Scott Roos/Herald contributor
In a recent press release sent out November 26th, the EA Rawlinson Centre For the Arts announced that due to government regulations put in place limiting gathering in performance venues to 30 people as of November 27th, the scheduled shows with Regina singer-songwriter Jeffery Straker’s “Very Prairie Christmas” show would be moving online.
“The previously planned livestream featuring Regina’s Jeffery Straker will proceed, but we will not be able to entertain a live audience in our auditorium. Anyone wishing to purchase a livestream ticket can visit https://tickets.citypa.ca/TheatreManager/1/online?performance=1983. Livestream ticket prices are available from $10 to $100, just pick what you think is fair!”
Undeterred, Straker is still looking forward to performing a more stripped down and intimate “round the piano” style show in Prince Albert. There will only be one livestreamed show now, as opposed to the previously-booked pair of in-person events and it’s this
Saturday, Dec. 5.
“The song selection is still the same great mix of holiday songs people would kind of expect. So it’s a mix of the traditional ones, a couple sacred ones and then of course I’ve got some of my own particularly from having released the three song EP (entitled This Christmas),” said Straker in a recent phone interview.
“The vibe will kind of be like what we presented last year in that I’m accompanied by three great musicians and we’ve got really nice harmonies so there’s that feel of singing around the piano to the whole show which not everyone was able to have that experience as a kid growing up,” continued Straker,
“Due to Hollywood it’s something that people think of when they think of Christmas. They think of people singing together maybe with a piano in a house or with a guitar or something and woven together with stories between the songs. It’s an hour and fifteen minutes that’s just gonna give people some nostalgia and I think that is exactly what we need right now. People are confused and exhausted and tired of COVID and I think what we’re gonna give people for their price of admission is a total escape.”
It has indeed been a long road for many this season dealing with COVID-19. Straker is a consummate professional with a “show must go on” mantra. His musicianship will no doubt be on full display when he sits down to perform on the Rawlinson’s beautiful grand piano. His energy is going to be infectious and his stories will be full of wit and charm. Audiences who have seen Straker’s “Very Prairie Christmas” shows in years past can rest assured that they can experience that same holiday spirit and festive environment.
It’s going to be a fun night to be sure. In the meantime, for those who just can’t get enough of Straker, he will also be participating in TeleMiracle once again. This year’s 20 hour telethon will take place Feb. 27 and 28 and will be done remotely without a live audience.