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L.A. Beat

New West Theatre set to “Celebrate” 30 years

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New West Theatre celebrates 30 years in Lethbridge with their annual December music/ comedy revue “ Celebrate,” running Dec. 18- Jan. 4.
 To celebrate, directors and long time cast members Erica  Hunt and Scott Carpenter have brought together cast members representing each of the three decades of New West’s history.

Erica Hunt and Scott Carpenter rehearse Celebrate. Photo by Richard Amery
“ It just sort of worked out that way,” said Grahame Renyk, who returned home from Toronto to be part of this show.
“ I was last on stage with New West seven years ago and directed the December show two years ago. I have to start work again the day after this show closes and I wouldn’t have done that for any other group,” he enthused.

“ We‘re laughing a lot. We‘re laughing as much back stage as we are on stage, he continued, adding there is a lot of great comedy, which  is his favourite part of the show and a cornucopia of songs ranging from ’50s doo wop, psychedelic ’60s, folk rock, 70s glam rock, ’80s pop and  novelty ’90s songs like the Bare Naked Ladies’ ‘Grade 9,’” Said Renyk, dressed in a Star Trek T-shirt he wears in the number.
“This is pretty close to what  I was like in Grade 9. Cast members Erica Hunt sports a skirt and Ramones T-shirt, Co musical director Kathy Zaborsky is dressed goth.  They represent the first decade of the show.

 Renyk and Jessica Ens, dressed as a cheerleader, represent the second decade and Rylan Kunkel, dressed as a nerd and Katie Fellger, also dressed as a Star Trek character represent the current decade.

 Zaborsky is co musical director with Scott Mezei.
“It’s a great partnership,” Renyk enthused, noting the group chose some audience favourites from the past 30 years, but didn’t want to pick anything they have performed in the past two or three.
“ But people will definitely recognize the music. There is definitely something for everybody in this show,” Renyk Grahame Renyk and Katie Fellger rehearse Celebrate. Photo by Richard Amerycontinued.

“I wear six different hats in the show and that’s not a metaphor. I literally wear six different hats,” he said, laughing they aren’t all in the same song.

“And there’s a lot of silly costumes, which i love,” he continued.

“There’s disco firemen too,” he enthused.
 There isn’t a lot of holiday specific content in the show as it runs until January.

“ If people want to get together hand have a night out and giggle and laugh then come out. It’s a really beautiful set. it will be a really good evening out. I know we’re laughing a lot,” he said.

 Celebrate: The Anniversary Special runs Dec. 18-Jan. 4 in the Yates Theatre.
 Tickets are available at the Yates Theatre Box Office, Enmax Centre box office or through 403-329-SEAT.
 The show is at 7:30 each night, plus a matinee at 1 p.m. on Dec. 26, 28 and 29 and Jan. 4.
 They also have a New Year’s Eve special on Dec. 31 at 7 p.m.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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