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L.A. Beat

New West Theatre “light up” the season

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New West Theatre, Lethbridge’s answer to Up With People or any beach side all inclusive resort revue show, are guaranteed to light up your holiday season with their winter music/ comedy revue, ‘Light it Up.’

Jay Whitehead and Erica  Hunt will get you laughing right form the opening bit as they riff on  the phrase “Light It Up” as it pertains to a stressed out looking Whitehead’s quitting smoking.
 Erica Hunt lights it up on “Don’t Stop Believing.” Photo by Richard AmeryBut it is only an act.
 The cast kicks things off with a hot version of Kiss’s “Shout It Out,” done Broadway style.
 Everybody gets to shine equally in “Light it Up.”
 Erica Hunt unleashes her leather lunged lethal pipes on a hot version of “Stand By Your Man.”

 Jocelyn Haub dons a guitar for a beautiful version of Taylor Swift’s “White Horse” and shines on Adele’s number one hit  “Rolling in the Deep.”

 Vocal director Kathy Zaborsky beams ear to ear like she couldn’t be happier anywhere else before bringing a tear to your eye on a version of Leonard Cohen’s  “Hallelujah,” backed by Bente Hansen on a grand piano.

Jessica Ens shows some top notch dance moves backing Devon Brayne singing “Jessie’s Girl and heads up a  hilarious send up of “Let’s Get Physical” near the beginning of the show as well.

 Meanwhile Kyle Gruninger returns to New West to show he can hit those high notes on a couple songs including a duet with Hunt on “Don’t Stop Believing” and on a medley of John  Denver hits including “Sunshine On My Shoulders,” Rocky Mountain High and Country Roads.

 Devon Brayne also shows he is an impressive vocalist singing Conway Twitty’s “It’s Only Make Believe.”
 Brayne and Gruninger  also do a hilarious riff on the Arrogant Worms song “Canada Is Really Big.”
 All of the cast show their skills on stages.

 All the guys, plus guitarist Jim McLaren, sing a beautiful a cappella version of  Chilliwack’s “My Girl, Gone Gone Gone So Long.”
 And Jay Whitehead heads up the guys singing Billy Joel’s “Tell Her About It.”

They mine for comedy gold as usual,  Jocelyn Haub and Jay Whitehead dig up some groaners in the process of their ‘news’ segment, but also mine loads of laughter.

 Erica Hunt and Scott Carpenter’s beloved identical twin characters return in a Christmas themed bit with Whitehead playing the straight man — an elf trying to keep the kids in line.

Jocelyn Haub and the cast of New West Theatre. Photo by Richard Amery
Erica Hunt’s New Year’s eve party with Kyle Gruninger and  Jay Whitehead is another one of the show’s comedic highlights.

Carpenter, ever the ham, goes country on a medley of Gene Autry hits with  some help from Kathy Zaborsky and a horse on a stick and other hilarious props.

 Another highlight is an ABBA medley performed by the girls, dressed in white ABBA style outfits, who each take a turn singing ABBA hits like “Dancing Queen,” “The Winner Takes All,” “S.O.S.” and “Mamma Mia.”

 And, it being Christmas, they all perform a selection of Christmas carols.
 They end with an upbeat version of Queen’s  “Don’t Stop Me Now.”
 “Light It up” runs until Dec. 31 at the Yates Theatr. 

 — By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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