In shaping a season, Morinville Community Cultural Centre’s events and culture coordinator Ryan Telfer looks first at what is available and how it feels relevant to today’s audience.
Now with several years under his belt booking shows, Telfer is confident the 2020 portion of this season is packed with value that will connect with patrons.
Theatre attendees have already heard that Morinville council has reduced the cultural centre’s programming budget by $10,000. However, Telfer noted the cuts will only come into effect for the 2020-21 season.
“Next year, we’ll probably cut one mainstage show and possibly one family show. It all depends on the costs. However, it won't affect this year,” Telfer said.
He added, “I noticed several members of council who voted for it, did so reluctantly. We’ll be identifying concerns, but for the time being we have the rest of a great season.”
The five concerts programmed for the season remainder are listed below.
Mac Daddy: The Fleetwood Mac Experience
Saturday, Jan. 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Regular $35, seniors $30
Opening the 2020 portion of the season is Mac Daddy, a captivating, high-energy five-piece that invokes the magic of Fleetwood Mac, one of North America’s most iconic bands.
Through their artistry, Mac Daddy is cutting a gold-plated reputation across the province as evidenced by two recent sold-out performances at Spruce Grove’s Horizon Stage.
“They are playing a collection of FM hits as well as some of the Fleetwood Mac favourites that they never played live,” said Telfer.
Fleetwood Mac is high on Telfer’s personal list of the best classic bands and he believes every new generation discovers the music in their own way.
“It exists in everyone’s collection. Fleetwood Mac had some of the best-selling records of all time. The music often hits a demographic that looks for music of this era. I expect this will be a very popular show.”
The Zaniac Comedy Show
Saturday, Feb. 15 at 2 p.m.
Tickets: $10 or a family 4-pack for $35
Tearing across the stage with the energy of nuclear power plant, Alex Zerbe has a face like a rubber mask and an elastic body that can twist and contort itself into weird positions.
Right out of Washington state, this physical comedy veteran cracks jokes, zigzags between goofy stunts and delivers a litany of non-stop one-liners.
“He’s a guy with endless energy and creativity. He does beat boxing, juggling and singing. He does all this physical comedy and blends it right into the show. I saw 15 minutes at a showcase several years ago and he was first-rate and very funny.”
This is the only remaining family show in the 2019-20 season.
When You’re Smiling
Saturday, Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Cabaret Tickets: Regular $60, seniors $30
Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. were the crowned kings of the Las Vegas’ infamous Rat Pack. Through their musical clout, the Rat Pack helped transform the desert gambling city run by organized crime into a world entertainment centre.
CBC jazz host and smooth-as-silk crooner Tim Tamashiro's project, When You’re Smiling, celebrates the life and times of the Rat Pack. It’s what Tamashiro calls “drinky jazz” and he focuses on the trio’s friendship, songs and stories.
“He tells the story of Frank, Dean and Sammy and he does it as a radio play on one side of the stage. Then he slides over and plays the songs on the other side.”
Backing Tamashiro is a three-piece consisting of keys, bass and drums.
“I expect it to do well. It’s crooning with a meal. He’s a natural performer with a sophisticated presence, and he invites people to experience and share his love of music.”
Rave On! The Buddy Holly Experience
Saturday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: Regular $48, seniors $42
Elvis tribute artists are a dozen a dime. Buddy Holly, not so much.
But in Rave On! The Buddy Holly Experience, Billy McGuigan concocts an electrifying rock ’n roll extravaganza and ignites new life into the bespectacled musician's songs.
Performing with a five-piece, he performs Holly’s biggest hits such as Peggy Sue, Everyday, It’s So Easy, That’ll Be the Day, and of course, Rave On.
“Not only does he pay homage to Buddy Holly, he also sings other songs from that era – Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis, Ritchie Valens, Big Bopper and Chuck Berry.”
McGuigan is a self-described “Air Force brat,” the kind who moved to various installations and lived in base houses. His father, a tech sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, entertained McGuigan and his two brothers with a guitar and his love of the Beatles.
On his website, McGuigan writes, “My Dad left me a great legacy ... the love of music and the desire to share it in a way that makes people laugh, dance, smile and remember.”
Friday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: Regular $38, seniors $32
Although Danny Hooper is a much sought-after country singer-songwriter across Sturgeon County, this is his inaugural performance at Morinville Community Cultural Centre.
Hooper has enjoyed an incredible ride in the past four decades. Along the way, he’s mastered several crafts as musician and entertainer, radio personality, fundraising auctioneer and master of ceremonies.
“He likes to sing the classics and songs he loves. Danny is great storyteller and a great talker. He knows how to make people feel comfortable and he’s a real genuine guy,” Telfer said.
In addition to Hooper playing guitar, the show sports a fiddle player and second guitar.
Tickets can be purchased in person at the cultural centre, 9502-100 Ave., or by calling 780-939-7839 or online at ticketpro.ca.