It’s been said that everyone has a certain amount of talent. Problem is, most talents are hidden for a variety of reasons.
For starters, there’s the issue of having no opportunities to hit the stage and show off your talent other than maybe at home in front of family and friends.
What if you knew of an event where you can get involved with a great group of like-minded individuals who give you the opportunity to show off your talent? Well, here’s your chance!
The Brandon Kinettes are pleased to announce the sixth annual Westman’s Got Talent for ages three to 93.
This fun-filled show is just over two weeks away. Cash and prizes are up for grabs but you have to get on this quick. The first 25 entries will be accepted and spots are filling up fast.
Kinette member Darlene Moffat says the entries are slowly coming in for this year’s show, which is a key fundraiser for the Kinette Club of Brandon.
"This is a great show that offers a multitude of talented people from the Brandon area who are more than happy to perform," she said. "Not only is another fun fundraiser for the Kinettes, it’s a great show for Westman."
WGT started off as a month-long process, with three weeks of qualifying rounds. However, since then they’ve edited it down to one highly entertaining matinee that now lasts a few hours.
The show date is Sunday, Feb. 10, and according to Moffat, the Kinettes are happy to be announcing a new venue this year.
"We decided to move things into the Evans Theatre on the BU campus. The stage is bigger and there is seating for just over 200."
She said the ultimate goal is to hold the contest at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium within a few years.
WGT has featured a wide variety of entertainment, the most common acts being singers and dance troupes. However, Moffat says the entertainment field has become even more varied over the years.
"We’ve had everything from solo dance acts to dance troupes along with musical combo acts and pianists. Even full bands hit the stage to perform," she said. "But we’re happy to get a little bit of everything entering the contest, including comedians and jugglers, cloggers and yodellers.
"We even had an impressionist one year but the rarest was the amazing hoola hooper who won it all last year. Her act is one you have to see to believe! We usually see a good mix of everything though. It makes for a really great show, the more variety, the better."
There is one act that they’ve never had which Moffat said would be an amazing addition to the show.
"We have never had a magician and we would really like to see some magic this year."
Perhaps the magic is in the show itself and how well it is organized and ultimately brought to the stage.
Moffat shares the emcee duties with fellow Kinette member Cheryl DeBeer and though things have become less stressful over the years, she says that wasn’t the case when she first took the job.
"I was terrified the first year when my MC bailed at the last minute."
Moffat says her favourite part of the show is actually watching it from back stage and seeing the contestants win their battle with stage fright just as she did all those years ago.
"Getting to be right there with contestants before they go on stage, you get to see how nervous and or excited some of them can get," she said. "Sometimes, the contestants get stage fright and Cheryl and I get to talk them into getting on stage and performing.
"It is so rewarding to see the contestant beat stage fright and get up on stage and have fun performing!"
Obviously there are costs incurred to put the show on, Moffat said.
"The cost to enter is only $20 until Jan. 25. After that date it will be $25. But every contestant will win at least $25 in prizes so it really costs nothing and the experience is invaluable. It is only $5 for admission and it is a fun-filled afternoon for the whole family.
"We also have a "Kincession" so no one goes away hungry. All the money collected from our show is donated right back to Westman to the people in need."
Moffat says sponsorship is always appreciated and there’s always room for more.
"We really appreciate the support we get from our local businesses that donate prizes for our contestants. We have quite a long list of supporters but are always looking for more.
"If anyone wants to donate money or prizes, they can call me, Darlene Moffat at 204-727-0927."
For contestants, Moffat stresses the urgency in available spots as the Feb. 10 show date draws near.
"We usually see the entries flood in a couple weeks prior to the show, so if you’ve been preparing your act, the time to act is now and fill out your entry form," she said.
"Everyone is welcome and everybody who enters wins a prize. The top prize is, of course, our annual WGT trophy, plus $500 cash."
Space is limited so enter today. Entry forms are available at Phillips Insurance on 11th Street and Rosser Avenue. For more information, call 204-727-0709.
7 Ages will have you rolling in the aisles
Mel Brooks is surely the zaniest comic genius ever and "The Producers" is proof positive of this. Winner of a record breaking 12 Tony Awards, the play is an absolute must see.
And thanks to 7 Ages Productions, you can. Their version of "The Producers" opens Thursday and runs through Sunday at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium.
7 Ages costume co-ordinator, bookkeeper and assistant to the artistic director Trish Buri took some time out of her busy schedule to give us a quick report on how things are going with the show. Her schedule has been marked with numerous projects of late, including prepping the amazing wardrobe for "The Producers" and rehearsing to play the part of Hold-Me Touch-Me.
Yet the great sport she is, just days before the first curtain call (set for tonight, Jan. 24), she still found enough time to give us this update:
(From the desk of Trish Buri)
Mel Brooks’ "The Producers" opens Jan. 24 and runs until Jan. 27. The show won 12 Tonys in 2001 — more than any other Broadway show. You could say it’s Mel Brooks’ most successful creation.
I dare anyone to go to the show and not laugh. It is the funniest show I’ve ever seen. George and I saw it on Broadway years ago and we just couldn’t stop laughing. We wanted to do it right away, but it’s very expensive because of the unusual sets and costumes.
This year we have just the right mix of singers and dancers needed for the show. We’re forging ahead because of the enthusiastic young actors, many from "Guys and Dolls", which we did last year. It has a great cast: Jeremy Lancaster as Max, the role played by Nathan Lane on Broadway; Clint McLaughlin as Leo Bloom, the role played by Matthew Broderick; Kenna Simpson as Ulla; Sean Keogh as Franz Liebkind; and Ken Jackson as Roger Debris. Our chorus is full of terrific singers, many who have had lead roles in past musicals.
Linda Kearns is doing the choreography. She’s a very talented lady, and I must add that much of the humour is in the dance sequences — not the usual slapstick but a bouquet of absurdity, irony, and illusion.
And now, back to hemming skirts!
Showtimes are 7:30 nightly and there’s a 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday. Language and content may be offensive to some.
Tickets are available at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium Box Office, or by calling 728-9510 or buy online at wmca.ca Prices are $28 for adults, $25 for seniors. Prices include taxes and $2 service charge.
Frank McGwire is a radio personality and booster of the music scene in Brandon and Westman.