Jason Steele (Sherlock Holmes) and Lee Weselak (Professor Moriarty) have a confrontation in this scene from The Second Stain, by Albertus Koett. (Contributed photo by David Dinan).

A preview of Central Alberta Theatre’s new season offered at CATena next week

Christmas-themed spoofs and heartfelt tales on the play bill

Some Southern Gothic melodrama, a dash of Sherlock Holmes mystery and a hefty helping of seasonal cheer are the ingredients of Central Alberta Theatre’s fall season.

Red Deer-area residents are invited to get a taste of upcoming productions at the CATena cabaret on Sept. 28 at the Memorial Centre. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be served, musicians will play, and actors will perform a few preview scenes.

As well, CATena will present an opportunity to check out the recent — and extensive — renovations to the Memorial Centre, said CAT’s vice-president of production, Albertus Koett.

“We’ll be running tours from 5 p.m.,” added Koett, who considers CATena a nice introduction for any community members interested in getting involved with CAT.

Since the season-opening Sherlock Holmes The Second Stain has already sold-out its three-evening run in the Nickle Studio, most Central Albertans will have to set their sights on CAT’s next show.

The angsty Southern dramedy Crimes of the Heart, directed by Craig Scott, opens on Oct. 26 at the Black Knight Inn Dinner Theatre.

The Beth Henley script was turned into a 1980s movie about three sisters who come together after one of the women shoots her abusive husband. The sisters (played on film by Sissy Spacek, Jessica Lange and Diane Keaton) recount their bizarre upbringing in this, by turns, funny and weepy production, said Koett. The black comedy runs to Nov. 10.

It will be followed by the seasonal show, Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and Then Some), by Michael Carleton, James FitzGerald, and John Alvarez, which runs from Nov. 16 to Dec. 15 at the Black Knight Inn Dinner Theatre.

The plot is described as: “three actors perform(ing) every Christmas story ever told — plus Christmas traditions from around the world, seasonal icons from ancient times to topical pop-culture, and every carol ever sung.”

Koett believes the “madcap romp,” directed by Paul Sutherland, will hit the right notes for the holidays.

For those who couldn’t get tickets to Koett’s current instalment of the popular Sherlock Holmes series, there will be another chance to see the sleuth, in The Sherlock Holmes One Acts. These are also adapted by Koett from the Arthur Conan Doyle short stories and will be performed from Feb. 21-23 in the Nickle Studio, upstairs at the Memorial Centre.

Also coming in the new year are CAT dinner theatre productions: Cliffhanger, a suspense/comedy by James Yaffe, from Jan. 18-Feb. 9; and the make-over comedy Real Estate, by Allana Harkin, from March 8-30.

For more information, visit centralalbertatheatrereddeer.com, or tickets.blackknightinn.ca.

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