Contributed photo The fresh, unique and catchy music of folk-pop group The Kwerks (led by Ryan and Laura Koch) comes to the 100-year-old barn of South Surrey’s Kingfisher Farm on Saturday (June 9).

THE SCENE

Arts and entertainment on the Semiahmoo Peninsula

Ninotchka

White Rock Players Club’s latest production, the 1930s romantic comedy Ninotchka, by Melchior Lengyel, opens this week at the Coast Capital Playhouse.

Directed by Dale Kelly, the play – based on a Lengyel story that became a classic 1939 movie with Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas – tells the story of no-nonsense female Soviet Russian envoy Ninotchka (Donnub Jafarzadeh), sent to Paris to retrieve works of art that had belonged to the deposed Romanov royal family.

Negotiations have been moving at a snail’s pace because the previously-sent envoys, Babinski (Bryce Mills), Brankov (Kelly Thompson) and Ivanov (Adam Piercy) have fallen victim to the many charms of the ‘city of light.’

More than happy to encourage them in their newly acquired addiction to the high life has been Leon Dagoult (Tomas Gamba), lawyer and lover of a surviving Romanov, Princess Stephanie (Rebecca Sutherland).

All changes when Leon and Ninotchka meet and romantic sparks are struck, in spite of their conflicting ideologies.

Also featured are Charles Buettner as Commissar Krasnov and Jennifer Lane in the role of Coppelia.

The show previews tonight (June 6) and Thursday, opening Friday at the theatre at 1532 Johnston Rd., with performances at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets ($22, $19 students and seniors) are available from the box office 604-536-7535, or online at whiterockplayersclub.ca

Club 240

Crescent Legion Branch’s Club 240 and the Semiahmoo Music Consortium continue their series of Friday night dances with The Mojo Stars (June 8).

Formed in 2006 by singer-front man Randy Clarke and guitarist Mark Rankin, the band has gathered a solid following with music that has “deep roots in the blues and soul combined with a rock driven edge.”

Offering patrons one of the Lower Mainland’s best dance floors, the Friday night events also feature hot food from Seriously Good Catering.

Upcoming shows include the band Indigo (June 22).

The venue is located at 2643 128 St. and all tickets are $20 unless otherwise specified, available online from www.brownpapertickets.ca or from the legion box office (604-535-1043) four weeks prior to each show.

Branch 8 Music

The White Rock Legion (Branch 8) presents bands and musical entertainers every Friday and Saturday, and Country Sunday live entertainment each Sunday from 3-7 p.m., interspersed with other special music presentations.

Upcoming entertainers are ’50s-’60s duo Cheek To Cheek (June 8-9); Nightwing (June 15-16); Two of a Kind (June 22-23) and Flashback (June 29-30).

The legion is located at 2290 152 St. and, on Fridays and Saturdays, is open from noon to 1 a.m.

For more, call 604-531-2422 (during business hours) or 604-531-4308.

The Kwerks

Eccentric, out-of-the-ordinary, rhythmic folk-pop band The Kwerks – led by wife-husband duo Laura and Ryan Koch – return to South Surrey’s Kingfisher Farm this Saturday (June 9) for a concert of upbeat tunes from their latest album, Bigger, Badder Dreams.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. at the farm’s 100-year-old barn, located at 512 172 St.

Laura’s vocals and guitar and Ryan’s vocals and “sassy” dance moves – along with the skills of band members Gregg Porter (mandolin, banjo); Jay Rennicks (electric guitar); Jonathan Perkins (bass) and Tim Dyck (drums and percussion) – have resulted in what they describe as “a unique, snappy kind of folk-pop, peppered with hints of bluegrass and pop-rock.”

As quirky as their amusing onstage and online presence, their original songs have attracted a growing legion of loyal fans – dubbed KwerkNation – that crosses all age demographics.

So loyal are the fans, in fact, that their votes pushed the band – with their new song Firelight – to among the top 10 in this year’s CBC Searchlight competition, after a more-than-respectable top-25 finish in last year’s contest.

While they didn’t score the top prize, they were the last remaining Lower Mainland band in the competition, garnering a lot of media attention which, the Kochs say, has led to a very busy spring and summer season, including a return to the Kingfisher barn, which they first played three years ago.

Tickets are $18 in advance or $20 at the door, with admission for children only $5. For more information and tickets visit www.thekwerks.com

Group show

White Rock Gallery presents a major group show, Perspectives – highlighting new works by modern masters Renato Muccillo, Robert P. Roy, Graeme Shaw and Donna Zhang – with opening events Saturday, June 9, from 7-10 p.m. (artists in attendance) and Sunday, June 10, from noon to 4 p.m.

Muccillo is a diligent student of the “alchemy of landscape” – specializing in sophisticated paintings that imbue ostensibly straightforward country scenes with both poetry and mystery.

In contrast to Muccillo’s precision of effect, Roy’s landscapes, while traversing similar pastoral territory, evokes nostalgic reverie through a looser technique, using a studied indistinctness to emphasize overall form and colour.

Shaw would be the first to acknowledge a debt to the late, great Robert Genn in his journeys through the Canadian wilderness, but he has developed a magical, mystical stylization that is entirely his own.

Zhang’s arresting portraiture of residents of Tibet and Mongolia finds a breathtaking beauty in unsentimental realism.

The show continues until June 16.

For online previews, visit whiterockgallery.com

Sunny Shams

Opera Opulanza presents award-winning operatic tenor Sunny Shams in concert, Saturday, June 9 at 7 p.m. at White Rock Community Church, 15280 Pacific Ave.

Featured will be a selection of popular operatic arias and art songs, with piano accompaniment by Roger Parton.

Tickets are $25, $18 for seniors and students online, or $28 and $20 at the door. For reservations and more information, visit operaopulanza.ca

Traditional jazz

White Rock Traditional Jazz Society’s season of 2-5 p.m. session of hot jazz shows for listening and dancing at the Crescent Legion Branch’s Club 240 may have wound up until resuming in the fall.

But the toe-tapping retro jazz doesn’t stop there, as popular WRTJS house band Red Beans & Rice – led by WRTJS co-founder Rice Honeywell Sr. – returns, starting June 10, for its 14th summer season of dances, also at 2-5 p.m. each Sunday at Club 240.

Sessions run up to Aug. 26 (except for B.C. Day, Aug. 5, on which there will be no dance).

Admission is $10 at the door (WRTJS members); $12 (non members) and $6 (students with ID).

Sound Shifters

The latest project for guitarist Randy Schultz (Mojo Zydeco), the Sound Shifters – featuring such musical associates as Tony Rees and Rob Harvey – presents monthly Saturday shows at the Crescent Legion’s Club 240, 2643 128 St.

Schultz describes the band as “a blending of Blues Caboose and Mojo Zydeco, as well as the revival and re-arrangements of more obscure cover songs hand-picked from the last 40 years – a good time, let’s dance live music experience.”

Next dance will be on June 23. Tickets ($10) at the door.

Open mic

Monday nights continue to be music nights at the Roadhouse Grille restaurant – a longtime supporter of local youth talent – with an acoustic open-mic showcase for singers and players of all ages conducted by Dennis Peterson.

Performances run from 6:30-9 p.m., and listeners (and performers) are advised to arrive early for a good spot.

The venue is at 1781 King George Blvd.

Men’s chorus

The Pacific Showtime Men’s Chorus (who recently presented the music/comedy mix Something Completely Different) is always on the watch for kindred spirits who love to sing, laugh it up and indulge their hammier instincts in their productions, under the guidance of their director, keyboardist, writer and arranger, Jonathan Wiltse.

The group rehearses Monday nights at 7:30 p.m. at St. Mark’s Church, 12953 20 Ave.

New members welcome. Singers are invited to attend rehearsals and, hopefully, join in.

For more, call 604-536-5292 or email leighand@shaw.ca

Blue Frog

White Rock’s Blue Frog Studios continues to provide intimate, up-close concerts with national and international acts as well as local performers.

Coming up are blues guitar virtuoso David Gogo and his band (June 15); and Zachary Taylor’s dynamic tribute act The Buddy Holly Show (still some tickets for June 21).

Waiting in the wings are Mr. Boogie Woogie –also known as Erik-Jan Overbeek, “fastest, flashiest, piano-thumping boogie man in the Netherlands” (July 13) – and extraordinary blues guitar-and-vocals team Kal David and Lauri Bono (July 20 and 21).

The venue is located at 1328 Johnston Rd – visit www.bluefrogstudios.ca

Hazeltones

Hazelmere United Church presents a singalong with the popular Hazeltones, Saturday, June 16 at 7 p.m.

The performance will also feature special numbers by The Spirit Sisters.

Ticket sales will support Surrey Memorial Hospital’s Children’s Health Centre.

Tickets ($12) are available at the door, but due to limited seating reservations are recommended (email hazeltones@shaw.ca or call Carol at 604-538-1149.

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