Wednesday, 27 January 2016 15:19

Lyric Theatre is continuing to improve

Written by  Joey Donnelly
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In ancient Greece, long before Ziggy Stardust burst onto the scene, Orpheus was a rock star.

Father of music and art, his lyre and poetry were so charming that upon hearing them, animals went quiet, while trees and stones started to move.
Orpheus loved Eurydice and one day, she was chased by a satyr and fell into a nest of vipers and suffered a fatal bite on her heel.
Her body was discovered by Orpheus who, overcome with grief, played such sad and mournful songs that all the nymphs and gods wept. On their advice, Orpheus travelled to the Underworld.
Legend tells his music was so sweet and so moving it softened the cold steel heart of Hades who agreed to let the musician retrieve his lover back to the land of the living. There was only one condition: Orpheus was not to look back as he ascended from the depths.
Nearing the threshold, he briefly looked back to make sure she was still there.
By that lapse of trust, Eurydice was instantly snatched back into the abyss. Since that time, Orpheus’ spirit is said to guide musicians who play music which mourns lost love.
When he eventually died, the Muses placed his lyre among the stars, and shrines containing his relics were regarded as oracles.
Around the world, there are dozens (perhaps hundreds) of theatres named Orpheus, Orpheum, Lyric — each a nod to the master of lyre and stanza.
Swift Current’s own ode to Orpheus is the Lyric, a neoclassical theatre more precious than a Stradivarius violin.
This upcoming March 25 marks the 10th anniversary since the Southwest Cultural Development Group officially re-opened the Lyric.
Vaudeville Revisited was a sold-out nine-act extravaganza hosted by Wally Pearson and headlined by the living Canadian legend, Fred Penner.
Besides putting on a great show on a new stage, the re-opening was a linguistic triumph by successfully restoring the theatre’s original name. To quote Penner, the cat came back.
Last week at the Lyric, following a Chautauqua meeting, the committee was shown the upstairs, now that the new front windows have been installed.
Natural light filled the rooms, as sun beams soared through skylights exposing the rafters and the fine dark grains of wainscoting and hardwood floors.
We all imagined what the second level could become: an art gallery, performance venue, restaurant, studios or suites.  
If the Fates allow, may the will of Orpheus and his magic melody guide our earnest efforts at the Lyric (without looking back), and let the Muses play there forever more at our little oracle on the prairies.
Upcoming events:
On Saturday, Jan. 30, Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Night returns with David Dempsey and Sean Lecomber. Door opens at 8 p.m., show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets: $17 in advance at Pharmasave or $20 at door.
Youth Talent Night is on Wednesday, Feb. 3. Doors open at 6 p.m., show starts at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for youth, $7 for adults. Performers get in for free.
Open Stage returns on Thursday, Feb. 11. Doors open at 7:30 p.m, show starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $7, while performers get in for free.
A group of local writers will be showcased at the next Write Out Loud on Wednesday, Feb. 17. Doors open 6:30 p.m., show starts at 7 p.m. Admission $8 at the door.
For a good date night, Blenders presents The Stray Birds on Saturday, Feb. 13 — a genre melding acoustic trio with gorgeous three-part harmonies. Doors open 7:30 p.m. Music starts 8:30 p.m. Tickets: $25.
On Wednesday, Feb. 24, the Snowed in Comedy Tour features half a dozen comics and guaranteed laughs. Tickets available at Pharmasave.
On Saturday. Feb. 27 Shann Gowan and the Blenders team present a Stir Crazy Blues concert featuring two amazing blues acts: Tim Williams and Cécile Doo-Kingué. Doors open 7:30 p.m. Music starts 8:30 p.m. Tickets: $35.
For more information about the Lyric and other upcoming shows, visit, the Facebook page, or phone 306-773-6292.
Joey Donnelly is a news reporter for Golden West Radio, folklorist and Lyric board member.

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