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L.A. Beat

Marg Szkaluba has a fiery spirit with New West

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Erica Hunt plays the “Pepper Shaker SongÚ Photo By Richard AmeryLethbridge actress Erica Hunt excels at playing quirky, brash, in your face characters, which is why she’s looking forward to starring in New West Theatre’s new one woman show,  Marg Szkaluba (Pissy’s Wife), premiering Thursday at the Sterndale Bennett Theatre.
“It’s a really exciting play because it has a really powerful story,” said director Lindsey Zess-Funk.
“It’s a one woman show about a woman in her late 40s who gets up the courage to  make her life her own. She escapes a bad marriage and becomes a country singer,” she continued.
“Marg sings her songs and tells the story of her life and what brought her to this point. There’s humour  and lots of drama. Emotionally it’s all over the map,” she said.
“Erica Hunt is the performer and she’s a force to be reckoned with,” she enthused.
“It takes place in a country bar, so bring money for drinks,” Hunt laughed.
“She takes a terrible situation and while she doesn’t make it work but she’s a tough woman and she’s got a fiery spirit. I connect with that fiery spirit,” Hunt said.
“She’s sharing her stories and singing her songs. Some of them are light hearted and others are pretty  harsh,” Hunt continued.
“A lot of them centre around her husband,” chimed in musical director Kathy Zaborsky,” who  along with Hunt received the music from Paul Morgan Donald and had to adapt it to their voices..
“We got the recording of Pissy’s Wife sung by a man, so we needed to adapt them to a woman’s voice,” she said.Kathy Zaborsky. Photo By Richard Amery
“It’s definitely been difficult. I had to alter my voice to  add a little twang to it to sing country. So that’s definitely been interesting,” Hunt added, who is usually seen singing funk/pop and disco music with local band Hippodrome.
“It’s definitely been interesting. I’m also playing guitar and I don’t do that. So I had to learn how to play guitar in two weeks. So that’s definitely been a challenge,” Hunt continued.
“We had to arrange the music (vocally) so it felt like us. So we have a quite a bit of our souls in it. So it is hard to build on it,” Zaborsky added.
Marg Szkaluba (Pissy’s Wife) was written by University of Lethbridge play writing professor Ron Chambers. It opens at 8 p.m. at the Yates Centre on Thursday, Oct. 1 and runs Oct. 2, 3,7,8,9,10. With shows beginning at 8 p.m. each night. There are also 1 p.m. matinees on both Saturdays. Early bird tickets cost $12 for adults and seniors, $15 for matinees and $18 for evening performances,Matinees for seniors cost $12, $16 for evening shows.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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