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Red Deer Players are bringing silly, surreal fun to audiences with the Comeback Cabaret

The musical revue runs Aug. 25-27 at the Imperial Block
The cast of the Comeback Cabaret is bringing some silly, upbeat, musical fun to Red Deer audiences from Aug. 25-27 at the Imperial Block in downtown Red Deer. The show is presented by Red Deer Players in partnership with Labelle Productions. (Contributed photo).

Red Deer Players are partnering with Labelle Productions to bring some quirky musical joy to Red Deer audiences.

The Comeback Cabaret will be performed from Aug. 25 to 27 in the Imperial Block at 4919-49th St.

The revue features songs from the award-winning Broadway musicals, including Les Miserables, Sunset Boulevard and Urinetown. It also has an original script, written by Curtis Labelle with input from his cast — including local actor Ash Mercia and Carson Rafuse, the new artistic director of Red Deer Players.

The plot unfolds around a young woman from Vegreville who gets off the bus in Red Deer — only to discover there’s not longer a Greyhound bus station here.

“It’s a bit of a satire on Red Deer,” said Labelle, who noted Red Deer’s actual bus station was ripped down by real-life demolition equipment in June. It’s one of several local landmarks that were lost, including the now demolished Black Knight Inn.

The gal from Vegreville will run into a local assortment of kooky characters in Red Deer, including “a diva of the arts world,” a guy who comes out as a closet crocheter, and a “hippy dippy” ’60s flower child.

Labelle believes Red Deerians will recognize their community in the cabaret, even though everything has been twisted in a slightly surreal way.

For instance, there are downtown protesters. But instead of denouncing Canada’s Liberal prime minister, they will be protesting that there’s too much gravel left on local roads. They will also be calling for cheaper soup prices and more paprika on devilled eggs, said Labelle, who directs, performs and leads the four-person band.

As members of Red Deer Players were “putting out feelers” to see how they could get back into doing theatre, Labelle said he was thrilled to partner with group members on this revue to help jump start their theatrical return.

He hopes the Comeback Cabaret will also reignite “the joy in all of us” that has been largely suppressed by global events of the last few years.

While the real world remains unpredictable, in this production, “everybody’s problems are solved at the end,” he added with a laugh.

For more information about the $25 tickets for the 7 p.m. shows (with a 1:30 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Aug. 27), please visit

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