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New West's Legend of the Lost Tooth is a strange adventure

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New West Theatre takes kids of all ages on a their new pirate themed adventure “ The Legend of the Lost Tooth, ” running at the Sterndale Bennett Theatre until Jan. 4 at 1 p.m. each afternoon.Kelly Malcolm in Legend of the Lost Tooth. Photo by Richard Amery
 The talented cast of Kelly Malcolm, Erica Barr and Ryan Reese under the tutelage of writer/director   Nicola Elson, tell the story of a little girl who loses her tooth in a French  cafe, but with nary a word of dialogue.

 Instead  of dialogue there is a lot of physical actions, miming and puppets with  a few exhorted words in  French like “L’amour,” and “Incroyable, plus the odd utterances of  “tooth” “play” “clue” and “swim.”

The actors collaborated with director Nicole  Elson and composer Kathy Zaborsky to create this piece of devised theatre. Zaborsky’s soundtrack is  a beautiful combination of classical piano, accordion to create the French cafe atmosphere and a touch of jazz, plus a few bars of “La Vie de Rose” to reflect the love story between the Maitre De and the lady.

 Familiar face Kelly Malcolm steals the show as always. Several of the kids in the front row recognized her from previous New West’s Theatre for Young Audiences shows,” as just before the production, she recruited them to play fish later in the show.

 It is a weird show, but also entertaining. It reminded me of Mr. Bean if he was part of a pirate adventure.
 It is colourful, there is a lot of movement, and three fantastic masks, but it takes a while for the story to get started.


New West Theatre set to “Celebrate” 30 years

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New West Theatre celebrates 30 years in Lethbridge with their annual December music/ comedy revue “ Celebrate,” running Dec. 18- Jan. 4.
 To celebrate, directors and long time cast members Erica  Hunt and Scott Carpenter have brought together cast members representing each of the three decades of New West’s history.

Erica Hunt and Scott Carpenter rehearse Celebrate. Photo by Richard Amery
“ It just sort of worked out that way,” said Grahame Renyk, who returned home from Toronto to be part of this show.
“ I was last on stage with New West seven years ago and directed the December show two years ago. I have to start work again the day after this show closes and I wouldn’t have done that for any other group,” he enthused.

“ We‘re laughing a lot. We‘re laughing as much back stage as we are on stage, he continued, adding there is a lot of great comedy, which  is his favourite part of the show and a cornucopia of songs ranging from ’50s doo wop, psychedelic ’60s, folk rock, 70s glam rock, ’80s pop and  novelty ’90s songs like the Bare Naked Ladies’ ‘Grade 9,’” Said Renyk, dressed in a Star Trek T-shirt he wears in the number.
“This is pretty close to what  I was like in Grade 9. Cast members Erica Hunt sports a skirt and Ramones T-shirt, Co musical director Kathy Zaborsky is dressed goth.  They represent the first decade of the show.

 Renyk and Jessica Ens, dressed as a cheerleader, represent the second decade and Rylan Kunkel, dressed as a nerd and Katie Fellger, also dressed as a Star Trek character represent the current decade.


Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society getting into the spirit with Shakespeare Meets Dickens

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The Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society is celebrating Christmas Victorian style.
 They present the fourth annual Shakespeare Meets Dickens night, Friday, Feb. 20 at  7 p.m. at Casa.

 There will be plenty of Yuletide cheer, Victorian  era snacks, mulled wine and   an eclectic cast of board members and Shakespeare in the park veterans and newcomers performingKeith Miller, Shelly David, John Poulsen and Megann Fennell are excited Shakepseare Meets Dickens, Dec. 20 at Casa. Photo by Richard Amery a reader’s Theatre Version of  Charles Dickens’ Christmas Classic “ A Christmas Carol.”

Plus there will be an array of talented singers getting you into the spirit, plus  Jeff Graham will be performing  the Porters Scene from this summer’s production of Macbeth.
“As usual we’ll be performing Charles Dickens‘ beloved Christmas classic reader’s theatre style.

 John Poulsen, who will also be directing our 2020  Shakespeare play “The Merry Wives of Windsor, opening July 2 in Galt Gardens,  will be performing with Shakespeare Meets Dickens,” said Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society Artistic director Kate Connolly.


The Pink Unicorn visits Didi’s Playhaus to explore parenthood and LGTBQ issues

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Local actor Ashley Thomson takes a third shot at Elise Forier Edie’s 2011 one woman show “The Pink Unicorn,” Nov. 15 ad 16 at Didi’s Playhaus for a special Theatre Outré presentation.Ashley Thomson brings the Pink Unicorn to Didi’s Playhaus this week. Photo by Richard Amery
 “Jay Whitehead was gracious enough to offer me the chance  to  perform at Didi’s Playhaus,” said Thomson, who performed the play during  Pride fest, June 9 and in September at the Allied arts Council SOAR cabarets.

“ It is about a really conservative Texan mother in a small town  and her daughter, Tricia, who comes out as  LGTBQ and sets up a gay-straight alliance in her school, which is blocked. So her mother supports her as she tries to make the gay straight alliance a reality,” said Thomson, noting she plays several different characters including the mother, the daughter Tricia, her friend, her grandmother, the bigoted school principal and several others.

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