Perennial favourites

Bernie & Red bring comedy to Aldergrove Legion

Local entertainers Bernie & Red will be appearing at the Aldergrove Branch of Royal Canadian Legion on Friday, June 24.

Originally from Liverpool, England, Bernie & Red moved to Canada in the late ’70s and since then have established themselves as one of the most popular and hard working acts in Western Canada, with a dozen CD releases to their credit.

They perform regularly across Canada, the USA and Great Britain, and have travelled the world via their cruise ship bookings, going as far afield as Alaska, South America and South East Asia. Each winter they set out on an annual 40-date tour, which includes stops in Texas, Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington State, attracting crowds of well over 20,000 in total and each fall they travel for a mini tour in England and Wales.

Since their first appearances here in BC, they have built a large and loyal fan base, people who enjoy their distinctive mixture of comedy and music and ensure sold out shows and repeat bookings.

So, what’s the big attraction? It can be summed up in one word “entertainment.” Whether it’s a comedy routine for the ladies on “How to look thinner” or an operatic aria in fake Italian, a dynamic vocal performance of “Don’t Cry for me Argentina” or an old vaudeville piece that your Grandpa used to sing, Bernie & Red can pull it off and have you shouting for more.

These two entertainers have been married to each other for 45 years and consequently they have a wealth of comedy material about the joys of marriage and family life, just the sort of stuff that most of us can identify with.

Bernie is the long suffering husband who strives vainly to get a word in edgeways, whilst Red is the feisty redhead who’ll have you rolling in the aisles one minute and then set you back on your heels with her treatment of a big Broadway ballad the next.

“A lot of people comment on the fact that we seem to be having such a good time when we’re on stage, well who wouldn’t? Performers have the best job in the world, getting paid to do the very thing that they enjoy so much,” says Bernie.

“One of the greatest quotations that I have come across is choose a job that you love and you will never have to work a day in your life. Or to put it another way, it’s only a job if there’s somewhere else that you’d rather be and for Red and myself, there’s nowhere we’d rather be than on stage.”

Bernie & Red first met as teenagers in the ’60s in their home town of Liverpool, England, and yes, they were regulars at the Cavern and saw the Beatles live on countless occasions.

In September they were back in Liverpool for their annual visit and short tour, with half a dozen shows in Liverpool and Wales.

“Because we’ve been living and performing in North America for over 30 years, we are now something of a novelty in Liverpool and people enjoy coming out to see ‘those two Canadians’ which is very gratifying,” says Red.

This annual trip is also an opportunity to “re-charge their batteries” as it were and their English accents show no sign of diminishing thanks to frequent visits “across the pond”.

“We also enjoy getting back to our roots and the feisty verbal interchanges that are part and parcel of big city life in the UK. It gives us no end of comedy material for our show,” says Red.

Interestingly enough, it was the big city life that they wanted to get away from when they emigrated to Canada in the 1970s, and they succeeded, eventually settling on a small acreage and raising livestock and ultimately half an acre of organic blueberries.

“I picked over 1,000 pounds of them this summer,” says Bernie. “I sometimes look forward to getting on the road and having a rest!”

Any thoughts of slowing down?

“If our crowd numbers were starting to go down each year, it might be a consideration, but even in these difficult times our crowds are holding strong and in some cases increasing. Right now audiences are looking for an escape from day to day worries, they want to attend a show, pay a reasonable ticket price and they want to laugh and get away from all that ‘Bad News’ and fortunately we seem to have found a recipe for a funny and entertaining show and the crowds keep coming back. Anyway, age is just a number. Tony Bennett is still touring at 83, Willie Nelson 77, Tom Jones and Kenny Rogers are both 70,” says Red.

“Yeah, but they’re not on the road with their wives,” quips Bernie.

For tickets and more information call 604-856-8814 or 604-856-5423.

You can learn much more about Bernie & Red by visiting their website www.bernieandred.com

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