Expect the unexpected this season on Red Deer stages

Whether it’s music or theatre, look for the unexpected in this year’s entertainment season.

Rocker Hedley

Rocker Hedley

Whether it’s music or theatre, look for the unexpected in this year’s entertainment season.

Instead of full-out stadium shows by the Tragically Hip or Creed, Red Deer music lovers will be getting solo or acoustic shows featuring the groups’ respective lead singers, Gord Downie and Scott Stapp, who will perform separately in October.

Yes, there’s a Sept. 16 rock concert featuring Hedley, These Kids Wear Crowns, and San Sebastian. But there are many more intimate folk//jazz/world music performances planned by such artists as Sarah Harmer, Slaid Cleaves, The Good Lovelies, Mark Dejong, Richard Harrow, Alpha Yaya Diallo, and the Front Porch Roots Review.

The theatre season is looking similarly slanted towards the less expected, or even subterranean.

Instead of staging Anne of Green Gables, Sound of Music, or other traditional musicals that have anchored past theatre seasons, various groups in the city are planning more alternative fare.

From the starving bohemian artists of the rock musical Rent (to be staged by Red Deer College Performing Arts students in February) to the rebellious teenage Peanuts gang of Ignition Theatre’s Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, this year’s season promises plenty of subversive surprises.

Among them will be Against the Wall Theatre’s spring offering, Dead Lover’s Day, a locally written musical about two soulmates separated by the final divide. Even Central Alberta Theatre is shaking things up with a line up of mostly Canadian dinner theatre plays, including the drama Waiting for the Parade, opening Oct. 1.

But, just as fanciers of British farces will ultimately get their’s with CAT’s final production, The Nun’s Trail in April, fans of traditional music can look forward to hearing more of what they enjoy through varied Waskasoo Bluegrass and Red Deer Symphony Orchestra seasons.

To celebrate music director Claude Lapalme’s 20th year with the RDSO, the first Master Works concert on Sept. 25 will feature the very first symphony the maestro conducted in Red Deer ­— Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 in C Major.

As well, listeners can go Through the Looking Glass with the RDSO Chamber Series, or attend regular performances by Red Deer College Performing Arts groups, including the Symphonic Winds, Chamber Choir, Big Band, and percussion ensemble.

There are even a couple of concerts planned for nostalgic music lovers, who will be able to jive to their favorite vibe with shows from The Beach Boys and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience.

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Here’s a look at some of the entertainment events coming up in Red Deer this fall and winter:

September

Sept. 13 — Comic Pauly Shore, 7 p.m., Memorial Centre. Tickets $36.25 Black Knight Ticket Centre

Sept. 16 — Vancouver rockers Hedley perform with These Kids Wear Crowns and San Sebastian, 7:30 p.m., Centrium. Tickets $45 (GST included) Ticketmaster

Sept. 16-18, 21-25 — Ignition Theatre presents Speech & Debate, a dark comedy by Stephen Karam, 7:30 p.m. at The Matchbox. Tickets $22 ($18 students/seniors) Matchbox box office

Sept. 17 — World premiere gala for the RDC film Tumaini, 7 p.m., Memorial Centre. Tickets $36.30 Black Knight Ticket Centre

Sept. 17 — Multi-media artist, singer/songwriter/producer Richard Harrow performs, 7 p.m. The Hub (4936 Ross St.). Tickets $15 ($30 per family) at The Hub

Sept. 17, 18 — Against the Wall Theatre presents Bull Skit! a night of sketch comedy, 8 p.m., The Scott Block (103, 4816-50th Ave., Red Deer). Tickets $18 ($15 students/seniors) at the door or reserved by emailing atwtickets@gmail.com

Sept. 18 — Alberta Arts Day celebration, featuring the RDC music faculty and alumni and The KlamDaggers band, 7:30 p.m. Red Deer College Mainstage. Free admission

Sept. 18 — Folk singer Sarah Harmer, 7:30 p.m. Memorial Centre. Tickets $41.30 Black Knight Ticket Centre

Sept. 21 — The Carlton Show Band’s Reunion Tour, 7 p.m., Memorial Centre. Tickets $56.80 Black Knight Ticket Centre

Sept. 25 — Red Deer Symphony Orchestra presents the Master Works concert, with guest cellist Phil Hansen, 8 p.m. RDC Mainstage. Tickets $43.50 ($30 youth/ first four rows) Ticketmaster

Sept. 29 — Children’s entertainers Max and Ruby throw a Bunny Party, 3:30 p.m., Memorial Centre. Tickets $30.80 Black Knight Ticket Centre

Oct. 1 — The Beach Boys perform at 7 p.m. at the Centrium. Tickets $65.20 Ticketmaster

October

Oct. 1-31 — Central Alberta Theatre presents the humorous drama Waiting for the Parade, by Calgary playwright John Murrell, dinner 6 p.m., curtain 8 p.m. (Sunday brunch at noon, curtain at 1:45 p.m.) Black Knight Dinner Theatre. Tickets $59 Black Knight Ticket Centre

Oct. 2 — Tragically Hip singer Gord Downie performs a solo concert with backup band The Country of Miracles, 8 p.m., Memorial Centre. Tickets $39.30 Black Knight Ticket Centre

Oct. 7 — Country singer Carolyn Dawn Johnson, 7:30 p.m. Memorial Centre. Tickets $45.80 Black Knight Ticket Centre

Oct. 7 — Pianist Simon-Marc de Freitas performs the music of Andrew Crittall with the RDSO, 7:30 p.m. RDC Arts Centre. Tickets $33.25 ($25.25 students/seniors) Ticketmaster

Oct. 7-16 — RDC Performing Arts presents Unity (1918), a comedy/drama by Kevin Kerr, 7:30 p.m., Studio A at Red Deer College. (1 p.m. matinees Oct. 9, 16). Tickets $19 ($16 students/seniors) Ticketmaster

Oct. 12 — The Virsky Dance Company of Ukraine performs, 7:30 p.m. RDC Arts Centre. Tickets $60 ($55 students/seniors) Ticketmaster

Oct. 13 — Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience, 8 p.m., Centrium. Tickets $61 ($164 for VIP pass) Ticketmaster

Oct. 14 — Country band Doc Walker, 8 p.m. Memorial Centre. Tickets $37.80 Black Knight Ticket Centre

Oct. 14, 15, 16 — Ignition Theatre presents Rhapsody in Seth, a one-man multi-media comedy show, written by and starring Broadway guru Seth Rudetsky, 7:30 p.m. at The Matchbox. Tickets $22 ($18 students/seniors) from The Matchbox box office

Oct. 17 — Creed lead singer Scott Stapp performs a solo acoustic concert, 7 p.m. Memorial Centre. Tickets $41.25 Black Knight Ticket Centre

Oct. 22 — The Foothills Brass with Indo-jazz-funk fusion ensemble AutoRickshaw, 7:30 p.m. at The Matchbox. Tickets $27.50 from The Matchbox box office

Oct. 22, 23 — Against the Wall Theatre presents Bull Skit! a night of sketch comedy, featuring Randi Boulton, 8 p.m., The Scott Block. Tickets $18 ($15 students/seniors) at the door or reserved by emailing atwtickets@gmail.com

Oct. 28 — The RDC Symphonic Winds present the Oh Canada program of Canadian compositions, 7:30 p.m. at the RDC Mainstage. Tickets are $12 ($9 students/seniors) from Ticketmaster.

Oct. 29 — Folk singer/songwriter Slaid Cleaves, 7:30 p.m. at The Matchbox. Tickets $27.50 from The Matchbox box office

Oct. 30 — Red Deer Symphony Orchestra presents a Halloween concert, with guest vocalists Mandy McKee and Sharon Braun, 8 p.m. RDC Mainstage. Tickets $43.50 ($30 youth/ first four rows) Ticketmaster

November

Nov. 3 — Rotary seniors concert, 7:30 p.m. RDC Mainstage, Free admission

Nov. 4 — Pianist Angela Cheng performs with special guests, The Rosedale Valley Strings, 8 p.m. RDC Arts Centre. Tickets $36.50 ($19 students/seniors) Ticketmaster

Nov. 4-7, 9-13 — Against the Wall Theatre presents Choke, a domestic drama by Edmonton playwright Cathleen Rootsaert, 8 p.m. The Scott Block. Tickets $18 ($15 students/seniors) at the door or reserved through atwtickets@gmail.com

Nov. 4 — Singer Michelle Wright performs an acoustic concert, 8 p.m., Memorial Centre. Tickets $39 Black Knight Ticket Centre

Nov. 6 — Just For Laughs Comedy Tour, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Memorial Centre. Tickets $45.80 Black Knight Ticket Centre

Nov. 12-Dec. 12 — Central Alberta Theatre presents the cheeky comedy Dry Streak, by Saskatchewan playwright Leeann Minogue, dinner 6 p.m., curtain 8 p.m. (Sunday brunch at noon, curtain at 1:45 p.m.) Black Knight Dinner Theatre. Tickets $62 (brunch $59) Black Knight Ticket Centre

Nov. 14 — The Waskasoo Bluegrass Music Society presents John Reischman and the Jaybirds from Vancouver, 7 p.m. Elks Lodge. Tickets $25 from 53rd Street Music, the Red Deer Book Exchange, The Key Hole, and Parkland Mall service desk

Nov. 19, 20 — Against the Wall Theatre presents Bull Skit! a night of sketch comedy, featuring Oldbury, 8 p.m., The Scott Block. Tickets $18 ($15 students/seniors) at the door or reserved by emailing atwtickets@gmail.com

Nov. 20, 21 — Comedian Ron James performs at 8 p.m., Memorial Centre. Tickets $57.25 Black Knight Ticket Centre

Nov. 21 — RDSO Chamber Series presents Through the Looking Glass, featuring the Looking Glass Duo, 3 p.m. First Christian Reformed Church, Red Deer. Tickets $25 ($10 students) Ticketmaster

Nov. 25-Dec. 4 — RDC Performing Arts presents Chorus of Disapproval, a comedy by Alan Ayckbourn. 7:30 p.m. on the Mainstage at Red Deer College. (1 p.m. matinees Nov. 27, Dec. 4). Tickets $25 ($20 seniors/students) from Ticketmaster

Nov. 28 — Country/folk group The Good Lovelies, 7:30 p.m. at The Matchbox. Tickets $27.50 The Matchbox box office

December

Dec. 7, 8 — RDC Performing Arts presents Jazz in the Studio with students and faculty, 7:30 p.m., RDC Studio A. Tickets $12 ($9 students/seniors) Ticketmaster.

Dec. 9-12, 14-18 — Ignition Theatre presents It’s a Wonderful Life: The Live Radio Drama, adapted for stage by Tony Palmero (based on the screenplay), 7:30 p.m. (except 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 12) at The Matchbox. Tickets $22 ($18 students/seniors) The Matchbox box office

Dec. 10 — RDC Performing Arts presents Sounds of the Season with the RDC Chamber Choir and the Symphonic Winds, 7:30 p.m. RDC Mainstage. Tickets $16 ($12 students/seniors) Ticketmaster

Dec. 11 — Red Deer Symphony Orchestra presents a Christmas concert, with the Rosedale Valley Strings, 8 p.m. RDC Mainstage. Tickets $43.50 ($30 youth/ first four rows) Ticketmaster

Dec. 10. 11 — Against the Wall Theatre presents Bull Skit! a night of sketch comedy, 8 p.m., The Scott Block. Tickets $18 ($15 students/seniors) at the door or reserved by emailing atwtickets@gmail.com

Dec. 12 —Singer Rita MacNeil brings her Spirit of Christmas show, 7 p.m., Memorial Centre. Tickets $69.80 Black Knight Ticket Centre

Dec. 18, 19 — The Nutcracker ballet, 7 p.m. RDC Arts Centre. Tickets $21.10 ($18.85 students/seniors, $13.75 children 3-10 years) Ticketmaster

January

Jan. 14 — Edmonton blues group Front Porch Roots Revue, 7:30 p.m. at The Matchbox. Tickets $27.50 The Matchbox box office

Jan. 14-Feb. 12 — Central Alberta Theatre presents the Western comedy Jennie’s House of Joy, by Canadian playwright Norm Foster, dinner 6 p.m., curtain 8 p.m. (Sunday brunch at noon, curtain at 1:45 p.m.) Black Knight Dinner Theatre. Tickets $59 Black Knight Ticket Centre

Jan. 15 — RDC Performing Arts presents pianist Ruson Vuori taking a Flight of Fantasy through the music of Bach, Mozart and Chopin, 7:30 p.m. RDC Mainstage. Tickets$16 ($12 students/seniors) Ticketmaster

Jan. 20 — RDC Performing Arts presents Scholarship Competition 2011, 1 p.m. RDC Mainstage. Tickets $2 at the door

Jan. 22 — Red Deer Symphony Orchestra presents a Concert for All Seasons, with guest trumpeter Richard Scholz and violinist Marc Destrube, 8 p.m. RDC Mainstage. Tickets $43.50 ($30 youth/ first four rows) Ticketmaster

Jan. 27, 28, 29 — Ignition Theatre presents Miranda Sings! starring YouTube comic sensation and star-in-her-own-mind, Miranda, 7:30 p.m. at The Matchbox. Tickets $22 ($18 students/seniors) The Matchbox box office

Jan. 28, 29 — Against the Wall Theatre presents Bull Skit! a night of sketch comedy, 8 p.m., The Scott Block. Tickets $18 ($15 students/seniors) at the door or reserved by emailing atwtickets@gmail.com

Jan. 29 — The Waskasoo Bluegrass Music Society presents Chris Jones and the Nightdrivers from Tennessee, 7:30 p.m. Elks Lodge. Tickets $25 from 53rd Street Music, the Red Deer Book Exchange, The Key Hole, and Parkland Mall service desk

February

Feb. 5 — RDC Performing Arts presents classical guitarist Shannon Frizzell in a concert for voice, flute and guitar, 7:30 p.m. RDC Margaret Parsons Theatre. Tickets $16 ($12 students/seniors) Ticketmaster

Feb. 10-19 — RDC Performing Arts presents the rock musical Rent, by Jonathan Larson, 7:30 p.m. on the Mainstage at Red Deer College. (1 p.m. matinees Feb. 12 and 19). Tickets $25 ($20 students/seniors) Ticketmaster

Feb. 13 — RDSO Chamber Series presents the Eastern Romance concert, with five featured musicians, 3 p.m. Red Deer College Studio A, Red Deer. Tickets $25 ($10 students) Ticketmaster

Feb. 17-19, 24-26 — Ignition Theatre presents Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, a dark comedy/drama by Bert V. Royal, 7:30 p.m. at The Matchbox. Tickets $22 ($18 students/seniors) Matchbox box office

Feb. 25-March 26 —Central Alberta Theatre presents the comedy thriller The Reluctant Resurrection of Sherlock Holmes, by Edmonton playwright David Belke, dinner 6 p.m., curtain 8 p.m. (Sunday brunch at noon, curtain at 1:45 p.m.) Black Knight Dinner Theatre. Tickets $59 Black Knight Ticket Centre

Feb. 25, 26 — Against the Wall Theatre presents Bull Skit! a night of sketch comedy, 8 p.m., The Scott Block. Tickets $18 ($15 students/seniors) at the door or reserved by emailing atwtickets@gmail.com

March

March 4 — Jazz musician Mark Dejong, 7:30 p.m. at The Matchbox. Tickets $27.50 The Matchbox box office

March 5 — RDC Performing Arts presents the RDC Percussion Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. RDC Mainstage. Tickets $12 ($9 students/seniors) Ticketmaster

March 6 — RDC Performing Arts presents pianist Dale Wheeler in a chamber concert with cellist Janet Kuschak and oboist Melody McKnight, 7:30 p.m. RDC Mainstage. Tickets $16 ($12 students/seniors) Ticketmaster

March 10 — RDC Performing Arts presents A Night at the Movies with the Symphonic Winds, Red Deer Youth Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. RDC Mainstage. Tickets $12 ($9 students/seniors) Ticketmaster

March 19 — Red Deer Symphony Orchestra presents a Spring Frolic Concert, with guest pianist Michael Kim, 8 p.m. RDC Mainstage. Tickets $43.50 ($30 youth/ first four rows) Ticketmaster

March 25, 26 — Against the Wall Theatre presents Bull Skit! a night of sketch comedy, 8 p.m., The Scott Block. Tickets $18 ($15 students/seniors) at the door or reserved by emailing atwtickets@gmail.com

March 26 — Blues/folk musician Mark Sterling, 7:30 p.m. at The Matchbox. Tickets $27.50 The Matchbox box office

March 26 — RDC Performing Arts presents That’s Entertainment, the year-end showcase by music students, 7:30 p.m. RDC Mainstage. Tickets $19 ($16 students/seniors) Ticketmaster

March 26 — The Waskasoo Bluegrass Music Society presents The Special Consensus (from Illinois and Tennessee), 7:30 p.m. Elks Lodge. Tickets $25 from 53rd Street Music, the Red Deer Book Exchange, The Key Hole, and Parkland Mall service desk

March 31 — RDC Performing Arts presents A Touch of Class with the Chamber Choir and Symphonic Winds, 7:30 p.m. RDC Mainstage. Tickets $12 ($9 students/seniors) Ticketmaster

March 31-April 3, 5-9 — Against the Wall Theatre presents a musical about love, hate and insanity, Dead Lovers Day, by RDC alumni Alexandra Mihill, 8 p.m., The Scott Block. Tickets $18 ($15 students/seniors) at the door or reserved through atwtickets@gmail.com

April

April 8 — RDC Performing Arts presents Canada Swings Jazz Night with the RDC Big Band, 7:30 p.m. RDC Mainstage. Tickets $12 ($9 students/seniors) Ticketmaster

April 8-May 8 — Central Alberta Theatre presents the farce The Nun’s Trail, by British playwright David Barrett, dinner 6 p.m., curtain 8 p.m. (Sunday brunch at noon, curtain at 1:45 p.m.) Black Knight Dinner Theatre. Tickets $59 Black Knight Ticket Centre

April 12 — RDC Performing Arts presents a haunting play, Ghost Sonata by August Strindberg, ——- p.m. Studio A, Red Deer College. Tickets $19 ($16 students/seniors) Ticketmaster

April 14, 15, 16 — Ignition Theatre presents Tony Award-nominated Broadway star Adam Pascal: In Concert, 7:30 p.m. at The Matchbox. Tickets $32.50 ($28.50 students/seniors) The Matchbox box office

April 18 — World musician Alpha Yaya Diallo, 7:30 p.m. at The Matchbox. Tickets $35 The Matchbox box office

April 22, 23 — Against the Wall Theatre presents Bull Skit! a night of sketch comedy, 8 p.m., The Scott Block. Tickets $18 ($15 students/seniors) at the door or reserved by emailing atwtickets@gmail.com

April 30 — Red Deer Symphony Orchestra presents a the 20th Anniversary Blockbuster Concert, with guest soprano Karina Gauvin, 8 p.m. RDC Mainstage. Tickets $43.50 ($30 youth/ first four rows) Ticketmaster

May

May 15 — RDSO Chamber Series presents the Baroque Delights concert, with four featured musicians, 3 p.m. St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Red Deer. Tickets $25 ($10 students) Ticketmaster

May 19-21, 24-28 — Ignition Theatre presents the musical Title of Show, music and lyrics by Jeff Bowen, book by Hunter Bell, 7:30 p.m. at The Matchbox. Tickets $22 ($18 students/seniors) Matchbox box office