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New West’s Munsch-O-Rama is lots-O-laughs

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If you are looking for something fun to do with the kids over the holidays, check out  New West Theatre’s production of Munsch-o-RamKelly Malcolm and Camille Pavlenko in Something Good. photo by Richard Amerya, which runs at 1 p.m. at Casa every afternoon until Jan. 5.
The energetic, colourful and hilarious  production features  the talented trio Camille Pavlenko, Kelly Malcolm and Ryan Reese racing to break a record by act out five popular Robert Munsch stories  in less than an hour in their Munsch Olympics.

 They do a great job and don’t even seem to be out of breath after all the frenetic racing around, multiple accents, costumes, props and comedy they pack into the show.

 It is geared towards children of course, but adults are sure to crack a smile even at the crowd participation as they tap into their young audience’s enthusiasm.
 The actors all play multiple characters and each take a turn as narrator in director/playwright Jeremy Mason’s adaptation of the five popular Robert Munsch stories.

 The colourful stage features  a handful of simple  set pieces including three boxes, a barrel and a ramp, which play as many roles as the actors do.

 They start by introducing  friends Camille and Ryan and meet Kelly, asking her to join in the Munch Olympics and the proceed to race around and play like big kids.

The show has a good, strong start with Something Good which is about the adventures of a kid in a supermarket as Camille’s southern dad, Ryan, gets tired of his daughter putting junk food in their shopping cart and tells her not to move, which she takes literally and comedy ensues as Kelly Malcolm plays an array of characters including a supermarket worker who puts a price tag on her mistaking her for a doll, then a customer who tries to buy her. Camille doesn’t say a world but is provides a lot of  laughs with just her facial expressions.


New West’s Hit Parade aptly named

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New West Theatre always provides lots of laughs and good times with their December greatest hits show and their latest Hit Parade is no exception.jessica Ens, Ashley Thomson and Erica Hunt  star in New West’s production of Hit Parade. Photo bY Richard Amery
 As expected, there is lots of “singing and talking” and quite a bit of dancing to some audience favourites from the past years.

 New West veteran Grahame Renyk returned to direct Hit Parade, and his wit was apparent in some of the beloved comedy bits and characters the troupe  brought back.

 Erica Hunt and Scott Carpenter’s Scottish film critics made fun of that as they reviewed  some of this year’s movies about music like Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star is Born. Another bit I enjoyed was the cast’s take on the RCMP Musical Ride, with  the cast dressed in red Mountie serge, reenacting some of the moves the musical ride performs on horses.

 “Seven Little Girls,” was a ’50s pop highlight with  all the cast  members dressed as girls in love with Rylan Kunkel’s  “brother, Fred” played by Greg Paskuski.

 Rylan Kunkel was a highlight, performing saxophone with the band for several  numbers, and dressing  as a full flamboyant Elton John at his finest to perform Crocodile Rock on the piano.


WTF variety show features crazy stunts

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 The Dec. 20 WTF variety at the Slice was well named and not badly attended.
 I caught the third set of disturbing wackiness from a  variety of performers including Harley Page, Fatt Matt and Eden Rodriguez, though I missed the Real Green Fairy.

Comedian and contortionist “Fatt” Matt Alaeddine does some impressive contortion at the WTF Variety show at the Slice, Dec. 20. Photo by Richard Amery “Fatt” Matt Alaeddine billed himself as the world’s fattest contortionist.

He shouted jokes as he performed contortion acts from Japan, France, Germany and America and wound up his set by trapping himself in a reinforced hula hoop, contorted himself,  rolled around the stage and possibly dislocated his shoulder to successfully free himself from  it.

 Harley Page returned to seductively move around the stage and into the audience, while pulling a condom through her nose and mouth, then returned to stage to use a staple gun on her bosom and belly.Harley Page staples herself at the WTF Variety show at the Slice, Dec. 20. Photo by Richard Amery

Eden Rodriquez wound up the night by making politically incorrect jokes about Hitler, Jews, his mother and his ex wife.

— By Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor

Shakespeare Meets Dickens celebrates a classic Christmas

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Christmas was everywhere on Friday, Dec. 14. So I hit three Christmas bashes beginning with the Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society’s annual Shakespeare Meets Dickens fundraiser.

Shelly David and DJ Gellatly enjoying Shakespeare Meets Dickens at Casa, Dec. 14. photo by Richard Amery
 I missed the reader’s theatre version of A Christmas Carol, but was in time for a comedy skit starring  Cole Fettig and DJ Gellatly as well as plenty of beautiful singing from  Stephanie Savage, who sang a sultry version of “Santa Baby.” Stephanie savage singing  at Shakespeare meets Dickens, Dec. 14 at Casa. photo by Richard Amery

Megan Wittig sang more operatic Christmas  songs.

 But most of the laughs came from Monica Baczuk’s version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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