Cabarets to be staged at Scott Block Theatre

Even the servers are getting in on the act. On Thursday, Jan. 28, a trio of theatre technicians trained at Red Deer College will raise the curtains on what they hope will be an engaging new ay to enjoy an old-fashioned entertainment traditions.

Josh Christensen

Josh Christensen

Even the servers are getting in on the act.

On Thursday, Jan. 28, a trio of theatre technicians trained at Red Deer College will raise the curtains on what they hope will be an engaging new ay to enjoy an old-fashioned entertainment traditions.

Rooted firmly in the Vaudeville variety genre, TGR Entertainment has created Red Deer Cabaret, a series of professional entertainers giving short performances, knit together Vegas style with a band and kick line.

The servers themselves will drop their trays to dance the kick line, say TGR founders Shawn Watson, Josh Christensen and Kalon McClarty.

They’ve secured Red Deer’s Flyin’ Bob as the headliner for their first series of five two-hour shows, hoping that his name will provide enough of a draw to get people in the door for the first time.

And it just gets better from there, said Christensen, who is responsible for the technical aspects of the show while McClarty looks after hiring the acts and Watson manages marketing and ticket sales.

The three young entrepreneurs had talked about the need for entertainment alternatives in Red Deer while they were still working on their programs at Red Deer College, said McClarty, who went on to study film production after completing his theatre program.

They chose the name, TGR, as a means of identifying with Red Deerians without limiting the show’s ability to spread to other centres, said Watson.

TGR stands for Taylor, Gaetz and Ross, after three of the city’s best known pioneers. People who live in the area would recognize those names, but people from outside wouldn’t necessarily associate them with Red Deer, he said.

Shows are geared to couples who are looking for an evening of entertainment, said Christensen. There will be a chorus line and comedy, but there will be no potty-mouth humour or burlesque-style dance routines, he said.

As with any new venture, the partners have had to cash in their personal assets to put the funding in place. They’re getting some help from local sponsors, including Parkland Mall, which has set up a kiosk for them to sell tickets during mall hours on Saturday.

Drummond Brewing is also helping out. Red Deer’s local brew will be on tap, with other brands available as well, said Christensen.

Tickets are $27 per person or $100 for a table of four, said Christenson, who hopes to encourage people to come as groups. There’s bar-style seating as well for people who want to come on their own. Ticket prices reflect the professional quality of the performers, he said.

Unlike formal theatre, where people sit quietly and watch the acts, people in a cabaret are encouraged to interact and have fun, said the three partners. If too many people get up to use the washroom while a particular act is on, that’s a sign that the act isn’t working.

Watson said he needs to sell 60 per cent of his tickets to break even and has already made the cut for the first night of the show.

TGR’s first Red Deer Cabaret has one show at 8 p.m. on Jan. 28 and two each on the 29th and 30th, starting at 7 p.m. and again at 10:30 p.m.

Another set of entertainers is now being pulled together for a new show in early March, said McClarty.

Shows take place at the Scott Block, 4818 – 50th Ave. Tickets are available online at www.tgr-entertainment.com or can be picked up in person on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from the TGR office in Suite 110 at the Scott Block or at the Parkland Mall kiosk on Saturdays.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com