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L.A. Beat

New West Theatre brings good tidings with Tinsel

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Not that New West Theatre is ever otherwise, but the local theatre company’s new December show, “ Tinsel” is all about love.

New West Theatre is excited to put a little love in your heart with “Tinsel” Dec. 12-31. Photo by Richard Amery
“Almost every song we’re doing has love in the title,” observed New West Theatre general manager Derek Stevenson.

The show, which runs at the Yates Theatre from Dec.12-31, features some of the best of the best songs and comedy from over the years.

 It features a talented cast of experienced veterans like the core of Scott Carpenter, Erica Hunt, Kathy Zaborsky, and Kyle Gruninger plus Shelby Wilson and AJ Baragar who made their New West debuts in the July production of “Jukebox” as well as newcomer Ryland Kunkel.

Kunkel is a familiar face for patrons of the great Canadian Barn Dance.
“I’m used to playing music with my family, but I’ve never had to do muscle memory for dancing and singing and doing them both, but it’s been fun,” Kunkel said, adding he is excited to expand his musical horizons with New West.

“But I am doing a Glen Campbell  tribute and I’m playing piano with Kathy (Zaborsky). They’re bringing the grand piano out for us,” Kunkel said.
“I usually play folk, bluegrass or country music

“It’s a neat experience, it’s been excellent,” he enthused.


 He is enjoying singing harmonies with the New West cast, which is familiar territory as he sings harmonies with his family band as well.
I love singing harmonies. We‘re experimenting with ‘We Are the World’ and some of the harmonies we do just make me sob,” he said.
 He is also enjoying singing “Love Shack.”

Kathy Zaborsky, who has been in over 60 New West productions including plays, is doing double duty as vocal choreographer.
“We’re performing old favourites and adding just a sprinkle of Christmas, with a light dusting of snow,” Zaborsky described. Kathy Zaborsky is always excited to be part of a New West Theatre show. Photo by Richard Amery
“It’s a 100 per cent feel good show and we need that today. There are a lot of songs about love and a lot of heartfelt songs,” she continued, adding she is especially proud of the comedy in this show.
 She is excited to  be part of tributes to to David Bowie and Leonard Cohen as well as “The Little Drummer Boy.”

 General Manager Derek Stevenson said ‘Tinsel’ fits easily in the tradition a lot families have of going to a New West show as part of their Holiday activities.
“It’s a family show and it’s all about positivity. I’m really excited for people to see it,” Stevenson said.
Tinsel runs at the Yates Theatre, Dec. 12-31 at 7:30 p.m. each night. There are also matinees at 1 p.m. on Dec. 17, 26 and 31.

A version of this story appears in the Dec. 14, 2016 edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times/ Shoppers
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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