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Local Spotlight

Oscar night is the great glamour party in Hollywood and the festivities are being broadcast into Varscona Theatre right onto a big movie screen.

Oscar night is the great glamour party in Hollywood and the festivities are being broadcast into Varscona Theatre right onto a big movie screen.

Hosting this champagne party night are the quintessential Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin rivals, none other than Die-Nasty regulars Tom Edward and St. Albert’s own Matt Alden, who provide a run of snappy patter during commercial breaks.

Listen to titillating comments about fashion, chuckle at the unwieldy speeches and get caught up in the nostalgic film montages.

The Oscar party is Sunday, March 7. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the broadcast starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20. Reserve through Shadow Theatre at 780-434-5564. The Varscona Theatre is located at 10329 – 83 Ave.

World-class saxophonist Kent Sangster revealed a golden touch when he fused Edmonton’s finest jazz and classical talent for the experimental Obsessions Octet.

The group’s debut album earned a 2007 Western Canada Music Award and a Juno nomination. With the upcoming release of a sophomore album, the buzz returns.

Melodia, a 10-track CD, is an elegant mix of classical, tango and jazz that includes Sangster’s own originals along with works by Astor Piazzolla, Chucho Valdez and Cole Porter.

The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra’s four string musicians — Joanna Ciapka-Sangster (violin), Anna Kozak (violin), Rhonda Henshaw (viola) and Rhonda Metsizies (cello) — play the lush melodic variations.

Adding a dynamic range and swinging syncopation are Sangster (sax), Wayne Feschuk (piano) and former St. Albert resident Sandro Dominelli (drums). And St. Albert resident John Taylor, both the ESO assistant principal bass and a jazz musician in his own right, bridges both genres.

“There’s a sense of sophistication, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We try to have fun too,” Sangster says.

The CD launch is at the Yardbird Suite, Sunday, March 7 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and $23 for students/seniors. Call 780-420-1757 or visit

A St. Albert dancer teams up with Edmonton area entertainers and the Red Cross for a special benefit concert designed to help Haiti’s earthquake victims.

Paige Tirs, last seen in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, is hoofing her way to the gallows in Cell Block Tango, the famous murderesses number from the musical Chicago coming March 9 to Festival Place.

“The people in Haiti right now are suffering and if we can help that’s fantastic. If we can get enough money for food, water and shelter, then we should do it. People are living in tents, hospitals are destroyed and I’d love to help create some form of stability,” Tirs says.

Also highlighting the event is rock band Finding February, Variations Dance, Shelley Dance Company and Bernard Quilila of Canadian Idol fame. Perhaps one of the most anticipated acts is Lucas Lock and Harmon Baweja’s Shadow Twins from Edmonton’s premier hip hop dance studio Third Street Beat.

The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and are available by calling 780-451-8000 or visiting

The next Ammar’s Open Jam is a total female invasion. Host Mark Ammar is stepping aside from hosting duties as daughter Kate steps in for a one-night, all-woman show on Tuesday, March 9 starting at 9 p.m.

Featured on the bill are Lisa B, Donna Jibaroo, Maria Reid and Mary Thomas.

The junior Ammar, a trained choir singer, is strutting her stuff on guitar and showing off some original material while Lisa B faces off as a touch drummer. Jibaroo funks it up on bass while Reid, a former musician in Backfire, digs into the drums with her meat-and-potatoes style. Fronting everyone is Thomas, a powerful rockin’ soul/blues vocalist.

Ammars open stage is at LB’s Pub, 23 Akins Dr. No cover.