By Chris Marchand
Patrons of the Dryden Entertainment Series have a lot to look forward to over the next eight months on the stage at The Centre.
“We’re very excited about our season,” said Dryden Entertainment Series’ Wendy Wiedenhoeft. “One of our goals is to provide a variety of entertainment for our audience and we think we have achieved that in the coming season. We have drama, dance and a variety of musical genres.”
The Series aims to ease concert goers into the swing of things with some recognizable material this fall with a celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday.
Kicking off the series of nine shows, Sept. 28, is a tribute to Canadian song writing legend Gordon Lightfoot. ‘The Way We Feel’ features performers Lori Cullen, Kevin Fox, Peter Katz, Jory Nash, and Oh Susanna taking turns on a journey through Lightfoot’s songbook assisted by a full band.
On Oct. 28, Canuck-pop icons of the 80s and 90s, Glass Tiger, have a special treat for Dryden audiences as they present ‘Wae Yer Family’, an acoustic re-imagining of 12 of their best songs coupled with an evening of storytelling.
As the days grow progressively shorter into November, blues songstress Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar have the cure for the seasonal blahs with an evening described as ‘a bit spiritual, a lot lonely, a touch angry and a whole bunch soulful.’ They will appear Nov. 1.
In a break from the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre’s usual mid-winter travelling productions the RMTC is hitting the road with an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol just in time for the holiday season. Veteran actor Rod Beattie, known for the Wingfield Farm Series, will star in the production on Dryden’s stage Dec. 13.
As a New Years resolution, why not try something new as Vancouver Indie/folk/roots collective The Fugitives bring their critically acclaimed sounds the stage of The Centre, Jan. 17.
Feb. 9 will see another return visit from Toronto-based dance troupe Motus O as they stage The Prisoner of Tehran, the engaging true story of teenager Marina Nemat. A unique collaboration between Marina Nemat and the dance company the show combines dance, theatre and story telling that deals with social justice on the themes of oppression and freedom.
Flute and violin duo Sonic Escape, comprised of Shawn Wyckoff and Maria Millar, will showcase music that amplifies the virtuosity, range and emotion of their instruments, March 8.
On March 23, dance company Ebnfloh tackles some big questions of modern existence through the medium of urban dance.
On April 12, the Dryden Entertainment series will draw to a close with Juno-nominated Barbra Lica, a fast-rising star in the Canadian jazz scene, who is known to captivate audiences with stunning interpretations of jazz classics and original songs.
As in previous years, Wiedenhoeft says the Series worked with the local school board to provide opportunities for students to gain exposure to those working in the arts.
“DES has an excellent partnership with all local schools,” she said. “Whenever possible presentations and/or workshops are facilitated with both elementary and secondary school students providing exposure to the arts that students would not otherwise have an opportunity to experience.”
For ticket sales and more information, check out the DES website at drydenentertainmentseries.ca.