Key City pulls out all the stops in 2012/2013 season

Cranbrook theatre to host acts including Michelle Wright, Ben Heppner and Stuart McLean

The world's finest dramatic tenor Ben Heppner will perform in Cranbrook next May

The Key City Theatre box office has reopened, and tickets are selling fast for a bevy of hit shows this season.

The Townsman talked to marketing coordinator Jenn Smith for the low-down of performances in the 2012/2013 season.

Sloan, Thursday, September 13, 7:30 p.m., tickets $35, on sale now

Over 20 years, Sloan has released 30 singles, 10 LPs, 2 EPs, a live album and a best of collection. The Toronto-based alternative rock quartet will celebrate the triple vinyl reissue of their LP Twice Removed by playing the entire album in order, along with other Sloan hits.

“We are very much looking forward to it,” said Smith. “They are an iconic band from the ’90s and it’s going to be a great night of rock.”

Middleton: A Folk Musical, Thursday, September 20, 7:30 p.m., tickets $20; seniors and students $18, on sale now

Cranbrook home town girl Candice Fiorentino brings her Edmonton production company Poiema Productions back to town for a play based on a folk musical.

“It’s a play that is set in Nova Scotia,” said Smith. “It’s about a small town steeped in love, grief and gossip.”

Bronn and Katherine Journey, Sunday, September 30, 2 p.m., tickets $25, on sale now

The Go Go Grannies are bringing this husband and wife team of talented musicians to Cranbrook. Bronn is a highly trained harpist and Katherine is a classically educated vocalist. The concert will raise funds for African grandmothers raising their grandchildren through the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

Dr. Jane Goodall, Sunday, September 30, 7 p.m., tickets $50, on sale now

World renowned primatologist Jane Goodall will present her Reason for Hope speech about conservation and sustainability, hosted by the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network.

Sylvia Browne, Tuesday, October 2, 7:30 p.m., tickets SOLD OUT

When tickets went on sale in June for psychic and spiritual teacher Sylvia Browne, eager concert goers started lining up at 6 a.m.

“We had a line-up out the door. It was like a mini Bob Dylan rush!,” said Smith.

Browne, a gifted author, lecturer and researcher in the field of parapsychology, is visiting Cranbrook as part of her 50th anniversary tour.

Toopy and Binoo and the Marshmallow Moon, Saturday, October 6, 1 p.m., tickets $29, on sale now

Two fun-loving, adorable characters come to life on stage, driven by their out-of-this-world imaginations. Incorporating music, theatre, dance, puppetry and innovative multimedia technology, this show is designed for preschool-aged children.

“Toopy and Binoo are back. It’s very popular,” said Smith. “The kids just love Toopy and Binoo with their antics on stage.”

Lucas Myers: Deck, Thursday, October 11, 7:30 p.m., tickets $15, on sale now

Nelson actor and playwright Lucas Myers returns to Cranbrook with a new, hilarious one-man show titled Deck: How I Instigated Then Overcame an Existential Crisis Through Home Improvement.

“If that title doesn’t get you, I don’t know what will,” said Smith. “He’s been to Cranbrook before at the Studio Stage Door and he was so funny that we wanted to bring him to a bigger stage so more people can get out to see him.”

Note: this show is not suitable for children.

Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Café, Thursday, October 18, 7 p.m., tickets $47.50, on sale now

Canada’s favourite storyteller is back in town with his hit CBC radio show, heard by 1.3 million people every week.

Stuart will share two new Dave and Morley stories, and will be accompanied by musician Harry Manx, a B.C.-based musician who blends blues, folk and Hindustani classical music.

Michelle Wright, Wednesday, October 24, 7:30 p.m., tickets $40, on sale now

One of the biggest names in Canadian country music, Michelle Wright will perform an intimate performance in Cranbrook. Newly inducted to the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, Wright will perform her greatest hits, including Take It Like A Man and He Would Be Sixteen, as well as a collection of hits from other Hall of Fame members, including Michael Jackson and Aretha Franklin.

“She has a really strong fan base,” said Smith. “She puts on a really personable show with the audience here because it’s a nice small venue.”

Barney Bentall, Tuesday, November 13, 7:30 p.m., tickets $35, on sale September 17

Canadian music icon Barney Bentall comes to Cranbrook with his band to perform hits like Something to Live For, Life Could Be Worse and Come Back To Me.

“He’s known as one of the hardest working Canadian songwriters. That’s going to be another fabulous night of music in a nice intimate setting,” said Smith.

Alison Brown, Sunday, November 18, 7:30 p.m., tickets $35, on sale September 17

Grammy winning banjo virtuoso Alison Brown is making her first trip to Cranbrook with a quartet including drums, bass and piano.

“They play non-traditional bluegrass, so it’s going to be a fabulous toe-tapping night. It should appear to people who like all different music genres, from country to folk to jazz to rock,” said Smith.

Brown will be supported by Creston banjo player Elena Yeung, so concertgoers will get the chance to enjoy both local and internally recognized talent.

Meaghan Smith, Sunday, December 2, 7:30 p.m., tickets $25, on sale September 17

Ontario-based singer Meaghan Smith, who won the Juno Award for Best New Artist in 2011, will perform a special Christmas show in December.

“She is an up and coming artist. We like to have at least one up and coming artist in our series every year,” said Smith.

“It’s going to be a great night of traditional Christmas songs and some of her own stuff. She puts on a beautiful show.”

Swan Lake, Thursday, February 21, 7:30 p.m., tickets $50, on sale September 17

This rarely toured production will feature 24 dancers from Toronto company Ballet Jorgen.

“It is going to be breathtaking,” said Smith. “Swan Lake is the world’s most renowned classical ballet, and it doesn’t tour very often because it is so big. So we’re pretty lucky.”

Swan Lake is a story of true love, the union of two souls and the ultimate sacrifice to be set free.

Natalie MacMaster, Wednesday, April 10, 7:30 p.m., tickets $46, on sale November 19

The Canadian showstoppers continue with Cape Breton’s Natalie MacMaster performing her fiddle music.

Over three decades, MacMaster has won Grammy, Juno, East Coast Music and Canadian Country Music awards.

“She has been here before and she was loved, so we thought it was time to bring her back,” said Smith.

Ben Heppner, Saturday, May 18, 7:30 p.m., tickets $72, on sale September 17

The Key City Theatre’s season ends with a flourish as Ben Heppner performs an intimate concert for a few of his many fans.

“We are very honoured to have the finest dramatic tenor ever to be coming here,” said Smith, adding that Heppner hails from Dawson Creek.

Heppner has performed in Carnegie Hall, the Berlin Philharmonie and the Metropolitan Opera, and won both a Grammy and a Juno, as well as being recognized with the Order of Canada.

“It’s huge. Every so many years, he gives back to smaller communities by doing these small performances in smaller theatres. It was something the Key City couldn’t pass up. It’s a once in a lifetime event,” said Smith.

With so many amazing acts coming to Cranbrook this season, concertgoers will have a busy few months. Don’t wait to buy your tickets, Smith urged.

“It’s always the sooner the better if you want the good seats,” she said.

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