Roots/blues musician Gary Comeau headlines for this Saturday's TD Concerts At The Pier performance (July 25, 7-10 p.m.) in a show also featuring opening acts Ben Rogers and Lester Quitzau.

Roots/blues musician Gary Comeau headlines for this Saturday's TD Concerts At The Pier performance (July 25, 7-10 p.m.) in a show also featuring opening acts Ben Rogers and Lester Quitzau.

THE SCENE

Arts and entertainment on the Semiahmoo Peninsula, with Alex Browne

The 39 Steps

There’s still a chance to catch Peninsula Productions live theatre version of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 spy movie The 39 Steps before it closes this weekend.

The played-for-laughs, bare-bones staging of the very British thriller wraps up its run on Saturday (July 25) with a final 8 p.m. performance at Coast Capital Playhouse (1532 Johnston Rd.)

Guided by director Matthew Bissett, versatile players Corey Haas (as suave adventurer Richard Hannay), and Laura Caswell, Ben Odberg (The Game’s Afoot, Blithe Spirit) and Ashley O’Connell (the Arts Club’s Spamalot) – as everybody else – achieve hilarity in their attempt to evoke every scene and change of scene in the fast-moving plot, derived from the famous John Buchan novel.

Tickets ($25; seniors/children $20) are available from www.peninsulaproductions.org or 604-536-7535.

 

Gary Comeau

He calls it ‘Louisiana gumbo’ – and it is, in truth, a rich stew drawing ingredients from a lot of sources, including Louisiana-style fiddle, Mississippi Delta blues, Cuban and Caribbean songs, old-time jazz and Celtic folk.

Well-known local minstrel Gary Comeau, will bring his sound – and his unique, freewheeling, spontaneous approach – to the TD Concerts At The Pier stage on White Rock’s waterfront this Saturday (July 25, 7-10 p.m.), in a show also featuring opening acts Ben Rogers and Lester Quitzau.

Like other concerts in the series, presented by the City of White Rock and the White Rock BIA – with major sponsorship from TD Canada Trust, and assistance from the Peak Performance Project – the open-air performance is free.

A multi-talented singer, guitarist, mandolinist, fiddler and piano player, Comeau ties all the strands of his inspiration together into a set of high-energy, New Orleans-style rocking roots and blues – likely to get listeners at this Saturday’s concert up dancing.

Born and raised near Lunenberg, N.S., Comeau attributes his affinity to Louisiana to his French-Acadian heritage – but there’s no question that his music seems to channel an idyllic Huck Finn-Tom Sawyer world, while also hinting at other enthusiasms, including Western swing, Appalachian music and the jazz of violinist Stephane Grappelli.

Joining Comeau will be his band, the Voodoo All Stars, featuring Tim Hearsey on guitar and vocals, Rob Becker on bass and vocals, Chris Nordquist on drums, persussion and vocals, and Jerry Cook on sax.

Concluding concert in this year’s series will feature The Matinee (Aug. 8, with Tonye Aganaba and Blue Moon Marquee).

 

Blues Challenge

Combining the blues and barbecue is turning out to be a winning combination for the White Rock Blues Society, which brings its sixth annual Blues Challenge to Semiahmoo Park, July 26.

Throughout the day, some 13 bands and solo-duo acts will vie to represent White Rock at this year’s International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tenn., while ‘Memphis Mike’ will cook up appropriately Southern-style barbecue for hungry listeners.

In a musical sense, dessert will be the headline act, a full set by Chicago blues legend, Jimmy D. Lane.

The Blues Challenge was originally held at smaller venues in the fall of each year, the society’s Rod Dranfield says.

But moving it to the park in time for summer makes a lot of sense for the society, he says, as well as giving winning competitors more chance to “leverage” their wins through subsequent gigs, he adds.

Competitors seeking the society’s sponsorship to attend the Memphis IBC include such bands and leaders as Harpdog Brown, the Jim Black Band, Arsen Shomakov, the Hell’s Gate Blues Band, McKinley Wolf, Gary Preston and Jimmy Zee, while solo/duo finalists include Jesse Roper, Lonnie Glass, The Blues Baron, Nash Mcinnes and Murray Porter.

The family-friendly waterfront park venue is courtesy of Semiahmoo First Nation and councillor Joanne Charles.

Tickets are $20 at the gate, and children 12 and under, accompanied by an adult, can get in free.

Tickets are also available at tickets.surrey.ca, www.whiterockblues.com, Tapestry Music, Surfside Music, or by calling 604-542-6515.

 

Beach House Theatre

At press time there are still tickets for sale for both shows in Beach House Theatre’s week-long ‘season’ in Crescent Beach, although many of the performances of the evening show, Oscar Wilde’s classic 1895 comedy of manners The Importance of Being Earnest (Aug. 11-16) are now sold-out.

Directed by Beach House founders Candace Radcliffe and Rick Harmon, it’s an elaborately-costumed, farcical comedy of dalliance among the British upper classes, featuring Tom Gage, Patrick Dodd, Bethany Stanley, Marika Stanger, Michelle Collier, Carol Mann, James Walker, Paul Richardson and Paul Rancourt.

There are still good chances, however, to book tickets for Munsch Upon A Time (Aug. 12-15), the family-oriented morning show at Beach House’s state-of-the-art tent auditorium, next to the beach on Blackie Spit.

Directed by Elgin Park Players alumnus Courtney Shields, it’s another delightful collage of stories by popular children’s author Robert Munsch, featuring Aaron Holt, Claire Pollock and Matt Falletta.

For tickets and more information on events, call 604-594-5888, visit beachhousetheatre.org or email tickets@beachhousetheatre.org

 

White Rock Trad Jazz

Classic live Dixieland and retro jazz sets the easy-going tempos for dancers of all age groups (19 and up) every Sunday afternoon – barring a few holidays and special events – at the Royal Canadian Legion Crescent Branch 240 (2643 128 St.).

Until regular sessions of the White Rock Traditional Jazz Society return in the fall, the society’s house band – Red Beans & Rice, usually led by trumpeter and vocalist Rice Honeywell Sr. – is filling in with regular 2 to 5 p.m. performances each Sunday (except Aug. 2). Admission is $10 for WRTJS and legion members, $12 for everybody else.

Fans of Red Beans & Rice can also catch the band at Porter’s Bistro, 21611 48 Ave., in Langley’s historic Murrayville, in 7 p.m. Friday night performances Aug. 14 and 28 (for reservations, call 604-530-5297).

Trad jazz enthusiasts should also note that tickets are now available for the Jazz Band Ball festival – this year hosted by the WRTJS – at Pacific Inn and Resort Centre,  Sept. 25-27.

For more information, visit www.whiterocktradjazz.com

 

White Rock Community Centre

The Art On Display summer series at White Rock Community Centre (15154 Russell Ave.) continues July 23 with Being Human, by Langley artist Gina Kling.

Her large, imposing canvases convey images of life, love and hope in a way that harks back to the work of old-world masters.

Whether painting in watercolour, or drawing free-hand on cotton stretched canvas, and investing her painting with richness and detail through her skill with oils, the Emily Carr-trained, Federation of Canadian Artists member is clearly traveling the same paths as the masters.

Drawing inspiration from lesser-known biblical verses, she seeks to depict and evoke the human spirit and all our flaws – and perfections.

The show will run at White Rock Community Centre until Aug. 28.

 

Voja Morosan

Belgrade,Yugoslavia-born artist Vojislav (Voja) Morosan made White Rock and the Semiahmoo Peninsula his second home in the 1990s and his paintings became an ongoing tribute to the area through detailed, highly evocative plein-air pieces.

A special summer retrospective of the late artist’s work at Seventh Heaven Art and Beauty Salon (12185 Beecher St., Crescent Beach) illustrates Morosan’s skill in capturing the light and moods of the Peninsula and the physical characteristics of heritage buildings and stands of trees that are all too rapidly disappearing.

In this context, his glowing colours and architectural details – also the focus of a Tourism White Rock calendar last year and preserved among White Rock Museum and Archives’ collection – offer a nostalgic legacy, sure to bring pangs to those who recall the way the area used to be.

The paintings can be viewed Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to Aug. 30, by appointment.

For more information, call 778-292-0687, or visit the Vojislav Morosan Facebook page.

 

Acrylics for tweens/teens

Tweens and teens will get a fine introduction to acrylic technique – and some of the secrets of composition and individual expression – in a painting class offered by Chris and Marilyn McClure’s Golden Cactus Fine Art Studio July 27-31 (10 a.m. to noon each day).

Class fee ($220) includes canvas paints and use of studio brushes.

Well-known White Rock artist Chris McClure – romantic realist painter and creator of International Artist Day, and the city’s annual IAD Festival – says he plans to work directly with each student as well as demonstrating ideas to the group.  Students can expect to produce two canvases over the course of the class, he said.

“First day we will work on drawings of ideas to paint,” McClure said. “Over the next few days I will show them a few different ways to express themselves on canvas. I can tell by how they draw where to point them for their own voice.”

The Golden Cactus studio is located at the corner of 152 Street and Thrift Avenue (Hillcrest Mall).

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/GoldenCactusStudio

 

White Rock Players’ Club

White Rock Players’ Club, on summer hiatus while independent shows like Peninsula Production’s The 39 Steps take over the Coast Capital Playhouse, is hatching an ambitious season to start its seventh decade of home-grown little theatre in the city.

The first show announced for the 2015-16 season will be a bold attempt to stage a theatrical legend – Arthur Miller’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Death of a Salesman (Oct. 7-24) a tragic study of the unravelling of tired commercial traveler Willy Loman in the late 1940s.

The club’s annual audience-pleaser, the Christmas pantomime, will return Dec. 4 – Jan. 2, updating Charlotte Johnson’s 1960 script of Cinderella under the guidance of director Lisa Pavilionis.

Marc Camoletti’s 1960s door-slammer farce Boeing, Boeing is set to hit the stage March 2-19 followed by Noel Coward’s  1930s comedy of manners Private Lives (April 13-30).

The announced season closer will offer two versions of a classic comedy – a staging, on alternate nights, of both the male and female versions of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple.

Coast Capital Playhouse is located at 1532 Johnston Rd. Individual tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for students and seniors.

To inquire about season ticket options, call 604-536-7535.

 

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 info@fraservalleysymphony.org or call 604-859-3877.

 

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 leighand@shaw.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peace Arch News