Olivia Sara Grace plays Molly and Mariam Barry plays Judith in Irish playwright Jaki McCarrick's Belfast Girls, directed by Wendy Bollard, previewing tonight (March 1) and opening Friday at Coast Capital Playhouse; party rockers Velvet Bulldozer (below) play Ocean Park Community Hall on March 4.

Olivia Sara Grace plays Molly and Mariam Barry plays Judith in Irish playwright Jaki McCarrick's Belfast Girls, directed by Wendy Bollard, previewing tonight (March 1) and opening Friday at Coast Capital Playhouse; party rockers Velvet Bulldozer (below) play Ocean Park Community Hall on March 4.

THE SCENE

Arts and entertainment on the Semiahmoo Peninsula, with Alex Browne

alex.browne@peacearchnews.com

 

Belfast Girls

Most prestigious event to date for White Rock-based Peninsula Productions – the Canadian premiere of award-winning Irish playwright Jaki McCarrick’s Belfast Girls, directed by Wendy Bollard – begins previews tonight (March 1, 8 p.m.) at Coast Capital Playhouse.

The show, which opens formally on Friday (March 3) and runs until Saturday, March 11 in White Rock, will move on to The Cultch in Vancouver March 15 through 18, as part of the Vancouver Irish Festival.

And the playwright herself will be arriving in Vancouver in time to attend one of the final White Rock performances.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to see this production,” McCarrick told Peace Arch News.

Belfast Girls tells the story of five young women who escape starvation in the famine-stricken Ireland of 1850 by winning passage on a ship bound for Australia as part of Earl Grey’s ‘orphan scheme.’

Supposedly “young girls of good character,” the women are actually pawns in a scheme to rid Ireland’s workhouses of women the powers-that-be have deemed “undesirable.”

McCarrick examines themes of class, race and misogyny through their turbulent journey – themes the playwright feels are still very relevant in 2017.

Belfast Girls stars Mariam Barry as Judith, Tegan Verheul as Hannah, Amelia Ross as Sarah, Paige Gibbs as Ellen and Olivia Sara Grace as Molly.

Costumes are by Chantal Short; with lighting design by Nicole Weismiller; sound design by Corina Akeson, and set design by Andy Sorensen. The show is presented with a warning that it is not suitable for young audiences, due to extreme coarse language and violence.

For ticket information visit www.peninsulaproductions.org

 

Pop Up Town Gallery

Shards and Gems, a new show of paintings and sculpture by Elizabeth Hollick and Linda Pearce, continues until March 25 at the Pop Up Town Gallery at 1459B Johnston Rd.

A feast of arresting, vivid work, the show combines Pearce’s studies of the intricacies of colour and design of costume jewellery with Hollick’s adventurous de-construction and reconstruction of pottery pieces as both sculpture and – at various stages of the process – as subject matter for her canvases.

During the course of the show Pearce will conduct spoken word and literary evenings on Tuesdays, featuring local writer Joseph Onodi; Hollick will lead drawing workshops from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays; both Pearce and Hollick will paint still lifes throughout Thursdays and on Saturdays, guitarist Stewart Revill and vocalist Mary Revill will provide music from noon to 2 p.m.

The gallery is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Live at Club 240

Classic soul, R & B and party dance tunes are on the musical menu this Friday (March 3) as the Top City Band takes the stage at Crescent Legion Branch 240.

The powerhouse 11-piece band, which has been rocking venues around the Lower Mainland since 1989, features dynamic vocalists, a four-piece horn section and a grooving rhythm section.

The ongoing Semiahmoo Musical Consortium program – strengthening the branch’s ‘Club 240’ brand as a dance-oriented venue for multiple genres of music – presents live bands for dancing every Friday at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.), except for special legion events and holidays.

The legion is located at 2643 128 St. Doors open each dance night at 7 p.m., with the music starting at 8 p.m.

Tickets ($20) are available at the door, at the legion box office (604-535-1043) from 3 to 9 p.m. daily, or online at www.brownpapertickets.ca

 

Blue Frog

White Rock’s Blue Frog Studios continues its quest to bring world-class performers, both local and international, to the intimate venue.

Peninsula-raised fiddle sensation Kierah Raymond, launching a brand-new Celtic-fusion album, has sold out her March 4 show, but there’s still a chance to get tickets for a second show at 7 p.m. on March 5.

Also coming up next month, in a show co-presented by Rock.It Boy Entertainment, is the genre-defying Toronto-based a capella vocal group Countermeasure (Sunday, March 12).

The 14-member group – some of Canada’s best young singers – offer an upbeat and playful blend of sophisticated harmonies on everything from pop to jazz to contemporary and original numbers.

Solid proof of the award-winning group’s versatility is the ability to skip lightly from pop classics like Best Of My Love, to Cole Porter’s I’ve Got You Under My Skin and the Beatles’ I Saw Her Standing There.

The venue is located at 1328 Johnston Rd.; tickets are available at 604-542-3055, or to check showtimes or book seats online – or find information on other Blue Frog concerts – visit www.bluefrogstudios.ca

 

Velvet Bulldozer

One of Vancouver’s top party rock bands, Velvet Bulldozer – masterminded by Peninsula-raised guitarist/bandleader Jim Black – comes to Ocean Park Community Hall this Saturday (March 4), in a show presented by locally-based promoters Legion of Sound.

According to the band’s publicity release, Velvet Bulldozer aims to engulf the audience with “hard but velvety versions” of some of the greatest party rock tunes of the last four decades.

“It’s as if Thin Lizzy and The Carpenters had a baby – and that kid got the keys to a bulldozer that was on fire and chasing you down the street,” Black said.

The venue is at 1577 128 St. Doors are at 8 p.m. and the $20 ticket price includes a first drink coupon.

Also coming up from Legion of Sound is an evening with The Big Easy Funk Ensemble, March 11 at Ocean Park Community Hall.

Tickets for both events are available from legionofsound.com and at the White Rock Beach Beer Co., Ethikal Addiction and the Sandpiper Liquor Store.

 

Trad Jazz

The White Rock Traditional Jazz Society’s season of regular Sunday afternoon dances continues this week (March 5), 2-5 p.m., at Club 240 (the Royal Canadian Legion Crescent Branch) at 2643 128 St.

Featured band this week is popular reedman Gerry Green‘s Crescent City Jazzers, featuring trumpeter-trombonist Jim Armstrong.

Admission is $10 for WRTJS members, $12 for everybody else; tickets are available from 604-591-7275.

For more information, visit www.whiterocktradjazz.com

 

Beach House auditions

Auditions for this year’s season of Beach House Theatre – which were cancelled due to recent snow fall – are back on again for Monday, March 6, 7-10 p.m. at the media room of Alexandra Neighbourhood House, 2916 McBride Ave. in Crescent Beach.

Beach House is seeking to cast nine male and five female actors in The Heart of Robin Hood, directed by Candace Radcliffe and Rick Harmon – a new take on the old tale featuring romance, adventure, swordplay, song and dance – and four versatile actors skilled in physical comedy for the family-oriented daytime show The Tales of King Arthur, directed by Courtney Shields.

Actors in both shows must be non-Equity and 19 years or older.

For more information, call 604-353-5993, or to set up an audition (stating play and preference of time) email beachhouseauditions@gmail.com

 

Latin Friday night

The Latin Night dance party is featured the second Friday of each month at the White Rock Elks Club, 1469 George St.

The event (returning March 10) is designed to give Peninsula fans of Salsa and Latin music – and those who’d like to learn more about it – a chance to get out on the dance floor.

Hosts and instructors Alberto and Teresa of Hot Salsa Dance Zone will feature a free beginners’ lesson in such dances as the Salsa, Merengue, Cha-cha-cha and Bachata as part of each monthly session.

The dance runs from 7 to 11 p.m. and admission is $10 at the door.

 

Chamber Music

White Rock Chamber Music – which features noted musicians in the community, while fostering young and emerging talents – offers monthly concerts at Crescent Gardens Retirement Community, 1222 King George Blvd.

Upcoming concerts are scheduled for March 11, April 1 and May 6.

All concerts take place at 7:30 p.m., with admission for a suggested donation of $5 towards the Peninsula Arts Foundation’s fund to help developing musical artists on the peninsula.

 

Bergmanns’ concert

The Bergmann Piano Duo (partners in music and life Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann) will perform exclusive arrangements of famous Broadway love songs March 11 at 2:30 p.m. at the main stage of Surrey Arts Centre (13750 88 Ave.)

Immortal themes from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and Bernstein-Sondheim’s West Side Story will receive the dazzling, bravura Bergmann touch in the concert, which lasts one hour and a half, including intermission.

Tickets are $25-$30 including all fees.

The Bergmanns also continue as performers and hosts for Surrey Civic Theatres’ ongoing series of daytime Classical Coffee Concerts at the arts centre.

The intimate, casual concerts take place in centre’s Studio Theatre after a social hour (with refreshments) in the lobby.

Next up is Three’s A Crowd…Not! (March 23, 11 a.m.), and L’histoire du Tango (April 23, 3:30 p.m. concert).

Coffee Concerts tickets are $30 per concert.

To book tickets, or for further information on all concerts, call the Arts Centre box office at 604-501-5566, email surreycivictheatres@surrey.ca or visit tickets.surrey.ca

 

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

 

Band musicians wanted

The South Fraser Community Band is looking for musicians who play wind, brass and percussion instruments.

The concert band, which has been in the White Rock/South Surrey area for over 25 years, is conducted by Steve Ho.

Rehearsals are every Thursday from 7:45-9:45 p.m. at Elgin Park Secondary School at 13484-24th Ave. Surrey.

Contact president Bob Butula at rbutula@telus.net or visit southfrasercommunityband.ca for more information.

 

Orchestral recruits

The more than four decades–old White Rock Community Orchestra – now led by conductor Paula DeWit, co-founder of the Chilliwack Symphony – welcomes new musicians of all experience levels, and is currently seeking violin, viola, oboe, bassoon and saxophone players.

For details, call president Don Miller at 604-807-0560 or email papadon1812@hotmail.com, or visit http://whiterockcommunityorchestra.org

 

Call for symphonists

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.

 

Sunshine at night

There’s something special about open mic evenings – not only are you likely to hear a variety of music that most venue programmers can’t present, but you might just catch an early performance by a rising star, or a surprise appearance by an established performer trying some new material.

Semiahmoo Peninsula open mic king Dennis Peterson – a man with a good eye for White Rock and South Surrey’s growing pool of experienced and developing talents – is offering a regular show, 6-9 p.m. most Saturdays at The Good Day Sunshine Cafe, #100-2950 King George Hwy.

With dinner, drinks and dessert also on the menu, it’s a good venue to settle in for an evening of unexpected musical treats, and there’s no restriction on taking pictures of the performers (although Peterson asks that anyone wanting to video record a performance seek advance permission of the artist).

 

Morrison Music Nights

Morrison Cafe’s Morrison Music Nights, is a regular monthly dinner/concert series in Ocean Park, offering a three-course fine-dining-with-music experience in the licensed venue.

On music nights, dinner is served from 5 p.m., followed by the concert, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Tickets for the monthly presentations ($40) are available at the cafe, at 12855-16th Ave.

The series is being coordinated by well-known musician Randy Schultz (Swamp City), who said it fits in with his long-standing objective of developing local venues capable of providing viable showcases for chronically under-valued professional musicians, rather than simply offering the more usual ‘open mic’ opportunities.

For more information, call 604-531-3636 or 604-721-0872.

 

Vaudevillians

A non-profit seniors’ entertainment troupe is looking for new members in a variety of roles and positions within the organization.

The Vaudevillians have been performing throughout the Lower Mainland since 2002.

The group is currently restructuring and looking for personnel, including a new artistic director to write and cast the annual benefit show for performing arts students at Douglas College for 2017.

The Vaudevillians are also looking for an M.C. – someone who’s comfortable on stage, able to relate to and connect with the audience, introduce numbers and tell some jokes.

New members are also needed to fill the following positions: sound tech, backstage manager, and as performers (singers, dancers, comedians).

Except for the position of artistic director, who is eligible for an annual honorarium, these are all volunteer positions.

For further information, visit thevaudevillians.com or contact entertainment@thevaudevillians.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peace Arch News