Shirley Valentine in Ashcroft this weekend

Nadine Davenport's Creative Current looks at upcoming theatre and music.

Mavourneen Varcoe-Ryan is Shirley Valentine

Hot on the heels of its enthusiastically received production of My Fair Lady, the Winding Rivers Arts & Performance Society presents the famous play Shirley Valentine this weekend. It stars award-winning local actress and director Mavourneen Varcoe-Ryan, who gets to step from behind the scenes and plant herself squarely centre stage as she displays her formidable acting chops in this wonderful one-character play.

It’s the story of Shirley Valentine, a middle-aged Liverpool housewife who finds herself talking to the wall as she prepares her husband’s chips and eggs and wonders what happened to her life. When she has the chance of a holiday in Greece, Shirley begins to see the world, and herself, in a different light.

The production will feature the debut of Barbara Roden as director. There will be two showings at the HUB (former Ashcroft Elementary) on Friday and Saturday evenings, March 11 and 12, at 7:00pm. There will also be a matinee performance at 2:00pm on Sunday, March 13. Admission and refreshments are by donation.

Rhymes by Lois, Rhythms by Nadine

Lois Petty and Nadine Davenport share the stage on Sunday, March 13 at 2:00pm (doors open at 1:30) at St. Alban’s Hall in Ashcroft. A “personal journey”-inspired joint performance will take the listener through melodies, images, stories, and encounters throughout both women’s lives and the lives of others around them. It’s a reflections on the days that turn into nights and nights that turn into days. Lois and Nadine invite the community to explore a unique gathering of words and music. Lois Petty says “I’m not a poet, I’m a rhymester who likes stringing words together.” Nadine Davenport says that “Every word of poetry and imagery has to mean something, challenge my growth or reflect upon my personal vulnerabilities—melodies always moving, my expressions to inspire or touch all—is what drives me.” This is a free event, with tea, coffee, and goodies served.

The man who blew Tom Waits’s mind comes to Ashcroft

UniTea Tea Room presents a mind-blowing evening of soulful music and beat-box poetry on March 23, with a double bill from C.R. Avery and Lexi Marie. Avery’s genius lies in many genres—blues, hip-hop, spoken word, and rock and roll—while Marie’s music combines the essence of folk and soul with a hip-hop sensibility. Doors open at 7:00pm; the concert starts at 7:30. Tickets at the door or reserve via phone at (250) 453-9345.

It takes a special kind of performer to garner a response like “He’s blown my mind” from the legendary Tom Waits; but C.R. Avery is a unique, raw, and dynamic performer. He is a one-man band, but one for this generation, with the rare ability to sing poetic verse while beatboxing simultaneously and pounding the piano and adding harmonica like a plot twist.

Lexi Marie is a prolific poet and vocalist currently based out of Lillooet, who combines the essence of soul and folk with an R&B kiss. When she sings it’s like a sunrise, something to look forward to, bringing light to even the darkest of days. Influenced by strong female artists like Mavis Staples and Lauryn Hill, Lexi draws from her struggles and vulnerabilities, making a point of delivering bold and honest messages.