Uptown writers' entertainment picks of the week
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 24/08/2017 (2034 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Brittany Thiessen and Heather Thomas, the BFFs behind the local ukulele comedy duo BUNNY, will be bringing the laughs to the Handsome Daughter on Aug. 27 with their second variety show, The BUNNY Show.
Along with local musical guests Casati and Fever Rose, B-Rabbit and HunnyBunny promise a night of games, video premières and live performances. Think Total Request Live meets Late Night With Jimmy Fallon meets Donny & Marie.
“We’re hoping to do one every season,” Thiessen says. “At the end of the year, we want to release a box set.”
Thiessen and Thomas met at the University of Winnipeg as theatre students and formed BUNNY about three years ago.
“I got a ukulele for my birthday and bullied Heather into teaching me how to play it,” Thiessen says with a laugh. “She’s an established musician (Thomas’s other project is the electro-R&B trio ATLAAS), so I knew she’d be down to teach me.”
The pair bonded over a mutual love of ‘90s R&B and started taking ukulele covers of such classics as Brandy and Monica’s The Boy Is Mine to open mics. People loved them.
While BUNNY didn’t initially view itself a comedy act — “I don’t know if we thought we were funny,” Thiessen says, “I think because we were singing R&B cover songs on the ukulele people found it hilarious” — that changed when they started writing original (and hilarious) songs that comment on everything from social media to sex. BUNNY’s magnum opus is #insta, a ‘90s pop-inspired ode to their favourite app.
Thiessen says earning those first laughs on the strength of their own material was a thrill. “What we’ve learned is that you can’t go halfway,” she says. “It’s been really helpful we have a theatre background because we’ve been taught those things. You can’t be shy about it. You have to commit fully — otherwise the audience isn’t going to buy it or feel embarrassed for you. Even if you’re not getting laughs, you have to keep committing.”
Catch The BUNNY Show at 8 p.m. on Aug. 27 at the Handsome Daughter. Tickets are $10.
— Jen Zoratti
Australian-born performer Rick Springfield is probably best known for his musical career — he won a Grammy for Jessie’s Girl, his biggest hit, in 1981 — but he’s also an actor and author who penned an autobiography — Late, Late at Night — in 2010 (in 2012, Rolling Stone named it one of the 25 best rock memoirs).
Springfield’s acting career got its start when he played dreamy Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital in the ‘80s. He’s since popped up on Californication (in the hedonistic, poking-fun-at-himself role of “Rick Springfield”), as a wonderfully creepy psychiatrist on True Detective and in a musical role alongside Meryl Streep in Ricki and the Flash.
In 2018, he’ll be hosting The ‘80s Cruise, a Caribbean concert boat featuring such ‘80s hitmakers as Loverboy, Billy Ocean, Berlin and Thomas Dolby.
But it’s his music fans will be gathering to see when Springfield plays the Burton Cummings Theatre on Wednesday, Aug. 30, at 8 p.m. The rocker, who turns 68 a week before the show and is as much a heartthrob as ever, will likely play hits from his massive-selling 1980 album Working Class Dog right up to songs from his newer albums, including Venus in Overdrive and Songs for the End of the World. Unfortunately, he won’t be able to gyrate on tables the way he did at his Club Regent show a few years ago, but he’s known for his energetic live performances.
Tickets are $39.50 to $89.59 at Ticketmaster.
— Jill Wilson
k.d. lang plays Ingénue
This year marks the 25th anniversary of k.d. lang’s landmark Ingénue album and in celebration, the Alberta-born singer will be performing the entire album during stops of her cross-Canada solo tour, which comes to the Burton Cummings Theatre on Aug. 27 at 8 p.m.
The pop-influenced Ingénue, filled with samba rhythms and waltzes and featuring the hits Constant Craving and Miss Chatelaine, was the album that signalled her evolution from upstart country crooner to mainstream torch singer.
At lang’s previous shows on the Ingénue Redux tour, the singer — barefoot as usual — and her seven-piece backing band have also performed covers of songs by Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and her indelible version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, as well as a track from her side project, case/lang/veirs; the Edmonton Journalreview of the concert calls it “practically perfect.”
The only tickets remaining for the show are at the $79.50 level (first and second balconies) at Ticketmaster.
— Jill Wilson
Torque turns one
It’s been one year since Torque Brewing (830 King Edward St.) started brewing beer and they want you to come down on Saturday to help celebrate with some special new brew.
While most of the new local breweries slowly rolled out their beer programs via growler-filling stations and tap rooms, Torque went a different route, instead focusing on getting their product on the shelves of Liquor Marts and beer vendors in cans. The approach seems to have worked and the brewery continues to roll out new products in addition to their four core beers. This summer they introduced the Summer Sessions 8 x 473-ml pack, which features an India session ale, American pale ale, a wheat beer and a gose.
The brewery will be celebrating Aug. 26 beginning at noon and will be offering tours of the brewery as well as prizes, food, a band in the evening and more. Then there’s the beer. Torque will be offering new brews in the tap room including an orange pekoe pale ale, their Mojito wit and the Muster Point American pale ale.
The big new brew, however, is Inception, a saison-style beer aged for six months in French oak barrels formerly used at a winery for aging Cabernet Sauvignon. Only 3,800 bottles of Inception will be made available, although it will also be offered on tap in the brewery’s tap room.
Torque will be donating 30 per cent of Saturday’s tap sales to CancerCare Manitoba.
— Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson
Chris Jericho Live
Winnipeg professional wrestler Chris Jericho is known just as much for his gift of the gab as the stiffness of his jab.
In the ring, he bevame the first WWE Undisputed Champion and in 2012 was named one of the five most charismatic performers of all time by wwe.com.
His communication skills helped him hype his fights and later on they helped transform him into an actor, game-show host, television personality, author and now podcast host, where he has interviewed the likes of Dennis Miller, Larry King, William Shatner and Alice Cooper.
On Aug. 25, Jericho will once again put those verbal skills to the test when he takes the stage for Chris Jericho Live —The Words of Jericho at Club Regent Event Centre. Joining him are Winnipeg-born wrestler/announcer Cyrus and Calgary-born former grappler Lance Storm.
Tickets range in price from $26.25 to $36.75 plus fees and can be purchased at Ticketmaster or casinosofwinnipeg.com.
— Alan Small
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