by Stephen Dafoe
The Live at the CCC concert series continues this month with a Saturday afternoon matinee performance by Al Simmons Jan. 26.
The prairie-born Canadian performer has been in the business for just shy of 50 years, building a career that is a unique homage to the vaudeville performers both he and his father loved. Simmons father was in magazine sales, but would often mimic the vaudeville routines he enjoyed in the family home. It was from that family experience that Simmons developed his talents.
Simmons has earned the name The Thomas Edison of Entertainment, and rightfully so as much of his comedy comes from the unique creations he builds to amuse and entertain his audiences.
Using a variety of costumes, characters, unusual homemade inventions and puns that are either bad or good (depending on your love of puns) Simmons provides his audience with a truly unique show.
Simmons was last in Morinville in 2011 during the Town’s centennial year of celebrations. He says he is looking forward to coming back.
“I am thrilled to be asked to return to Morinville to help celebrate your 108th anniversary,” Simmons said in an email interview. “I will be bringing three trunks full of mechanical hats, outrageous costumes and bizarre musical instruments. During the show, I’ll sing a variety of songs and accompany myself with a banjo, harmonica, a sing-a-long eye-chart and a screwball school of rubber fish. Great-grand-parents and aunts and uncles are guaranteed to be as entertained as pre-schoolers.”
But Simmons is not the only one anticipating a good time for the audience. Events & Culture Coordinator Ryan Telfer, who booked Simmons for his first stop in Morinville in eight years, refers to him as a real Canadian treasure and legend.
“His humour and songs cross boundaries of age and generations,” Telfer said. “Audiences of all ages will pick something up from his clever rhyming and his wild and unique handmade inventions, pros and instruments.”
One of the highlights of Simmons 2011 appearance in Morinville was performing the 1812 Overture on what the performer calls his Upright, Bb, 4-Bell, 12-Valve, Baritone Simbonium.
Simmons made the instrument by soldering together a miniature tuba, three trumpets with some extra bells and whistles, quite literally. The song is played while the invention spits out water, confetti, puffs of smoke, golf balls, balloons, flags and flowers.
The routine will seem completely normal after the audience has seen the rest of Simmons show.
The show takes place at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre Jan, 26 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person or $50 for a package of four tickets.
Tickets can be purchased at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre during business hours or at ticketpro.ca 1-888-655-9090.
Infinite Event Services is the Main Stage sponsor for the 2018-2019 season. Season Partners include St Albert Inn & Suites, Morinville News and Hunters Print and Copy.