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This article was published 21/1/2019 (444 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The sold-out crowd at the Park Theatre Jan. 12 was anything but blue. An enthusiastic mosh pit, male and female, was circled by a ring of dancers and even those seated were having themselves a wild time.
Lady Lee, who organizes the annual January blues bashes, performed and invited lively acts such as Tracy K Mastaler, Debra Lyn Neufeld, plus Tannis Bumbry and Sharon Clarkson, and yours truly spotted Romi Mayes behind the curtains. Ms. Gwendolyn (gutsy voice and harmonica) started things off, with a loud rousing tune and the show spiralled upwards from there. Mostly male bands backed the blues goddesses, with saxophone veteran Deano Dean wailing on his horn with the bands when he wasn’t out front filming the musicians. Such a big night!
MURDER AFOOT: Even though it was a -30 C Thursday night (Jan. 17) Manitoba mystery writer Karen Bate still managed to pack the book launch for her latest novel, Frost, at McNally Robinson Booksellers.
She read for the audience the initial discovery of a man strung up scarecrow-style in a corn maze — the event that propels her fourth Mayfair mystery featuring popular detective Emma Starr and her cohorts. This time the dead man is one of their own.
What makes the novel’s setting in the city of Mayfair fun is that it’s a combination of Winnipeg and Bate’s imagination.
The actor-turned-author toted well-travelled Quigley to the launch — the stuffed teddy bear Bate has carried around, worldwide. She confessed "Quigs" was even strip-searched in the Amsterdam airport. (Stuffed animals have been known to carry drugs.) Though she’s chatty and old-fashioned — preferring a typewriter and paper — her tech-wise husband John filmed her performance for Facebook Live viewers, who could also pose questions, and had them read out to be answered.
Preceded by three popular mysteries called Ice, Flood and Steam, this was to be the last in the series, but Bate confessed there may actually be more Mayfair mysteries to come as the characters are still alive in her head and are already starting to dictate otherwise.
An actor first and writer second, Bate divulged that Emma Starr’s name arose from the phrase "I’m a Star!" and that family and friends had parts of their names used for characters in the books, but only for the good guys — not the creeps and unfortunate victims. "Villains and dead people are more problematic." And she warned, "be careful what you say around me — it may end up in a book."
BIG DADDY TAZZ & FRIENDS COMEDY NIGHT: It’s happening Jan. 25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Metropolitan Entertainment Centre and will be packed with stars. Entertainers include Patrick McKenna of the Red Green Show, Greg Morton from Just For Laughs, Rob Prue of MTV’s Punk’d, Jordan Welwood from the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, Rumor’s Funniest Person With a Day Job winner Angie St. Mars and musical guest Chris Henderson.
This big night will be brought to you by the Rotary Club of Winnipeg East AM and Big Daddy Tazz with all net proceeds staying in Winnipeg to support local charities. Tickets are $30.
STAND TALL! An unusual stilt building and walking workshop takes shape Jan. 27 starting at noon and running to 3 p.m. This is the fine monkey business of the Winnipeg Circus Club and will be held at the Broadway Neighbourhood Centre at 185 Young St.
Circus type EM X ULTRA (Emily McDougall) will be helping with the building process and will teach you how to start walking on your very own stilts! Participants under 18 years old must have a parent or guardian present. All materials and tools will be provided by the Winnipeg Circus Club and Art City.
"In this workshop we will teach and guide you in creating your very own stilts custom-fit just for you, and also show you how to use them and get started!" McDougall said.
Call 204-775-9856 for information and to register. You’ll need to make a $10 deposit to secure a spot, and the full cost is around $45 for the workshop (final cost is TBA). Complimentary snacks provided.
MANY FRIENDS: The Rainbow Harmony Project’s Annual Winter Concert is scheduled for this Saturday (Jan. 26), 7:15-9:30 p.m. at the Crescent Fort Rouge United Church, located at 525 Wardlaw Ave. The evening’s theme is friendship, and features spoken-word poet Janine Brown, the Red Sisterhood Singers, led by Sara Clefstad and Katie Hurst, as well as a pre-concert talk presented by Albert McLeod of Two-Spirited People of Manitoba. McLeod will speak at 7:15 p.m., followed by the concert at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Tickets are available at McNally Robinson Booksellers, the Happy Cooker and online at rainbowharmonyproject.ca/tickets.
Got tips? Cool things happening in your world? Been rubbing shoulders with the stars? Email Maureen’s Tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maureen Scurfield writes the Miss Lonelyhearts advice column.
Updated on Monday, January 21, 2019 at 7:26 AM CST: Adds photos