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L.A. Beat

New West Theatre opens The Attic, the Pearls and Three Fine Girls

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New West Theatre is featuring three fine actresses in their new production of the comedy ‘The Attic, The Pearls and three Fine Girls,’ running  March 4- 13 at the  Sterndale Bennett Theatre. The 1995 play is  a a comedy about three grown daughters who return home to take care of their ailing father. In addition to New West Theatre familiar face Erica Hunt as the eldest sister Jojo, there are some newcLesley Galbecka, Meghan Porteous and Erica Hunt star in New West Theatre’s latest production. Photo by Richard Ameryomers as well including Meghan Porteous who was last seen on stage with New West Theatre over Christmas  for Munsch Time who plays the youngest sister , eccentric artist Jelly, and  newcomer Lesley  Galbecka, a Calgarian who joined the production through working with director Simon Mallett in his Calgary theatre company Downstage.
“When I saw Erica and Meghan in Carnival and Munsch Time I knew I had found two of my three actors,” Mallett said adding though the play is set in a really dark setting, it is actually a hilarious comedy. The play was written by some of Canada’s finest  female performers — Jennifer Brewin, Leah Cherniak, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Alisa Palmer and Martha Ross.
“Leah Cherniak  comes from a clowning background, so there is lots of physical comedy,” he said.
“It is about three sisters who have become estranged  and return to the home they grew up in because their father is ill. But it’s a strong outrageous comedy though it certainly has some dramatic moments,” he  continued adding people continue to produce the play because of the portrayal of family dynamics.
“ She (her character Jelly) is the youngest and  has been with her dad for the longest. She’s artistic and eccentric. She has had a tough time being with her dad. So she is anxiously awaiting her sisters,” Porteous  said.
“It’s really interesting. I have a  brother and sister, but they’re nicer to me than these sisters are,”  she laughed, looking like Gabecka’s actual sister.
“It’s interesting , this story is so real. The struggles that this family  faces are so real. None of it is made up. And we’ll all have to deal with the death of a family member,” Porteous said.
Galbrecka, who plays the middle sister and high powered investment banker Jayne, is also enjoying the realistic portrayal of the family dynamic.
“Jayne is  a big whig in investment banking world. She’s a little bit of self-focused. So she’s a typical middle child,” she continued adding she is enjoying working in Lethbridge.Lesley Galbecka, Meghan Porteous and Erica Hunt star in New West Theatre’s latest production. Photo by Richard Amery
“It’s been fantastic. They are the friendliest people here. And customer service is better here than it is in Calgary,” she added.
Fellow Calgarian Simon Mallett is enjoying working with the cast.
“The family dynamic plays very true to life. There’s a fairly serious fight sequence which  degenerates into a childish fight as they flash back but then there’s an almost immediate reconciliation,” observed Mallett, who got involved with this New West Theatre production because he has worked with artistic director Nicolas Hanson on a couple projects in Calgary.
“It’s (the play) been done in Calgary many times. It’s still a very popular play so because the theme of family dynamics never gets old,” he said.
“It’s going to to be a good time for the audience. It’s been great  working with members of the Lethbridge  arts community. It’s given those of us from Calgary an added appreciation for the Lethbridge arts  community,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to the audience’s response. There’s things in the play that we think are funny but, you don’t know until you get the response from them,” he said.
“I think the audience will  really enjoy it, so I’m looking forward to their response,” he said.
The Attic, the Pearls and Three Fine Girls runs at 8 p.m. March 4,5,6,10,11,12 and 13. There are also 1 p.m. matinees on March 6 and 13.
 Go to New West Theatre for info and Ticket Centre for tickets.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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