Artsbeat: Ladysmith star Pam Anderson enjoys Hairspray

A weekly compilation of facts, figures, and fascinating Cowichan culture:

• I met TV star Pamela Anderson (remember Baywatch?) taking in Thursday’s premiere of Shawnigan Lake School’s marvellous musical, Hairspray. Anderson spends time in the area semi-regularly at her Ladysmith home and has family members attending the private south-end high school.

• I enjoyed Thursday’s opening of photographer Paul Fletcher’s Impressions show at city square’s Old Firehouse Wine Bar. Fletcher’s imposing, hueful images show a tight grasp of using the contrasts of buildings and ordinary objects to produce abstract images. Some of many guests attending included Jeffrey Birkin, Glenn Spicer, Kerry Davis, and Grant Kernan, John Ellis, and Kelly Roxanne Girvan. Impressions runs until May 8.

• Bill Levity and Martyn Jones continue drawing island players out of the woodwork for a 2 to 5 p.m. open mike happening Saturdays at Duncan’s Courts Sports Lounge. Check it out (no cover), and bring your instrument(s). Guests have included Eugene Smith, Steve McKinnon, and many others.

• Speaking of Jones, the valley bass ace is leaving on a musical sabbatical to help Toronto pal Chris Morgan with a CD project in the Hogtown area.

• Finally, it was sad to hear Rita MacNeil, noted Canadian singing sensation and Cowichan stage favourite, has died of surgical complications. The crooner from Big Pond, Nova Scotia was 68.

Peter W. Rusland has been covering Cowichan’s arts and entertainment community for two decades. If you’d like to add to this column, reach him at arts@cowichannewsleader.com.

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