Local entertainers Richard and Deborah Popovich are gearing up for a concert featuring a multi-media experience and a show packed with classic hits and comedy. photo submitted

Richard and Deborah gear up for engaging set of shows

Concert will feature a full-fledged multi-media experience and a show packed with hits and comedy

Richard and Deborah Popovich are gearing up for a concert featuring a full-fledged multi-media experience and a show packed with classic hits and comedy.

Shows run at Festival Hall Nov. 16th and 17th at 8 p.m. and Nov. 18th at 1 p.m.

Richard said the show will showcase lots of classic country and favourite rock ‘n roll tunes.

“We’ve incorporated a 25-foot video screen, so it’s kind of like almost the size of a movie screen,” he explained. “There isn’t anyone really bringing it to a local venue.”

Via images and photos, for example, it certainly adds a rich, exciting and colourful dimension to each and every song the couple performs. “The videos just really bring the songs to life,” he said.

“We also do a bit of stand-up, but it’s between the songs,” he said, adding that much of the show in fact happens between the songs, but of course it’s all seamlessly woven together.

“We have lots of jokes between the songs, and audience participation stuff, too!”

The couple has long been entertaining audiences locally and beyond Central Alberta for many years. They met in the 1970s, married in 1982 and really from the start, the joy of music has been at the heart of what they do.

“We started working together in 1979,” he recalled.

According to his bio, Richard’s musical journey began with playing double bass back in 1971 under the direction of renowned director Keith Mann.

He was also involved in several theatre productions as a member of the various ‘pit bands’.

“He continued his musical education at Red Deer College and then went on to sing and play electric bass, working on occasion with Dick Damron and Gary Buck. He toured much of western Canada with several other bands including Peter Kingsmill and the Kings of Canadian Country Swing.

Coming from a musical family, Deborah found it easy to fall into the role of a musician/entertainer.

During her teenage years and under her mother’s tutelage, she enjoyed competing in various Alberta music festivals and was the recipient of a number of local and provincial awards. She also enjoyed being a member of the ‘Calgary Theatre Singers’ as well as various community choirs, according to their web site.

“Deborah was singing in her dad’s dance band when she was 13 or 14 years old,” said Richard.

“And at the same time, her mother was teaching her classical music,” he said of his wife’s rich and diverse musical background.

Meanwhile, in 1990, the couple was contracted to perform on the popular tourist train ‘Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions’ in Stettler.

Over the years, they have also developed many different music and comedy shows and have been hired by countless numbers of organizations to perform throughout much of western Canada, noted their web site.

They also opened a successful dinner theatre on their acreage near Red Deer back in 2006. After a successful run of nine years, operations ceased a couple of years back when they relocated to Innisfail.

“We’ve done a lot of different things. We had a dance band. In the 1980s, we also had the Popovich Family Singers. In the 1990s, we did a TV show for Shaw, using a 16-piece stage band in the 40s style,” he said.

“We’ve been working at the Stettler train for 29 years – it’s been fantastic. They are a great outfit (Alberta Prairie Railway) to work for.” It’s that type of variety that has helped keep things so fresh and vibrant in their shows year by year, he said.

“Here in Central Alberta, we’ve got a great group who have supported our shows for years and years and years. Some of those people who will be coming to this show started coming to our shows in the 1980s. There is great support in Central Alberta.

“Our goal is always that they come to our shows and have fun. That they become part of the experience.”

For ticket information, call 403-304-6821 or 1-888-856-9282.

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