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Andy and Norm take on the Burt Friday, March 17, 8 p.m.

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Andy and Norm take on the Burt

Friday, March 17, 8 p.m.

Burton Cummings Theatre

Tickets start at $45.25, fees included, on Ticketmaster

Andy Shauf, the mumble-mouthed singer-songwriter from Regina, brings his latest album/pal, Norm, through Winnipeg on Friday night.

A master of concept albums and musical world-building, Shauf introduces a new cast of characters in his 2023 release — some of whom are more widely recognizable than the Judys and Charlies of The Neon Skyline and past works.

The album opens with a conversation between God and Jesus and the track list follows the questionable antics of the title character, Norm. Shauf initially set out to write a disco record, but narrative crept back into the process when he stopped drinking and started reading the Bible for interests’ sake, according to an interview published by Stereogum.

The title was inspired by Shauf’s desire to write a “normal” non-concept album and the sparse arrangements were informed by an experience watching Mulholland Drive — during which Shauf mistook a frozen computer screen for a daring artistic choice by director David Lynch.

The Polaris Music Prize nominated artist last performed in Manitoba at the 2022 Winnipeg Folk Festival. Opening for Shauf is American musician Katy Kirby.

— Eva Wasney

One night only: Christopher House is in the house

Friday, March 17, 7:30 p.m.

Rachel Brown Theatre

Admission is free or pay what you may, with a suggested donation of $15-20

In a special mid-season treat for modern dance fans, Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers is hosting a studio performance and artist talk featuring Christopher House, the award-winning queer choreographer, performer, director, educator and curator. House will be performing NEWS, a solo by American postmodern choreographer Deborah Hay.

From 1979 until 2020, House was a fixture of Toronto Dance Theatre, as a resident choreographer, leading dancer and, for the last 26 years of his career there, artistic director. He’s been busy in his supposed “retirement”; House, 67, debuted a new intimate solo — fittingly titled New Tricks — in Toronto last year that went on to be presented at the Vancouver International Dance Festival earlier this month.

In addition to Hay, the Order of Canada recipient has also collaborated with a host of companies and artists, including the National Ballet of Canada, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Ballet Gulbenkian, Cirque du Soleil, Canadian choreographer Ame Henderson, South Korean conceptual artist Kimsooja, Canadian author/playwright/filmmaker/theatre director Jordan Tannahill, and Toronto indie-pop outfit the Hidden Cameras.

Currently, House is curating an exhibition on the impact of HIV/AIDS on Canadian dance in collaboration with Toronto’s Dance Collection Danse, Canada’s national dance archives.

Friday night’s performance includes an artist talk moderated by Winnipeg artist/WCD programming support Ian Mozdzen. Reserve a spot via winnipegscontemporarydancers.ca/tickets/.

Jen Zoratti

Wolseley Kombucha celebrates 300 batches of booch

March 21-25 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Wolseley Kombucha taproom, 749 Wall St.

Free admission

Kombucha lovers are already well-versed with the fermented tea beverage’s many benefits, including its positive impact on gut health. Fans have embraced the booch as an alternative to alcohol that’s not the same-old same-old coffee, water or pop, and have helped foster a community of home brewers throughout the city and beyond. Plus, the stuff just tends to taste good.

Wolseley Kombucha is celebrating its 300th batch of booch all next week at their West End taproom with a customer appreciation celebration that will include a range of limited-edition flavours, the chance to win prizes, some tasty goodies from Goodies Bake Shop as well as promos and deals. It’s a way to say thank you to their devoted fans and get new faces in the door at a time when supporting small business has never been so important.

Whether you’re intimately familiar with the benefits of kombucha or are looking to get into the low-calorie, all natural (and totally delicious) drink for the first time, the Wolseley Kombucha crew can answer all your questions, fill your growler with your favourite kombucha flavours or set you up with their prepackaged probiotic picks. They also offer kombucha-making workshops and more — for details see wolseleykombucha.com.

Ben Sigurdson

It takes a week to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day with the Dust Rhinos

Friday, March 17, 8 p.m.

West End Cultural Centre

Tickets: $25.16 and $30.31 at wecc.ca and eventbrite.ca

The Irish Rovers

Wednesday, March 22, 7 p.m.

Club Regent Event Centre

Tickets: $46-$70.05 at ticketmaster.ca and casinosofwinnipeg.com

St. Patrick’s Day is Friday, March 17, but celebrations for Ireland’s patron saint stretch out into the following week in Winnipeg this year.

The Irish Association of Manitoba hosts its annual celebrations on Friday beginning at 10:45 a.m. at its home at 654 Erin St. with performers including its Irish Myst choir, the Flatline Ceilidh Band and the McDonell School of Dancers.

The Irish association also is the starting point of the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, which begins Saturday at noon.

When and wherever Winnipeg Celtic group the Dust Rhinos play on St. Patrick’s Day is sure to be a party, and this year the group, which began in 1992, will perform two sets at the West End Cultural Centre.

The first is a kitchen-party style concert, followed by a high-energy set the group is well known for in Winnipeg and across Western Canada.

Other Irish-themed bars, such as the King’s Head Pub (120 King St.), Shannon’s Irish Pub (175 Carlton St.) and the Toad in the Hole (155 Osborne St.), present live acts during the day and evening Friday as well.

While the wearing of the green is long forgotten by Wednesday, March 22, it’s never out of style when and where the Irish Rovers are performing, and on that night they’re playing the Club Regent Event Centre.

The group has been part of the Canadian music scene since 1963, riding the folk-music boom of the 1960s, the folk song Unicorn, their own TV series, The Irish Rovers Show, which CBC ran for seven years in the 1970s, and a hit, Wasn’t That a Party?, in 1980.

Their harmonies continue to catch attention. Last year, they released Hey Boys, Sing Us a Song, which earned them a Canadian Folk Music Awards nomination for single of the year. The awards are handed out March 31 to April 2 in Vancouver.

— Alan Small

A few doses of laughter

Former SNL star Chris Redd, who left the show after five years in 2022 and recently starred in an HBO Max comedy special, makes his way to Winnipeg this weekend for a five-show stand at Rumor’s Comedy Club this weekend (Tickets $35). If Redd’s humour is a bit too mature, MTYP offers an alternative: The Gruffalo, adapted from the best-selling children’s book by Julia Donaldson, is on from March 17 to March 26.

And while author Roald Dahl has been in the news recently – Google it, we can’t explain in this space – the film adaptation of his most famous book is screening Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Dave Barber Cinematheque. Join Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson and Peter Ostrum in 1971’s Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, screening as part of Cinematheque’s ongoing Cabin Fever series. You can ask at the concession stand for Everlasting Gobstoppers, but if they’re all out, popcorn is an acceptable substitution.

— Ben Waldman

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Alan Small

Alan Small

Alan Small has been a journalist at the Free Press for more than 22 years in a variety of roles, the latest being a reporter in the Arts and Life section.

Ben Sigurdson

Ben Sigurdson
Literary editor, drinks writer

Ben Sigurdson edits the Free Press books section, and also writes about wine, beer and spirits.

Ben Waldman

Ben Waldman

Ben Waldman covers a little bit of everything for the Free Press.

Eva Wasney

Eva Wasney
Arts Reporter

Eva Wasney is a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press.

Jen Zoratti

Jen Zoratti

Jen Zoratti is a Winnipeg Free Press columnist and author of the newsletter, NEXT, a weekly look towards a post-pandemic future.

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