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Critic's picks: Shawn Hook, Ivan Hartle, A Live Dub of Red Sonja

Shawn Hook coming to Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney Nov. 19


Where: Mary Winspear Centre, 2243 Beacon Ave., Sidney

When: Nov. 19, 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $40 from the Mary Winspear Centre box office (250-656-0275) or

Why: The radio-friendly pop of Shawn Hook has always had a strong musical foundation, on top of which the conservatory-trained Vancouver hitmaker stacks hooks aplenty. That bodes well for the upcoming Mary Winspear Centre performance by the three-time Juno Award nominee, who will showcase his skills on piano and guitar at this intimate appearance. Hook has two monster hits — Sound of Your Heart and Reminding Me, with Vanessa Hudgens, which have a combined 220 million streams on Spotify — but don’t be surprised if he delivers a set on Saturday defined by its breadth and quality.


Where: McPherson Playhouse, 3 Centennial Sq.

When: Nov. 18, 8 p.m.

Tickets: $31.25-$44.75 from the Royal McPherson box office (250-386-6121) or

Why: Community Living Victoria’s annual fundraiser is back after a three-year break, with Vancouver’s Ivan Hartle as the headliner. Hartle’s music, which combines the laidback side of the Black Pumas with the West Coast soul of Allen Stone, is the perfect soundtrack to welcome back the Concert for Hope Help Home, which raises money to support children, youth and adults with intellectual disabilities and their families. Not everyone who buys a ticket will know Hartle’s music, but they will no doubt be moved by it during what should be a spirited set of rock and folk music.


Where: The Vic Theatre, 808 Douglas St.

When: Nov. 18, 8 p.m.

Tickets: $25 from

Why: When esteemed film critic Roger Ebert reviewed Red Sonja in 1985, he called the Brigitte Nielsen/Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle “so inept there are times when it’s actually fun, especially when the actors struggle through dialogue that sounds like they’ve already read the Mad Magazine parody.” Organizers of A Live Dub of Red Sonja are banking on the guilty-pleasure appeal touched upon by Ebert, and event director Nash Park has assembled of a cast of talented locals to perform — in real time — all the dialogue, sound effects and music live on stage. Not every cult favourite gets such a red carpet reception, so Nash and Co. must be on to something with this Red Sonja roast.

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