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Empress Theatre presents musical comedy ‘Chickens’

empress play chickens

Back row: Dale Risser and Petula Hofer. Middle row: Dino Vizzutti, Dona Guyettes, Candice Larson and Michael Dyck. Front: Laura Glover and Erin Bourke-Henderson.

Chickens: A Musical Comedy takes the stage of the Empress Theatre this week.
Chickens is the latest community theatre offering by the Empress Theatre and director Erin Bourke-Henderson promises audiences are in for a treat.
“The characters are so loveable and there is an amazing band right on stage,” Bourke-Henderson said. “It’s truly not to be missed.”
Chickens is the story of a farmer who is facing bankruptcy and the loss of his prairie farm and risks nearly everything by raising a flock of exotic chickens.
Life in the chicken coop strangely parallels the plight of their human characters, as a gaggle of hens and roosters scratch out a living producing eggs and contemplating the big questions of poultry life.
Bourke-Henderson said the authenticity of Chickens will resonate with audiences.
“The struggles of a farmer and his wife, money, marriage, past hurts, and circumstances that define who you have become,” Bourke-Henderson said of the appeal of Chickens. “The playwright’s use of wordplay, how friendly and beautiful the music is, the Albertan references, and that it is poignant yet so funny at the same time.”
Chickens will take the stage at 7 p.m. on May 21, May 22, May 23, May 28, May 29 and May 30, with 1 p.m. matinees on May 23 and May 30.
Chickens was written by Lucia Frangione with music by Royal Sproule, Lewis Frere, Mark Lewandowski and Jason Bertsch, and by arrangement with the Playwrights Guild of Canada.
The cast includes Michael Dyck as the farmer Pal, Petula Hofer as his wife Liza and chickens Dale Risser as Nibs, Candice Larson as Stewer, Dino Vizzutti as Alphonso and Dona Guyette as Butterball.
Michael Ayotte is musical director and pianist in a band that includes Francis Krizan on guitar, Richard Feller on bass, Arnold McAulay on banjo and Kris Goodfellow on drums.
Laura Glover is vocal coach for Chickens.
Kate Glover is stage manager and Denise Joel is assistant stage manager for Chickens, and Joella Bevan is in charge of props.
Andrew Legg, Denise Calderwood, Sherri Duerloo are in charge of costumes, and John Wort Hannam is responsible for posters and programs.
Gerald Joel and Tim Ranson are in charge of the set, Tara Asuchak is looking after paint and Patrick Harris is in charge of lights.
Tickets are available at the Empress Theatre box office on Main Street and at www.empresstheatre.ab.ca

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