Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Entertainment Beat

In the past few months, since I returned to freelance writing, life has had some interesting moments. The past two weeks, I've been invited to no less than four events: the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, two dinner theatre shows and a masquerade gala for Opera Kelowna.

Yes indeed, mixing with the cultural crowd!

And what a hoot it's been. The Husband came to the Symphony with me but then decamped to the North Country to work for a few weeks. So I've had various friends come as my dates - might as well share the fun with people I enjoy.

"Tony and Tina's Wedding" was a 1980s off-Broadway production that became a world-wide phenomena. A local events centre held the Okanagan debut in mid-April, and added a few twists. The families are a bit different: the bride's family is still a Mafioso-style black suits and body guards crowd, but the groom's dad is a washed up bull rider from a boisterous redneck family.

The best twist of all - the wedding itself was real. The bride ('Tina') and groom ('Tony') were a local couple who were actually married in front of a Justice of the Peace. 

And it was pretty much as awkward and funny and chaotic as many a real wedding I've attended over the years, including the Chicken Dance. (If you're not familiar, check it out here, and move the time slider to 1:42.)

The Cow Boss and Vinny - welcome to The Wedding!

Guests came dressed as either members of the Ricardo or Wayne family (as indicated on the 'invitation') and expected to participate accordingly. It was hilarious.

The Vows - while a real wedding it taking place, the "Bride's Maid" is enjoying herself
while the "Best Man" is pouting cuz he's in love with the bride.
Guests enjoying the show while Elvis looks on. Yes, Elvis was in the house.
Momma and Pappa Ricardo
Lovely Italian-style meal
Spontaneous dancing throughout the reception.
The John Wayne 'Cousins"
and a good time was had by all.

A week later to the day, I was at the Kelowna Actors Studio for a more traditional Dinner Theatre production, this time the Canadian classic "Anne of Green Gables: The Musical" based on L.M. Montgomery's beloved novel. This particular play has been part of the Charlottetown Festival on P.E.I. since 1965, and it now recognized by Guinness World Records as the longest continual stage performance in the world. Cool.  The KAS cast did a fabulous job. I was thoroughly entertained.

"Anne of Green Gables" at Kelowna Actors Studio
Ron Green as Matthew Cuthbert and Kate Hammer as Anne Shirley
And now the glitter and glitz event: Opera Kelowna's "Bohemian Masquerade." This was a fundraising event, based loosely on a 19th century Parisian street festival. Funds support free outdoor opera concerts this coming summer as well as a summer training program for students and the Opera's main stage production of La boheme in August.

It was fabulous. The food. The costumes. The music. The performers.

Alexandra Babbel, Opera Kelowna Artist Director and
Katherine Mortimer, Vernon Morning Star Lifestyles Editor

Performers from Kinshira

Attentive guests

Lovely tableau seating for cozy visits.
Fabulous street performers

Katherine learning to salsa dance!

 I think my 'date' Katherine had more fun than I did! And that's OK because she's one of my favourite people and deserved a night out on the town.

 It's going to be an exciting summer! Come on over and share the fun.

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