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L.A. Beat

New West’s Twist and Shout will be a blast from the past

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New West Theatre is going to have a blast from the past this summer as they go back to the ’50s with their latest production ‘Twist and Shout’ which runs June 29-July 23.
New West went all out for their ’50s theme this year, building a replica of a ’50s diner on stage for the band to play behind.
“And the band will be dressed up as soda jerks,” said general manager Jeremy Mason.
“ The shows all have a very familiar framework, but we like to do something new every year to keep it fresh,” he said.
Andrew Legg and the cast of Twist and by Richard Amery
“I think the most important thing is for us to put on a high quality show each year,” he said.

“And everybody from that generation will remember these songs. And even if you’re not, you will recognize them,” he said. He is excited about seeing the new cast perform.

 “Just because some of your familiar faces won’t be here this year, it doesn’t mean you won’t see them again,” he continued. Familiar faces like Scott Carpenter, Jocelyn Haub and Erica Hunt are returning, but some of the familiar faces like Kathy Zaborsky and Mark Nivet wanted to stay in Vancouver and Toronto respectively to work on other projects.

However that opens the door for a lot of new faces like University of Lethbridge graduate Andrew Legg, who is looking forward to  the comedy aspect of the new show.
“It’s the ’50s, which is my parents’ era, and a little bit before, the ’50s  and early ’60s is a really fun era to tap into for comedy,” he continued. He is looking forward to a bit called “Then and Now.”

“For me my sliding progression is comedy, singing and then dancing. We’ve got a really good choreographer and Jay Whitehead is directing, so that’s what makes it fun,” he continued.

He is enjoying being part of the cast, he was in a New West Show about 10 years ago and has since spent time working in Calgary, Edmonton and the west coast.
“It’s a really talented cast. For me it’s like coming home. I grew up watching New West,” he said.New West Theatre Twists and Shouts this summer. Photo by Richard Amery
“They are very talented and work together well which makes it a real pleasure to entertain,” he said.
 He is looking forward to performing in front of the live audience.

“It’s not like being on television or in a movie where you wait around on set might not even see the finished project. In theatre, opening night is so exciting because the audience is right there and you get to give them what you’ve been working on,” he said.

Veteran Erica Hunt always looks forward to it when New West revisits the ’50s.
“ It is a pretty good revue of ’50s and early ’60s pop music,” she said.
She is enjoying working with the new cast members.

“They’re really great, they’re really talented and super nice. I’m happy to be back,” she said.
“We’ve done a lot of ’50s shows, but they are all different. There are different songs, different costumes and different dances. I think we’ll be transporting people back to the ’50s and ’60s,” she said.

“Hopefully we’ve captured the era of American Graffiti and Happy Days. It’s an era that is nostalgic for a lot of people,” Mason concluded.
The show runs June 29-July 23. Find out more on
Tickets are available online or by calling 403-329-7328 (SEAT)

—By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

A version of this story appears in the June 25,2011 edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times

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