Heavy-duty American Rapper Tech N9ne brings his Strangeulation Tour to Red Deer's Memorial Centre on Sept. 17

Cutting edge and classic fare: 2014-15 entertainment lineup

From rapper Tech N9ne to Tennessee Williams, zombies to Jane Austen, the 2014-15 entertainment scene promises to be a dynamic mixture of cutting-edge and classic fare.

From rapper Tech N9ne to Tennessee Williams, zombies to Jane Austen, the 2014-15 entertainment scene promises to be a dynamic mixture of cutting-edge and classic fare.

Besides Tech N9ne’s Strangeulation Tour this month, Red Deer audiences can see legendary cowboy singer Ian Tyson. As well, there’s rising Alberta country artist Brett Kissel and U.S. star Brad Paisley on the Centrium stage in October and pop singer Lights at the Memorial Centre in November.

Also look for rockers Big Wreck, hit-making singer/songwriter Chip Taylor (Wild Thing), Stephen Fearing (of Black and the Rodeo Kings fame) who’s entertaining as a duo with Irish singer Andy White, and the Doobie Brothers, who spawned such classic rock staples as Listen to the Music.

On the classical side of things, the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra will take on all six of Bach’s well-loved Brandenberg Concertos, as well as works from Chopin to Shostakovich. And Red Deer College will present a series of concerts showcasing everything from choral selections to songs by the jazz greats and marimba and percussion favourites.

Some returning entertainers who are expecting to swing through the city include Stuart McLean and his Vinyl Cafe stories, pianist-composer Frank Mills and comic Steve Patterson.

On the theatre front, pickings are especially bountiful this season.

After an absence of a few years, Ignition Theatre is back to stage a couple shows: the world premiere of locally-written food fest Oral Fixations by Blaine Newton and Leslie Greentree in October, and The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams in March (this one is being done in partnership with Prime Stock Theatre).

Central Alberta Theatre is also reviving its dinner theatres at the Quality Inn North Hill. The three dinner-related productions are: My Narrator and The Death of Me, two one-act comedies by Norm Foster in November, Deadly Murder by Dave Foley in January, and Sin, Sex & the C.I.A. by Michael and Susan Parker in March and April.

CAT will also present three non-dinner theatre productions at the Nickle Studio, starting with Rounding Third, a baseball comedy by Richard Dressler, in September.

A new theatre group called Red Deer Players is on scene to mount a wacky, locally-written, family-oriented pantomime Snow White and the Seven Nobbits by Albert Azzara at the Scott Block in mid-December through early January.

More seriously, Calgary’s Burnt Thicket Theatre is returning to the Scott Block in April to launch a production by Red Deer playwright Andrew Kooman. We Are the Body is about a Romanian prisoner of conscience in solitary confinement.

And Red Deer College Theatre Studies is planning a diverse theatrical lineup that, again, walks both sides of the line between conventional and surprising fare.

Zombies will appear as plague victims in Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead, by John Heimbuch, in Studio A of the Red Deer College Arts Centre in October. Then Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy will dance their evasive reel in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, as adapted by Jon Jory, on the Arts Centre mainstage in February.

As well, RDC students will present The Mystery of Edwin Drood, based on an unfinished novel by Charles Dickens (this means the audience can choose which ending they want to see), and Under Milkwood, based on a radio play by Dylan Thomas.

Watch for RDC Motion Picture Arts students to host a series of screenings throughout the fall-winter season, starting with an alumni film festival at City Centre Stage in October.

Against the Wall Theatre will also continue to put on monthly improvisation/sketch comedy shows at the Scott Block theatre — and you never know what will come up at a Bull Skit show.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Here’s a look at what’s happening on Red Deer’s entertainment scene for the 2014-15 season:

Sept. 17 — Heavy-duty American rapper Tech N9ne brings his Strangeulation Tour to Red Deer’s Memorial Centre. Tickets for the 7 p.m. show are $46.95 from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Sept. 21 — The Central Music Festival Society presents legendary Alberta cowboy singer Ian Tyson at the Memorial Centre. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show are $55.45 from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Sept. 22 — Canadian radio rockers Big Wreck play Albatross and other hits at the Memorial Centre. Tickets for the 7 p.m. show are $46.95 from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Sept. 26 — Calgary pianist Colleen Athparia performs works by Mozart, Chopin, Clara Schumann and others during her Dancing Fingers recital, at 8 p.m. at the Red Deer College Arts Centre. Tickets are $22.60 ($17.35 students/seniors) from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Sept. 26 — WWE “hardcore wrestling legend” and best-selling author Mick Foley takes his one-man stage show to the Memorial Centre. Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. show are $37.50 from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Sept. 26, 27 — Bull Skit opens a new season of sketch comedy and improvisation with special guests, musical entertainment and a cash bar at the Scott Block in downtown Red Deer. Tickets for the shows are available from www.bullskitcomedy.com.

Sept. 27 — Comic Steve Patterson goes for laughs on his This is Not Debatable tour, which stops at the Memorial Centre. Tickets for this 7:30 p.m. show are $47 from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Sept. 30 — TV characters Toopy and Binoo bring their stage show for tykes, Fun and Games, to the Memorial Centre for two shows at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $32.50 from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Oct. 2-19 — Central Alberta Theatre starts up with the baseball-as-a-metaphor-for-life comedy Rounding Third, by Richard Dressler, at the Nickle Studio, upstairs at Red Deer’s Memorial Centre. Tickets are $32.70 for the 7:30 shows (2 p.m. matinees on Oct. 5 and 12) from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Oct. 4 — The Red Deer Symphony Orchestra opens the season with the Continental Cello concert, featuring guest soloist Winona Zelenka and the music of Britten, Shostakovich and Mozart, at 8 p.m. at the RDC Arts Centre. Tickets are $59.35 ($54.85 seniors/$43.35 students or first four rows) from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Oct. 9 — Country music star Brad Paisley performs with opener Brett Kissel at Red Deer’s Centrium. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert are $59.50 or $95.50 (plus tax and service charges) from Ticketmaster.

Oct. 9 — Central Music Festival Society presents hit-making singer/songwriter Chip Taylor (Wild Thing, Angel of the Morning) and former Van Morrison band guitarist John Platania at the Elks Lodge in Red Deer. Tickets to the 8 p.m. show are $28 in advance from www.centralmusicfest.com or $35 at the door.

Oct. 9-11, 14-18 — The Queen of England seeks refuge — from zombies! ­— in John Heimbuch’s play William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead, staged by Red Deer College’s Theatre Studies. The show, directed by Kelly Reay, runs at 7:30 p.m. in Studio A of the RDC Arts Centre. (1 p.m. matinees on Oct. 11 and 18). Tickets are $21.80 ($17.80 students/seniors) from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Oct. 9-11, 14-18 — Ignition Theatre is back with the world premiere of the locally-written play Oral Fixations, by Blaine Newton and Leslie Greentree. The play, directed by Matt Grue, runs at the Scott Block Theatre. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. shows are $27 ($23 students/seniors) from www.ignitiontheatre.ca (All Tuesday night tickets are $20).

Oct. 17, 18 — The second-annual Motion Picture Arts Alumni Film Festival runs at City Centre Stage. Showings are at 7 p.m. (2 p.m. matinee on Oct. 19). Admission is $5 at the door.

Oct. 19 — Stuart McLean tells his quirky Vinyl Cafe stories at the Memorial Centre. Tickets for the 2:30 and 7 p.m. shows are $60 from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Oct. 21 — Multi-million-selling American rockers Doobie Brothers play their durable hits at the Centrium. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show are $57 or $77 (plus service charges) from Ticketmaster.

Oct. 24, 25 — A Bull Skit night of sketch comedy and improvisation is on at the Scott Block with various special guests, music acts and a cash bar. Tickets for the shows are available from www.bullskitcomedy.com.

Oct. 25 — Around the World in 80 Musical Minutes features the Red Deer College music faculty performing international classical and contemporary works, at 7:30 p.m. at the RDC Arts Centre. Tickets are $22.60 ($17.35 students/seniors) from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Oct. 26 — Man in Black: A Tribute to Johnny Cash hits the Memorial Centre. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show are $42.95 from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Oct. 30 — A musical “spooktacular” is delivered by the RDC Symphonic Winds. Wear your best costume and get into the spirit of the concert, at 7:30 p.m. at the RDC Arts Centre. Tickets are $21.80 ($17.80 students/seniors) from Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Oct. 31, Nov. 1, 7-9 — Cornerstone Youth Theatre presents the play Tom Sawyer, based on Mark Twain’s classic novel, at the New Life Fellowship Church in Red Deer. Tickets for the 3 and 7 p.m. shows will be available from www.cornerstoneyouththeatre.org.

Nov. 1 — The RDSO performs the Something Old, Something New concert, featuring the Bergmann Piano Duo. An original work by the Duo and a fresh adaptation of Canadian folk themes by RDSO director Claude Lapalme are on the program, along with pieces by Poulenc and Kodaly. Tickets to the 8 p.m. concert at the RDC Arts Centre are $59.35 ($54.85 seniors/$43.35 students or first four rows) from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Nov. 6-29 — Central Alberta Theatre’s first dinner theatre of the season is two Norm Foster one-act comedies: My Narrator and The Death of Me, to be staged at the Quality Inn, North Hill. Dinner is at 6 p.m., show is at 7:30 p.m. (Sunday brunch is at 12:30 p.m., show is at 2 p.m.) Tickets are $65 from the Quality Inn.

Nov. 11 — O What A Night! A Musical Tribute to Frankie Valli is staged at the Memorial Centre. Tickets to the 7 p.m. show are $62.35 from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Nov. 14, 15 — The 16th-annual Prairie Tales Film Festival is on at City Centre Stage. These best short films and videos made in the last year by Alberta filmmakers are showing from 7 p.m. Admission is by donation.

Nov. 15 — A spicy and fun Cajun night is served up as a fundraiser for the Central Music Festival Society. Sit down to a New Orleans-style meal and be entertained by the Crystal Plamondon band at Red Deer’s Elks Lodge. Tickets to the 6 p.m. event will be available from www.centralmusicfest.com.

Nov. 20-22, 26-29 — The Mystery of Edwin Drood, a musical by Rupert Holmes based on the unfinished novel by Charles Dickens, is staged by RDC’s Theatre Studies under the direction of Tom Bradshaw. Audiences can choose the ending they want to see at the 7:30 p.m. performances at the RDC Arts Centre. (1 p.m. matinees on Nov. 22 and 29). Tickets are $26.80 ($21.80 students/seniors) from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Nov. 21 — Bunny siblings Max & Ruby perform their Nutcracker Suite show for young fans at the Memorial Centre. Tickets for the 6:30 p.m. event are $32 from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Nov. 21, 22 — A Bull Skit night of sketch comedy and improvisation is on at the Scott Block with various special guests, music acts and a cash bar. Tickets for the shows are available from www.bullskitcomedy.com.

Nov, 22 — Canadian singer Lights entertains with her radio-friendly pop tunes at the Memorial Centre. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $38.50 from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Nov. 30 — New York-based pianist Jason Cutmore plays the works of Isaac Albeniz, Deodat de Severac and others at 7:30 p.m. in Studio A of the RDC Arts Centre. Tickets are $16.30 ($13.50 students/seniors) from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Dec. 2, 3 — Jingle Jazz resounds as the RDC Big Band and faculty jazz ensemble play on Dec. 2 and the RDC Jazz Combos and faculty jazz players perform on Dec. 3. There’s different music delivered each night at 7:30 p.m. in Studio A of the RDC Arts Centre. Tickets are $16.30 ($13.50 students/seniors) from the Black Knight Ticket Centre. (The second performance is half price for those attending both nights)

Dec. 5 — Sounds of the Season are served up be the RDC Chamber Choir and Symphonic Winds as part of an annual tradition at the RDC Arts Centre. Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. concert are $21.80 ($17.80 students/seniors) from Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Dec. 5, 6, 12, 13 — Tree House Youth Theatre presents the Tis The Season variety show at the Scott Block Theatre. Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. shows (2 p.m. matinees on Saturdays) are $20 from www.treehouseyouththeatre.ca, or at the door.

Dec. 6 ­— RDSO performs Seasonal Strings, a festive concert of Christmas music by Vivaldi and Louis-Claude Daquin, showcasing the Red Deer Youth and Community Orchestra, at 8 p.m. at the RDC Arts Centre. Tickets are $59.35 ($54.85 seniors/$43.35 students or first four rows) from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Dec. 11 — “Mr. Music Box Dancer,” pianist Frank Mills, entertains at the Memorial Centre. Tickets to his 7 p.m. show are $61.85 from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Dec. 12, 13 — Scenes, songs, stage fights and more are performed in the First Year Showcase by RDC Theatre Studies students, on at 7:30 p.m. at City Centre Stage. (1 p.m. matinee on Dec. 13). Admission is by donation.

Dec. 26-Jan. 3 — The Red Deer Players premieres the zany, new, locally-written, family-oriented pantomime Snow White and the Seven Nobbits, by Albert Azzara, at the Scott Block. Tickets for the show will be available this fall from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Jan. 15-Feb. 7 — CAT presents the dinner theatre production Deadly Murder by David Foley, about a glamorous jewelry designer who picks up a potential jewelry thief. It’s on at the Quality Inn North Hill. Dinner is at 6 p.m., show is at 7:30 p.m. (Sunday brunch is at 12:30 p.m., show is at 2 p.m.) Tickets are $65 from the Quality Inn.

Jan. 17 — RDSO performs the Romance of Chopin concert, featuring piano soloist Mikolaj Warszynski and the music of Johann Christian Bach, Sibelius and Chopin. Tickets to the 8 p.m. concert at the RDC Arts Centre are $59.35 ($54.85 seniors/$43.35 students or first four rows) from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Jan. 18 — RDC instructor and pianist Ruston Vuori plays A Little Night Music, featuring character pieces by Schubert, Rachmaninoff, Debussy, Fauré, and Chopin. The intimate recital is at 7:30 p.m. in Studio A of the RDC Arts Centre. Tickets are $16.30 ($13.50 students/seniors) from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Jan. 30, 31 — A Bull Skit night of sketch comedy and improvisation is on at the Scott Block with various special guests, music acts and a cash bar. Tickets for the shows are available from www.bullskitcomedy.com.

Feb. 5 — The Central Music Festival Society presents singer/songwriting duo Stephen Fearing (of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings) and Andy White at Red Deer’s Elks Lodge. Tickets to the 8 p.m. show will be available from www.centralmusicfest.com.

Feb 5-7, 11-14 — Jane Austen’s classic tale of improbable love Pride and Prejudice (adapted by Jon Jory) is staged by RDC Theatre Studies students. Performances, directed by Thomas Usher, are at 7:30 p.m. at the RDC Arts Centre. (1 p.m. matinees Feb. 7 and 14). Tickets are $26.80 ($21.80 students/seniors) from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Feb. 16-21 — This year’s Oscar nominated Best Live-Action Short Films are shown at 7 p.m. at City Centre Stage. Admission is $10 at the door.

Feb. 19-March 7 — CAT presents Wrong Turn at Lungfish, a comedy about two unlikely allies by Lowell Ganz and Gary Marshall, at the Nickle Studio, upstairs at Red Deer’s Memorial Centre. Tickets to the 7:30 shows (2 p.m. matinees on Feb. 22 and March 1) are $32.70 from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Feb. 22 — RDC faculty members and pianist Dale Wheeler is joined by Debra Bakland, Cheryl Cooney, special guest Ruston Vuori and the Canadian University College Orchestra for a multi-piano extravaganza that showcases Bach pieces and an original work by Cooney. The Pianos Galore concert is at 7:30 p.m. at the RDC Arts Centre. Tickets $22.60 ($17.35 students/seniors) from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Feb. 27, 28 — A Bull Skit night of sketch comedy and improvisation is on at the Scott Block with various special guests, music acts and a cash bar. Tickets for the shows are available from www.bullskitcomedy.com.

Feb. 27, 28, March 6-8 — Cornerstone Youth Theatre presents Seussical, a musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty based on several books of Dr. Seuss. at the New Life Fellowship Church in Red Deer. Tickets for the 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. shows will be available from www.cornerstoneyouththeatre.org.

March 5 — A Night at the Zoo features music about lions, tigers and bears — along with other zoo animals — as performed by the RDC Symphonic Winds and Red Deer Youth and Community Orchestra. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert at the RDC Arts Centre are $21.80 ($17.80 students/seniors) from Black Knight Ticket Centre.

March 6 — Groove to the RDC Percussion Ensemble playing contemporary selections on marimbas, vibraphones, xylophones, drums and other instruments. The 7:30 p.m. Evening of Percussion concert is at the RDC Arts Centre. Tickets are $21.80 ($17.80 students/seniors) from Black Knight Ticket Centre.

March 7 — Butt Ugly Theatre pairs with RDC Theatre Studies to present The Ballad of Chewie and Hack, an anti-tobacco play at Studio A of the RDC Arts Centre, 1 and 3 p.m. shows. Admission is by donation.

March 12-14, 17-21 — Ignition Theatre and Prime Stock Theatre co-present the drama about broken illusions, The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams. The play, directed by Matt Grue, runs at the Scott Block Theatre. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. shows are $27 ($23 students/seniors) from www.ignitiontheatre.ca (All Tuesday night tickets are $20).

March 19, 10 — Solo Flight: graduating RDC theatre student actors take off with an evening of short, self-created, one-person plays. Admission to the 7:30 p.m. shows in Studio A of the RDC Arts Centre is by donation.

March 19-April 19 — CAT presents Sin, Sex & The C.I.A., by Michael and Susan Parker. The farce about a bumbling C.I.A. agent and the coterie of zany people he meets while trying to do his job, is running at the Quality Inn, North Hill. Dinner is at 6 p.m., show is at 7:30 p.m. (Sunday brunch is at 12:30 p.m., show is at 2 p.m.) Tickets are $65 from the Quality Inn.

March 21, 22 — The best student musical performances of the year are showcased in RDC’s any-style-of-music, anything-goes concert That’s Entertainment at 7:30 p.m. on March 21, and 2 p.m. on March 22 at the RDC Arts Centre. Tickets are $21.80 ($17.80 students/seniors) from Black Knight Ticket Centre.

March 27 — A musical homage is paid to the jazz greats and the timeless tunes they popularized in The Giants of Jazz concert, featuring the RDC Big Band and guests at 7:30 p.m. at the RDC Arts Centre. Tickets are $21.80 ($17.80 students/seniors) from Black Knight Ticket Centre.

March 27, 28 — A Bull Skit night of sketch comedy and improvisation is on at the Scott Block with various special guests, music acts and a cash bar. Tickets for the shows are available from www.bullskitcomedy.com.

April 2 — The RDC Chamber Choir and Symphonic Winds wrap up the season with their annual A Touch of Class spring concert at 7:30 p.m. at the RDC Arts Centre. Tickets are $21.80 ($17.80 students/seniors) from Black Knight Ticket Centre.

April 15-18 — A poetic, musical take on daily life in a fictional Welsh town is featured in Under Milkwood, based on a radio drama by Dylan Thomas. The play, directed by Lynda Adams of RDC Theatre Studies, runs at 7:30 p.m. (1 p.m. matinee on April 18). Tickets are $21.80 ($17.80 students/seniors) from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

April 24, 25 — A Bull Skit night of sketch comedy and improvisation is on at the Scott Block with various special guests, music acts and a cash bar. Tickets for the shows are available from www.bullskitcomedy.com.

April 25 — RDSO performs the Brandenburg Project, showcasing the greatest instrumental works of the Baroque period — Johann Sebastian Bach’s six Brandenburg concerti, which will be performed with modern and period instruments. Tickets for the 8 p.m. concert at the RDC Arts Centre are $59.35 ($54.85 seniors/$43.35 students or first four rows) from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

May 1-4 — Watch the growth of third-year RDC Motion Picture Arts students through a compilation of their class projects and competed films. Screening are at 7 p.m., admission is by donation.

May 5-9 — Burnt Thicket Theatre premieres We Are the Body at the Scott Block. This original, searing stage drama, written by local playwright Andrew Kooman, is about a young woman imprisoned in solitary confinement behind the Iron Curtain in post-war Romania. Tickets to the show will be available in the new year from www.burntthicket.com.

May 21-23 — Bull Skit ends its season with three best-of nights of sketch comedy and improvisation at the Scott Block with various special guests, music acts and a cash bar. Tickets for the shows are available from www.bullskitcomedy.com.

May 28-30, June 4-6 — Tree House Youth Theatre presents Let The Play Continue . . . at the Scott Block Theatre. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. shows (2 p.m. matinees Saturdays) are $20 from www.treehouseyouththeatre.ca or at the door.

May 29, 30, June 5-7 — Cornerstone Youth Theatre presents The Little Mermaid, based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, at the New Life Fellowship Church in Red Deer. Tickets for the 3 and 7 p.m. shows will be available from www.cornerstoneyouththeatre.org.

June 5-7 — The best films of the year by student actors, director and cinematographers in RDC’s Motion Picture Arts program are sscreened at 7 p.m. at City Centre Stage. Admission is by donation. (The awards presentation will be held at 7 p.m. June 6).

June 6 — The RDSO wraps up the season in steamy style with the Bold Bolero concert, featuring the two winners of the Red Deer Kiwanis Festival, bassoonist Pablo Montes and violinist Heidi Baumbach, as well as music by Ravel and Respighi. Tickets to the 8 p.m. concert at the RDC Arts Centre are $59.35 ($54.85 seniors/$43.35 students or first four rows) from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

June 11-20 — CAT presents its One Act Play Festival at 7:30 p.m. at the Nickle Studio, upstairs at Red Deer’s Memorial Centre. Tickets to the shows are $21.25 from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

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