Chautauqua dazzles with diverse performances

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The sixth annual Chautauqua Theatre Festival hosted in Swift Current over the weekend certainly provided a break from the mundane.

Armed with a diverse selection of performances, the July 11 to 14 festival boasted riotously funny productions, reflective performances, and kid friendly shows.

If you couldn't book off a series of evenings to take in the entertainment, sitting down for the July 13th double bill was a perfect opportunity to get a healthy dose of the Chautauqua experience. Saturday night's menu was a lighter fare, featuring two returning acts to the Chautauqua stage, serving up laughs as opposed to some of the emotionally gripping shows you can sometimes experience.

Saturday night's entertainment kicked off with the cool sounds of local band Over the Air covering material from their second full length release Cold Hands, followed by the smooth prose of high school poet Shaun Wiskar. The opening act opportunities for local performers at Chautauqua provided good incentive for the talent that exists right in our own backyard.

The stage was then set for the fanciful Grim and Fischer, performed by the Portland based Wonderheads, a riveting mask performance sharing the comedic story of the spunky Mrs. Fischer and her imaginative escapades avoiding an invitation from Death himself. The group was back for a second straight summer after performing Loon during their 2012 debut in Swift Current.

The laughs continued during Sound & Fury's Hitchcocked, a comedic script borrowing from classic Alfred Hitchcock films and quick thinking improv. The trio of Patrick Hercamp, Richard Maritzer and Ryan Adam Wells were last in the city for the 2011 Chautauqua where they unveiled their previous play, Doc Faustus, which went on to win accolades at numerous festivals.

The 2013 Chautauqua also featured: Fools For Love performed by the duo of Adam Keefe and Christine Lesiak; the musically talented Melanie Gall presenting More Power to your Knitting, Nell!, the emotionally riveting Huff, while children were enthralled by the two performances of The Princess and the Pea by Wide Open Puppet Theatre.

Geographic location: Chautauqua, Swift Current

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