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André-Philippe Gagnon Impresses with his Impressions

André-Philippe Gagnon Impresses with his Impressions

When an entertainer is billed as “the legendary man of a 1,000 voices and the number-one singing impressionist in the world” – those glowing accolades piqued my interest. So on the first of October I scooted over to Kelowna Community Theatre to see what the fuss was all about. It was Sunday night and the theatre about half full. There wasn’t a whole lot of buzz in the building. Let’s just say I was cautiously optimistic. Would this international performer…

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Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Raises the Roof with a Spectacular Performance

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Raises the Roof with a Spectacular Performance

That, my friends, was a professional symphony performance I will never forget. On the final Friday night of September, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) made a tour stop in Kelowna and absolutely positively blew the roof off Kelowna Community Theatre. Typed words cannot accurately express what took place inside the old barn as the VSO packed its 71 full-time musicians onto the stage and went on an amazing orchestral journey from first salvo to last bow. The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra…

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Manitoba Chamber Orchestra Says Cello to Kelowna

Manitoba Chamber Orchestra Says Cello to Kelowna

It was Manitoba in the house at Kelowna Community Theatre on the final Thursday night of September. Thanks to an invitation from the Kelowna Community Concert Association, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra (MCO) made a tour stopover in the Okanagan to perform a delightful mix of contemporary and classic concertos. Adding silky tone and technical prowess to the program was guest cellist Ariel Barnes, a Vancouver native who dazzled the packed house with smooth solos under the baton expertise of Music…

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Symphonic Rock Evolution Sees The Light

Symphonic Rock Evolution Sees The Light

I know what you’re thinking – what in the world is Symphonic Rock Evolution?! It’s not a thesis paper written at the School of Rock. It’s not an app for guitar-playing geologists. It’s not a rock opera about the creation vs. evolution debate and the origins of humanity. What Symphonic Rock Evolution is, cue the sparkly disco ball and flashing lights, is a 23-piece symphonic rock ensemble that put on one heckuva rock show on the first Saturday night of…

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Mamma Mia – Calling Every Dancing Queen and Super Trouper

Mamma Mia – Calling Every Dancing Queen and Super Trouper

“There was Something in the Air that Night…..Fernando” On a cool and crisp Friday night in mid-September, Kelowna Community Theatre hosted a doubleheader  of dance beats that featured Ryan Langevin as the Piano Man, a tribute to the music of Billy Joel and Elton John, and ABRA Cadabra, a tribute to the music and magic of Swedish super group ABBA. If that sounds like a lot of show, it was. The two-hour-and 50-minute performance was a well-filtered trip down memory…

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Opera Kelowna Shines Brightly With La bohème

Opera Kelowna Shines Brightly With La bohème

What do you get when you cross a poet tenor with a seamstress soprano in Paris in the 1920s? The love-struck storyline behind the booming libretto of La bohème.         It was opera night at Kelowna Community Theatre on a pleasant mid-August Friday evening. A packed house, some dressed to the nines in gowns and tuxedos, assembled at the 851-seat playhouse to take in this Italian standard composed by Giacomo Puccini. Opera Kelowna and its Artistic Director…

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Billy Elliot is a Musical Must-See

Billy Elliot is a Musical Must-See

Billy Billy Billy – fantastic job, you little bugger! On one of the hottest nights so far of the Okanagan summer, it was truly a pleasure and privilege to sit inside Kelowna Community Theatre on the last Thursday of July. Not because the air-conditioning was in good working order, but rather because there was a cool-as-an-English-morning performance of Billy Elliot the Musical taking place in the friendly barn. The show runs through August 5th. It was opening night for Billy…

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Hungry Like The Wolf for Rann Berry’s ‘80s Buffet

Hungry Like The Wolf for Rann Berry’s ‘80s Buffet

Rann Berry – here’s a message in a bottle. You shook me, and pretty much the entire audience, all night long. Well done. Let’s dance. As I was driving to Kelowna Community Theatre on the last night of June, my mind kept zeroing in on one bewildering point. This was one tough gig. Who booked this concert on the eve of Canada’s 150th Birthday, literally 4.5 hours before the entire country started putting on its Canada Day game face? A…

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A Police Officer and a Gentleman

A Police Officer and a Gentleman

83 in a 55 could get you approximately 240. On our recent vacation to both Pennsylvania and North Carolina, I had the privilege of being part of something I had never been a part of before. I got to ride along in the front seat of a real police SUV (jet black Ford Explorer with ample muscle) with a real police officer (a 13-year veteran of the Fayetteville, NC police department) on his different-than-normal beat (traffic/moving violations). The man in…

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Glenn Miller Orchestra Puts Kelowna in the Mood

Glenn Miller Orchestra Puts Kelowna in the Mood

Pardon me boy – am I turning into my parents?! On a toasty June Tuesday night a few ticks shy of Canada’s 150th Birthday, wife Elaine and I strolled into Kelowna Community Theatre officially for the first time this summer. Coming off a three-week vacation in the hot-and-humid USA, we were in the mood for some serenading sounds to shake off a snoozy case of jet lag. All aboard the Chattanooga Choo Choo. We got exactly what we expected, and…

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