Spring comedy needs actors, set designer

Melville Boys Audition - colour

Theatre director Nathan Linders thinks it’s never too early to start planning that summer vacation to the family cottage, especially when it includes the prospect of fishing and beer. Linders hopes he’ll find a few actors to bring such a scenario to life this winter in rehearsal for the South Okanagan Amateur Players’ next play. SOAP announces auditions for their spring production of The Melville Boys, a Canadian comedy by Norm Foster. SOAP has had success in previous years with Foster’s The Long Weekend and Wild Guys.

Open auditions will be held on Tuesday January 6 at the Osoyoos Art Gallery (upstairs) on 8713 Main Street Osoyoos, and Thursday January 8 at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre (Studio) on 5840 Airport Street, Oliver. Both evenings run 7 – 9 p.m. Early arrivals preferred for script read-through, although late drop-ins are welcome.  No previous acting experience is required. Volunteers for backstage roles are also welcome to attend.

The Melville boys of the title are Lee and Owen, brothers who are polar opposites. Linders explains, “Lee is the hard-working, responsible older brother and Owen is … well, folks mostly like Owen.”  Good-natured Owen lives for fishing, beer, and women, and not necessarily in that order.  The boys have driven out to the family cottage to spend a weekend at the lake. Owen’s boyish antics attract the attention of locals Mary and Loretta, sisters with their own personal squabbles. The four spend the evening together getting to know each other and themselves, over cards and maybe just one too many drinks.

SOAP is looking for actors who can convincingly portray an age range between mid 20s to 40s. Actual actors’ ages may be flexible to allow for optimum matching of siblings and chemistry.

Older brother Lee left school to help support the family and has been carrying on the “family tradition” as foreman at a plastics factory.  Naturally cautious and conservative, he has recently received some bad news about his health. Younger brother Owen hasn’t quite grown up yet. Open, friendly, and likeable, Owen is willing to try anything once, except shoulder responsibility and settle down. He refuses to confront the seriousness of Lee’s condition. Mary owns the convenience store at the lake.  Her husband left her a couple of years ago. She’s a little less confident these days that she can land a good man. Her attractive younger sister Loretta has pinned her hopes on making a comfortable living acting in TV ads. Nine-to-five employment is not for her, but flirting is.

First time director Nathan Linders has earned his stripes onstage in leading roles and backstage as a technician, as well as being a board member. Diane Gludovatz, a SOAP veteran with directing experience, takes the assistant director’s chair.

The production team requires a keen set designer and crew to recreate the interior of a rustic cottage. Painters and hobby carpenters welcome, as well as backstage crew.  Info: soap @ telus.net  and www.soplayers.ca

Ring the bells of Christmas

Handbells Ringers 1 sm

As December approaches, Oliver Handbell Ringers are putting the finishing touches to “Christmas Fantasia”, a mix of songs and traditional carols. Besides presentations to folks in our seniors’ residences, there will be two performances, Friday December 12 at 7:30 pm and Sunday December 14 at 3:00 pm, at Christ the King Catholic Church, 6044 Spartan Street, Oliver. This will be the first time we have played in that new sanctuary and we look forward to the sounds of bells and chimes there.

The Ringers range widely in age, the youngest being seven and others up to – well, senior citizens! Pictured above are our youth members (from left Paige Riley, Aria Janow, Liam Riley, Devin Riley and Kelan Harty, with Laura Harty in front). The group will be joined by Songburst ( a voice ensemble), narrator Mal Bearman, handbell soloist Helen Wollf and returning musical director Sue Gay. No tickets, but a freewill offering will be taken to support the Ringers’ activities. In addition, we ask that our audiences bring a contribution to our local Food Bank, to help those less fortunate at this time of the year.

So be sure to add one of our performances to your Christmas plans!

Nominate great ale and great business


Sid Ruhland of the Firehall Brewery has been nominated for two Small Business BC Awards: People`s Choice & Best Community Impact. Please take a minute to vote for him in both of these categories. The deadline is November 30. The more people vote, the better his chances.

The nomination form is simple: just enter your email. You can vote for him here: sbbcawards.ca/award/peoples-choice/firehall-brewery/

and here: http://sbbcawards.ca/award/community-impact/firehall-brewery-2/

Sidney built the Firehall Brewery from the ground up (literally) 2 1/2 years ago after attending Okanagan College’s School of Business, in the old firehall basement in Oliver, the Wine Capital of Canada. “The beer of wine country”. Full story on web site.  http://firehallbrewery.com/

The brewery recently released You Tube video called Craft Beer Revolution, featuring a song written, played & sung by Sidney, about the craft beer industry in B.C.  Check it out here:


Firehall Brewery won gold award for BEST STOUT at Fest of Ale in 2013 & 2014. Sponsors & provides beer tastings for many community & charity events in Oliver & the Okanagan. Hosts Back-Alley Concert series in the back alley of the Brewery. Spent grain goes to local farmers. Very eco friendly, Sidney’s passionate about his beer, and his community. Employs his younger brother. Uses as many local ingredients as possible, with no preservatives in his beer. Sid is married with a 8 month old son, and another baby on the way.

Singers, dancers, musicians celebrate season

dance 2

Singers, dancers, and musicians promise delightful entertainment at the family-friendly Community Christmas Concert, hosted by the Oliver Community Arts Council. Between sets, members of the audience have a chance to win prizes during the popular quiz, and children leave with a goodie bag.  The fun begins at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday November 30. Venue: Oliver Alliance Church. Admission is by donation. Both cash and can are gratefully accepted. Proceeds go to the Oliver Food Bank.

The variety show celebrates both sacred and secular winter festivities. The programme ranges from traditional carols, to modern compositions, to a humorous narration, to popular dance. Lively quizzes will test the audience’s knowledge of seasonal traditions around the world.

What would Christmas-time be without child-like joy and wonder? Keeping that in mind, talented youthful performers will fill the show with song and dance. The OES Handbell Team, under the direction of Lori Martine, opens the concert with sparkling crystal tones. Their program includes classic music from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker and closes with Jingle Bells of course!

The Sage Valley Voices offer tantalizing samples from their December concert: three modern pieces including Starry Night and How Quietly. After you hear these, you’ll want to attend their full concert!

Several soloists and duos are generously donating their talents to the concert. Entertainer Mat Duffus provides some tropical warmth with Feliz Navidad, and Matthew Thomas sings First Christmas. The gentle classical guitar of Jeremy Cook sets a meditative mood with Joy to the World. Mikie Spillett and Ken Repkow will add a touch of country to some popular selections including Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Chuckle at the funny side of The Twelve Days of Christmas with a narration by JoAnn Turner.

The cheerful OES Chorus will bring out the smiles with Rollerskatin’ Reindeer, Winter Fantasy and The Snow Lay on the Ground. The Vintage Voices men’s chorus sing two a cappella selections: Winter Wonderland and White Christmas. What songs could be more appropriate after a snowfall?

The energetic Oliver Dance Studio troupe will bound on stage with a variety of performances from lyrical, to hip hop, to jazz and ballet, under the tutelage of Leah Moen-Garcia.

Prizes for both adults and children have been generously donated by Your Dollar Store with More, Osoyoos. All children will receive a goodie bag, courtesy of The Bargain! Store in Oliver.

Come for the music. Stay for the fun. Leave with goodies and prizes. See you there – with bells on!

Join V-Day’s art exhibit and drama

2014 0129- VDAY Transparent LOGOThe V-Day Oliver-Osoyoos group met on November 20th, to make a few crucial decisions regarding the 2015 campaign to stop violence against women and girls.  This  year, the funding will be split as follows:

10% – VDAY

10% – ONTEH (Okanagan Nation Transition Emergency House)

40% – Penticton  and Area Society (which has offices in Oliver and Osoyoos)  to facilitate Facets Holistic Self Discovery

40% – Desert Sun Counselling to fund the Crisis Line


This year’s art show theme will be ‘The Silent Voice’; any interested artists can expect a call for submissions to be released shortly, with details on how to submit.  The art show will take place on March 8th, to celebrate One Billion Rising and International Women’s Day.

Another exciting change this year is that we will be putting on two performances of the critically acclaimed work ‘The Vagina Monologues’ at the Osoyoos Secondary School Theatre.  There will be receptions following the performances which will be taking place mid-April, giving attendees the chance to meet the cast and further contribute to the cause.

We were excited to welcome some new volunteers into the group, and as always, continue to seek individuals who are passionate about stopping violence against women and girls in their communities.  There are all kinds of opportunities to lend a hand.  For more information please visit www.vdayoliverosoyoos.org, or email vdayoliverosoyoos @ gmail.com with any questions.

Warm up at Cowboy Christmas

Cowboy Christmas 2014

Join the Oliver Sagebrushers for an Old Fashioned Christmas Nov. 29 and 30th at Rustico Farm & Cellars Winery, Highway 97 and Rd. 16 West.. Rustico Winery is decorated with lights on Doc’s buggy, a covered wagon and the pergola. The western theme is throughout the property including the heritage log home lit up for Christmas.

Inside the Winery it appears that Santa has sent his elves to work , making jewelry and carving wooden figures. Up in the Quail’s Roost Gallery are beautiful art works to choose from in all forms, created by local artists. Christmas shopping can be all done in one place.

Outside we have live music performed by Mikie Spillett and special guest Ken Repkow on Saturday afternoon 2 – 5 p.m. Enjoy a sing-along, chili and buns by the campfire and a mug of mulled wine. On Sunday 2-5 p.m., the entertainer will be Donna Armstrong, the Vineyard Girl. Please dress warmly for the event that is for the whole family.

Donations are greatly appreciated as a fundraiser for the Quail’s Roost Gallery.

“Variety’s our spice!” sing nuns

Nunset Boulevard Nuns 1 small

“That’s why we do musicals – variety’s our spice!” sing the stage-struck nuns in the South Okanagan Players’ upcoming show, Nunset Boulevard. Highly anticipated ever since SOAP performed the original Nunsense in 1998, the new musical marks the return of some of the favourite characters to grace the local stage.  It hits theatres in the last two weeks of November.

In this Dan Goggin musical, five talented nuns from Mount St Helen’s convent make their way to Tinseltown, on the strength of a contract to perform at the famous Hollywood Bowl. Even when they find out they’ve been conned and are only a lounge act at the Hollywood Bowl-a-rama, the stars in their eyes are not dimmed. The nun troupe is determined to give the bowlers a song-and-dance revue to remember.  The show quickly goes sideways when the sisters discover a new Hollywood movie (the “Nunset Boulevard” of the title) is auditioning roles suited for nuns.  To prepare for the casting call, the nuns pull out all the stops.

Each sister loves the spotlight, performing in her own style. Reverend Mother (played by Diane Gludovatz) has vaudeville in her veins, revelling in slapstick comedy. She gets the biggest sight gags, impersonating such famous Hollywood dames like Mae West. Sister Hubert (Terri Thompson) has a heart full of soul, a bluesy voice, and the rousing gospel number. Sister Robert Anne (Aimee Grice) belts out cabaret songs in her tough Brooklyn accent. Her risqué humour keeps Reverend Mother on her toes. Sister Amnesia (Chelsea Cameron-Horner) has been forgetful and naïve ever since a crucifix fell on her head. Her memory is in fine form however, when she sings country and MC’s the quiz show. Ambitious Sister Leo (Penelope Johnson) believes in her potential to be the convent’s “triple-threat” performer. The plot turns on her dream of breaking into show business with her singing, dancing and acting.

Hummable songs span the genres from ‘50s do-wop to cabaret, hip-hop to ballads, country twang to soul.  Says Thompson, “I love the catchy music for all the songs. I find myself humming a different tune from the score every day.”  The musical is packed with laughs including rapid-fire impressions of movie one-liners, a film quiz with prizes for the audience, and “The Price is Righteous” bowling game.

Ray Turner, who directed the original musical Nunsense, returns to the helm. Gludovatz reprises her hilarious turn as the Mother Superior. Johnson also returns although in a different role. While Nunset Boulevard is the sixth in the series, no previous knowledge of the nun’s escapades is required to enjoy their new antics.  Music director Lisa Ante accompanies on piano and leads the small stage band.

Right now the cast is fine-tuning their many dance numbers. Choreographer Robin Stille is putting the nuns through their paces. Nuns doing Rockette kicks? They’re working on it.  Gludovatz explains: “Dancing while singing harmonies does not come second nature to me… I know, shocking!” Johnson agrees: “There’s one number requiring us to sing and dance in wheelchairs. Not easy in a habit!”

Nunset Boulevard runs Friday November 21 and Saturday November 22 at OSS Theatre (Osoyoos)Friday November 28 and Saturday November 29 at Frank Venables Theatre (Oliver). Tickets are $18 advance, or $20 at the door, and are available at Sundance Video (Oliver) and Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos). All shows 8 p.m.  Information and tickets for groups of ten or more: soap @ telus.net 

Pictured: In this scene, the sisters are delighted to find a movie audition suited for singing nuns, a movie entitled “Nunset Boulevard”.  Standing (L-R): Diane Gludovatz, Chelsea Cameron Horner, and Terri Thompson; seated (L-R) Aimee Grice and Penelope Johnson (with casting paper).