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Be sure to see the Stage West Theatre Festival in Corner Brook this summer

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Stage West Theatre Festival (SWTF) is celebrating its 6th year and offers residents and visitors to Corner Brook more great entertainment for an evening out. One of their five evening shows runs almost every night from July 2 to August 1 at either the Corner Brook Arts and Culture Centre or the Royal Canadian Legion. All shows start at 8:00 pm and you can pay $17 per show or buy a season pass for just $65. So far we have seen the first three shows. The Artistic Directors Mike Payne, Stephen Perchard and Jordan Stringer must be very happy with the great turnouts for these events and the audience’s enthusiastic response.

The crew from "A Fine Tyme"

First up was “A Fine Tyme”, which is SWTF’s flagship tribute to Newfoundland and its music. We thought this performance was a good mix of traditional tunes and many were new to us. Some songs were sung with all 6 performers and others allowed the vocalists to shine on their own, and shine they did. Overall “A Fine Tyme” presents close to 20 songs and it is a show everyone will enjoy.

The 5 nuns from the comedy "Nunsense" 

Next we saw “Nunsense” (by Dan Goggin) which was a long running off Broadway musical in the mid 1980’s. There was a very good turnout for this performance at the Arts and Culture Centre and it promises to be a popular show this season for the SWTF. The backstory is that due to food poisoning which has killed most of their flock, a group of nuns must raise money to bury them. They decide on presenting a variety show which has the 5 nuns singing and dancing to entertain the crowd. There is lots of humour and Anne Gregory, Janice Spencer, Pam Gill, Wendy Woodland and Miranda Power do a fine job with their singing and bringing each quirky character to life. This is a show that all ages will find entertaining.

Ian Locke (left) and Emma Anderson star in "Proof" 

“Proof” by David Auburn is a serious play about mental illness, caregiving and strained family dynamics. Catherine (Emma Anderson) has been looking after her father Robert (Jordan Stringer) who was once a brilliant mathematician. As he slides further into madness and dies, she is concerned she may have inherited his insanity as well as his genius. Toshon Dawe plays Catherine’s sister who has a great life in New York and has come back for her father’s funeral. Ian Locke plays Hal, one of Robert’s former students. The play was the winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the 2001 Tony Award for Best Play and was made into a movie in 2005. We thought all four actors did an incredible job with their roles. Don’t miss this play! There is a warning for mature content and language.
Stage West is also performing “Say Nothing Saw Wood” and “A Steady Rain” later in July and we are looking forward to those shows. New for this year are two children’s shows that will be performed in the afternoon on the Majestic Lawn. For more information and for a complete schedule check out: http://www.stagewesttheatrefestival.com/