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Trio of shows at Millennium Place

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Who: Les Is More

Where: Millennium Place

When: March 2, 7:30 p.m.

There’s no better time for jazz.

"I’ve been singing since I was little – one of my aunts was always playing Dean Martin around the house," laughs Leslie Harris, whose nickname, Les is More, from Nancy Nash became the name of her trio.

Signed to Whistler-based Peerless Music and part of the Peerless Presents concert series, Harris plays jazzy blues this weekend from her new CD At Last . She will be joined by an all star lineup.

Steve Hilliam, of the Colin James Band, funks up the urban blues sound. Chris Nordquist, nominated four times for blues drummer of the year at the Canadian blues awards festival, joins Les is More guitarist Curtis DeBray, and stand-up bassist Stefan Bienz.

Harris opened for Canadian rocker Bryan Adams, Eric Burden, and the zesty Tina Turner.

She tried her hand at various musical genres in the ’80s, including that phase when "everyone had to be in a rock ’n’ roll band!"

Harris then developed her urban lounge sound in Vancouver.

"I performed in hotels like the Devonshire and the Georgia Hotel, and now I play the Chateau in Whistler, performing blues and jazz from the greats like Etta James and Dinah Washington," she says.

In this weekend’s program Harris performs vintage songs like Count Basie’s Everyday We Have the Blues, co-written by Joe Turner. Additional songs include Popsicle Toes and Since I Fell for You.

Who: Saul Reichlin

When: March 7, 8 p.m.

Where: Millennium Place

Saul Reichlin performs Sholem Aleichem: Now You’re Talking, a travelling production that has had UK and South African audiences talking for the past year.

Reichlin, who performed at the Edinburgh Festival 2001, revives the work of Aleichem in this humorous series of character sketches that includes Tevye, the hewer from the forest.

The Yiddish storyteller’s most famous character was Tevye the milkman, featured in both the stage production and the 1971 film Fiddler on the Roof.

The backdrop for Reichlin’s piece brings you to a Russian Pale of Settlement in 1900, where inhabitants struggle to make ends meet.

With a talent for character pieces, additional faces of his creation include Menachem Mendel, a talentless matchmaker, and Chlaven the shoemaker winding through a drunken Purim night.

Who: Don Bryan and Jacques le Strapp

Where: Millennium Place, 1:30 p.m. (Children’s Matinee), 7:30 p.m.

When: Sunday, March 3

Canadian ventriloquist Don Bryan gets playful with puppet Noseworthy, his partner, and hockey retiree character Jacques le Strapp onstage this Sunday.

With a children’s matinee geared for family viewing as well as an evening show, Bryan masters ventriloquism, the art of uttering sounds in such a manner that they do not appear to come from the speaker.

He has appeared with characters like Bird and Miss Annie for the past 30 years, performing on cruise ship tours with Holland America, and with trade-based talent shows like the Ventriloquist Festival held in Las Vegas in June, 2000.

The four-year old festival features 300 North American ventriloquists, who aim to dispel myths about their type of live performing. Movies like Magic, a 1978 film that depicted a ventriloquist who suffered from schizophrenia and went insane, have given them a poor name they hope to dispel.

With his repertoire of zany characters and enthusiasm to boot, Bryan is guaranteed to keep you laughing. He opened for comedic chatters Eddie Murphy and Dana Carvey, the comedian who made the Church Lady a part of Saturday Night Live.

For tickets call the Millennium Place Box Office at 604-935-8410.

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