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L.A. Beat

New West Theatre brings the funny for Blockbuster

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New West Theatre has Blockbuster holiday plans and so should you.

 Laughter is the best present which New West Theatre is happy to give in their latest music/ comedy revue.


Devon Brayne in New West’s production of Blockbuster, running until Dec. 31. Photo by Richard Amery

New West Theatre’s annual December production has always made the holidays a happier time.


For the most part, “Blockbuster” focusses on songs from popular movies and , as usual, lets the cast  shine individually and as a group. 

Dancing is the theme for the first part of the show. Katie Fellger shone in  a cast rendition of “ Dancing in the Streets.”


Jessica Ens shines early on  on an heartfelt interpretation of Lee Ann Womack’s “ I Hope You Dance.” That allowed Madisan Cowan to show off her best ballet moves.

 Ens also shine son “Greased lightning” from “Grease.” 

Devon Brayne stands out all over Blockbuster.


He brought back some Johnny Cash memories, performing a medley of Johnny Cash hits ‘Get Rhythm,’ ‘I Walk the Line’ and ‘Ring of Fire,’ from the Million Dollar Quartet which was his last appearance with New West.

He also shines in a variety of comedy bits including his Jack Handey style “Brayne musings,” where he reflects on a variety of his thoughts during Covid.


 He returns in the second part of the show as  sports, weather and traffic correspondent during Madisan Cowan and Jessica Ens’ news break, doing a Christopher Walken impression that sounds more like James Stewart than Christopher Walken, reporting from  both sides of the stage.

Another highlight is “ the cast version of Katrina and the Waves’ Walking on Sunshine.”

 It is technically a holiday show, but there isn’t much holiday themed content . 

Newcomer Ethan Bintu-Watt appears in a couple comedy bits with Scott Carpenter and sings La Vie En Rose,’ while strumming ukulele which he learned for the show  but shines  in the Arrogant Worms “ I Am Cow,” which director Grahame Renyk played a few years ago as a cast  member in “Celebration” in 2009. Drummer Keenan Pezderic steps out from behind the kit. for a special appearance during that song.

 The cast end the first set dressed as hippies, singing “Age of Aquarius.”


Kathy Zaborsky is in New West’s production of Blockbuster, running until Dec. 31. Photo by Richard Amery

Set two begins with the girls, Erica Hunt, Katie Fellger, Madisan Cowan and Jessica Ens harmonizing beautifully on “Wrecking Ball.”


 The guys, Scott Carpenter, Devon Brayne, newcomer Ethan Bintu-Watt  plus Katie  Fellger all dressed in  boxers, shirts and ties re-enact the famous Tom Cruise scene from Risky business with  a hilarious version of Bob Seger’s  “Old Time Rock and Roll” 

There is a lot more humour in this production, especially the second set,  including the songs themselves and interpretations of  songs.


Erica Hunt performs a stunning version of “Goldfinger,” while Scott Carpenter runs around the stage in a tight  gold lamé suit, while Devon Brayne does his best James Bond impression in “New West’s only tuxedo.”

 Brayne  brings out the funny on a solo rendition of  comedian Tim Minchin”s “ If I Didn’t Have You,” and even adds an Australian accent.


Surprisingly, the show ends focussing on the band playing Burton Cumming’s “ One Way to Rock,” with Keenan Pezderic singing lead in his best Burton Cummings’ salsetto from behind his drums, Scott Mezei coming centre  stage to add a sizzling guitar solo, while Kathy Zaborsky{s blazing fu=ingers knocked off Cumming’s piano riffs and Greg Paskuski holding down the bottom end on bass, and the cast showing off their best dance moves.


“Blockbuster” runs Dec. 14 to 31 in the Yates Theatre. Tickets are available through 403-329 SEAT (7328), online at or in person at the Yates Theatre or Enmax Centre.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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