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L.A. Beat

New West explores their more adult side in Nightlife

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 If you ever suspected New West Theatre was holding back during their family friendly music/ comedy revues, then get ready to see some of you familiar cast members unshackled and uninhibited during “Nightlife,” a special cabaret night at the Sterndale Bennett Theatre, Nov. 4-5. Tickets are already selling quickly for the three shows, 7:30 a Nov. 4 and 5 and a special 10 p.m. encore presentation Nov. 5.Erica Hunt and Kathy Zaborsky are familiar performers with New West Theatre. Photo by Richard Amery
 The core cast for the 18 plus show include Erica Hunt, Kathy Zaborsky, Scott Carpenter and David Barrus plus special guests including a burlesque act.
 The show will be a ribald evening of songs, stories and lots of comedy.

“It has very much a cabaret feel. Part of the concept is let’s push the boundaries with material that is a little too risqué for the big show. So a lot of the comedy is a little risqué and we swear and have the freedom to say things we wouldn’t usually say in a show,”said New West Theatre general manager Derek Stevenson.

“It will be definitely above what you’ve seen New West do before. You just wouldn’t see this in a music comedy revue,” he added.
It is also a new model, as some of the extravagancies have been stripped away from the show and after covering basic expenses like the rental of the Sterndale -Bennett Theatre, most of the ticket price goes directly to the performers.
“It’s very Fringesque like that,” he said, noting Fringe festivals use a similar model of tickets prices going to the artist.
“And it’s very up close and personal. Scott and Erica and Kathy and David are all up close,” he said adding there will be a bar as well.
“So you can get up and have a drink during the show, which is really different for New West,” he continued.

 Musical numbers include pop hits and darker fare like John Prine’s “In Spite of Ourselves,” plus comedic songs.
Scott Carpenter is excited to be able to push the boundaries of what people expect from a New West show.

“We have comedy sketches which we felt crossed the line a little bit for a New West show, so we‘re excited to unleash these on people,” Carpenter said.

“There’s burlesque, stand up comedy and magic,” Carpenter continued.

“We’ve been working on this show for about a year. But the good thing about cabaret style is people can work on their bits individually. This weekend is the puzzle, we’ll be putting it all together,” Carpenter said, Oct. 27.
Carpenter is excited about several of his bits.

“I get to be a young , 20-something hot barista. So I really get to employ my acting skills. I get to embrace my inner hipster,” Carpenter chuckled.
“It’s nice to be able to take the filter Erica Hunt and Scott Carpenter are familiar performers with New West Theatre. Photo by Richard Ameryoff and not worry if there are children in the audience,” Stevenson said.

 “Nightlife” is an addition  to this season, so season’s ticket holders will still need to purchase tickets for this show.
“It’s also the type of show we can take out and sell on it’s own for Christmas parties,” Stevenson said.

Carpenter is excited to perform the show.
“We won’t hold back our own enjoyment of the show, not that we ever do,” Carpenter said.

“It’s very exciting. It’s an experiment to see if we will be able to do more of these types of shows,” Stevenson said.
“It will be a strong show,” Carpenter said.
“If people are curious  about seeing a new side from New West, this is a great opportunity to check it out,” Carpenter concluded.
 Tickets cost $23 for adults, $19 for seniors and students. Nightlife runs at the Sterndale Bennett Theatre, at 7:30 on Nov. 3 and 4 plus  an extra late night show at 10 p.m., Nov. 5.

 A version of this story appears in the Nov. 2 , 2016 edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times
— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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