Haeley Ginter belts out a tune during rehearsals for Mixed Nuts to be presented by Red Deer Players March 23rd. Photo submitted

Haeley Ginter belts out a tune during rehearsals for Mixed Nuts to be presented by Red Deer Players March 23rd. Photo submitted

Red Deer Players presents ‘Mixed Nuts’ on March 23rd

Comedy/music evening includes launch of communty arts scholarship

For an evening packed with ‘song and schtick’, check out Mixed Nuts on March 23rd, hosted by the Red Deer Players.

The fun kicks off at 7:30 p.m. in Studio A at Red Deer College.

Tickets are available at rdctickets.universitytickets.com and www.reddeerplayers.com.

Besides offering up plenty of engaging skits and Broadway-style musical entertainment from a very talented troupe of local performers, the event is also meant to launch the Carole Forhan Theatre Arts Scholarship.

Forhan, who was a beloved supporter of the local arts scene and was one of the founders of Red Deer Players, passed away in 2016.

“We wanted to celebrate the fact that the Scholarship is now open for business,” explained Lori Lane, a member of the Players who has also directed some of the troupe’s most powerful shows including Mass Appeal, Twelve Angry Men and Calendar Girls.

The team also wanted to present an evening packed with entertainment which seemed like the ideal means of spreading the word about the Scholarship as well.

“We struck a committee of Red Deer Players members who all knew and loved Carole, so doing something really special to launch the Scholarship was important to them,” she said.

“So that group got together and started brainstorming about what this evening could look like,” she said.

From there, they felt that they wanted to include some local young people in the show as well, as the Scholarship is of course geared to the younger set.

“We thought, wouldn’t it be great if we had a whole slew of 14 to 21-year-olds in the show?

“So we reached out to the high schools in the area and said, ‘If you have musicals going on at about the same time, would you be interested in being part of this show by pulling something from your production which we could incorporate into our show?’

Notre Dame students will be performing a part from their recent show Do You Want to Dance? Students from St. Joseph’s will be showcasing scenes from Godspell, which they bring to the stage this week.

“In addition to them, there are 11 of our own cast members in the show. There are eight comedy pieces in it – some are written by Blaine Newton but others are really tried and true, zany British comedy pieces,” she said, pointing out how fitting that is as Forhan was originally from England.

“The skits are threaded together by the songs I’ve chosen, and there are 10 different Broadway musicals represented,” said Lane, who is also directing Mixed Nuts.

“It’s going to be one crazy, rousing evening of laughter and song which is what Carole would have wanted.”

Hosted by Leslie Greentree, the show features Trish Achtymichuk, Keith Ainscough, Paul Boultbee, Jennifer Cocolicchio, Haeley Ginter, Nigel Lane, Caryl Moore, Blaine Newton, Wanda Oler, Lesley Parfett, Randall Trites and Gracie Wack.

Louise Bruns is serving as musical director with Debbie Thompson as the choreographer.

Looking ahead, the Carole Forhan Theatre Arts Scholarship will be available on an annual basis, in the amount of $500, awarded to an individual who demonstrates passion, dedication, a solid work ethic and commitment to theatre, and who is moving ahead to further their education and/or knowledge in the area of theatre arts, notes the web site.

Again, for more about Red Deer Players or the Carole Forhan Theatre Arts Scholarship, check out www.reddeerplayers.com.