As the Morinville Community Cultural Centre prepares to launch its ninth season, the versatile lineup is an eloquent measuring stick for how much the centre has grown.
“Tickets are really moving. It’s the best start to the season since I’ve been in charge,” said Ryan Telfer, events and culture coordinator.
So what are the most popular shows? Country acts, East Coast music and tribute shows, replies Telfer.
Both the Mainstage Series, with six acts, and Family Series, at only two shows, display a creative output unmatched in previous seasons.
“In previous years, the Mainstage Series and Family Series were evenly split. But tickets weren’t selling well for family shows. That’s been documented across the country,” said Telfer, who made tough decisions to pare down the multi-generational shows.
The season starts on Saturday, Sept. 28 with the return of Accidental Humour Co. and their five-star blockbuster Fringe success – The Flying Detective. It’s a one-hour show that blends little known Edmonton history, murder, crime solving, Alberta’s first airplane flight, high-tech special effects and a whole lot of hilarity.
“It uses multi-media to great effect. It’s a true story about a criminal who killed an Edmonton police officer and the hunt which involved one of the first airplane flights in the province. It’s a well-documented story there was even a comic book published about this story,” Telfer said.
One of the most eminent all-male vocal a cappella groups in the region, 6 Minute Warning, makes an appearance on Nov. 2. Sharing extensive backgrounds in rock, pop, jazz, classical and choral music, the choristers specialize in Top 40 hits.
“They not only sing. They do the backing tracks with their mouths.”
Starting off the new year on Saturday, Jan. 25, in a burst of nostalgia and energy is Mac Daddy: The Fleetwood Mac Experience. The fivesome’s lyrics take listeners back to a simpler time and every song evokes a memory.
“They’re a timeless band, a permanent fixture in people’s recollections.”
Jazz evangelist and former CBC Radio host Tim Tamashiro drives up from Calgary with his three-piece band on Saturday, Feb. 22 to perform the When You’re Smiling concert.
“It’s one-half radio play, one-half concert. It’s the story of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., and how they got to know each other. He tells stories and sings their light jazz classics that became jazz standards.”
“Tim is also a charming, charismatic guy and a wonderful performer. We haven’t had anyone like this before and I think people will like him.”
Billy McGuigan rolls into town on Saturday, March 21 singing rock and roll hits such as Peggy Sue in Rave On! The Buddy Holly Experience. Through Buddy Holly, McGuigan celebrates the birth of an era that spawned an electrifying, high-energy rock and roll era.
“He comes through Canada regularly and does a spot-on tribute show with a six- or seven-piece band. It’s a full production show. And they’re not only doing Buddy Holly, but they’ll be singing Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis, Chuck Berry and Ritchie Valens.”
Closing the Mainstage Series on Friday, April 17 is country singer, media personality and columnist Danny Hooper, chock full of tongue-in-cheek stories.
“He’s just put out a new album. It will be a three-piece show with great storytelling and songs.”
Telfer kick-starts the Family Series with TerZettto, a three-person clown troupe based out of Montreal. The three clowns tell a delicate story of human relationships heightened by each clown’s flexibility and acrobatic movements.
“It’s very physical comedy with a beautiful simple set. It’s the kind of show that would fit in at St. Albert’s Children’s Festival. It sets a very high bar.” TerZettto performs Friday, Oct. 4.
In the new year on Saturday, Feb. 15, the Zaniac Comedy Show debuts with the crazy antics of Alex Zerbe. As an entertainer, he’s developed a reputation for juggling bowling balls, flaming torches and slicing vegetables in half with a flying playing card.
“He has super-high energy and he’s funny and zany as the show suggests. He has great twists on juggling and he’s a street performer’s actor."
Tickets for the Mainstage Series range from $30 to $60. Tickets for family shows are $10 or $35 for a family four-pack. Visit ticketpro.ca, call 1-888-655-9090 or call the centre at 780-939-7839.