oscar Wilde’s masterpiece comedy of manners The Importance of Being Earnest (Aug. 11-16).

But fans of ever-popular children’s author Robert Munsch need not worry – Beach House will be presenting another show gleaned from his popular works, the family-oriented Munsch Upon A Time (Aug. 12-15).

For more information on other events, visit


Singers wanted

Pacific Showtime Men’s Chorus, based in Ocean Park, rehearses Monday nights at 7:30 p.m. at St. Mark’s Church, 12953 20 Ave.

The small community chorus of experienced singers is currently seeking new members for all vocal ranges: lead, tenor, baritone and bass.

Offering a big sound in a variety of musical styles, Pacific Showtime has been featured at a many different Lower Mainland events, including show productions, concerts and private functions.

The repertoire is designed to include songs and a singing style that appeal to a wide variety of music preferences, with emphasis on entertainment value, and chance to develop singing skills while having fun and enjoying camaraderie.

Male singers are invited to attend rehearsals to check out the group and, hopefully, join in.

For more information, call 604-536-5292 or email


Symphonists sought

Now celebrating its 30th concert season, the Fraser Valley Symphony is seeking new members in the violin, viola and percussion sections, but also welcomes inquiries from other interested professional calibre musicians.

Performing alongside world class instrumental and vocal soloists, the orchestra provides an opportunity for auditioned musicians to present a variety of music to audiences throughout the region.

Rehearsals are held on Monday evenings, in Abbotsford.

Contact or call 604-859-3877.
























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