Glitz brings the funny and escapist fun to the Christmas table


 Steady crowds are celebrating the Christmas season with New West Theatre’s latest gala production of Glitz.
As promised Glitz includes performances of a lot of tried and true popular favourites, so the show is familiar, though enjoyable, pure, mindless escapist fun. And with the cast lighting up the room with their big, beaming smiles throughout, it was tough not to enjoy it.
 Scott Carpenter, Erica Hunt, Jay Whitehead and Jocelyn Haub crack each other up writing comedy. Photo by Richard AmeryEven though I’m relatively new to covering New West Theatre, even I can remember hearing Erica Hunt and Scott Carpenter performing their  sexy, seductive and funny version of ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On,’ ending with Erica taking off Carpenter’s hat and being shocked by his bald head.

 They eased into the show after a subdued version of Loverboy’s ‘Working For The Weekend,’ during which the band could barely be heard.

After that, they introduced the show with an affable exchange between Scott Carpenter and  Erica Hunt about Carpenter mixing up the name of the show with rhymes for Glitz and actually coming up with some good ideas for New West shows, including  Brits (featuring hits of Britain), Grits (hits of the south,) and Zits (teen pop hits).

 As per usual, the comedy made this show for me, especially the bits that accompany some of the songs, like “Eye of the Tiger,” which kicked off the show after a hilarious routine about Jay Whitehead accidentally putting on Scott Carpenter’s underwear, which devolves into a mohawked Carpenter coming through the crowd in a colourful boxing robe and challenging Whitehead to a Rocky style boxing match. Just for kicks, I’d love to see them perform an all comedy show. But there is something for everyone in this show, lots of excellent dancing, singing and hilarity.

 All of the performers got a chance to strut their stuff, though I would have liked to see more performances from the lovely and talented Kathy Zaborsky.
 They are all multi-talented performers. The always charming and funny Jocelyn Haub sang a credible version of Pink’s ‘Who Knew,’ and was a rubber -faced  highlight in several comedy sketches including an excellent one with Carpenter about  two tongue tied New Year’s Eve revellers, who are interrupted by waiters Erica Hunt and Jay Whitehead offering them items  with  the same words they are trying to remember.

Mark Nivet  sang some impressive high notes throughout.
 Hearing that Jay Whitehead can sing very well, in addition bringing his quirky comedy stylings was a pleasant surprise as well as I usually see him acting in more intense and darker roles.

 They guys, Mark Nivet, Jay Whitehead, Peter Monaghan and Scott Carpenter sang an impressive a-cappella, Nylons’ style medley of Guess Who hits to wind down the first set, while the girls, Jessica Ens, Kathy Zaborsky, Jocelyn Haub and Erica Hunt did sing a similar, percussion flled medley of Paul Simon hits in the second set as well as a medly of ‘Rumours’ era Fleetwood Mac hits.

 The girls, featuring Jessica Ens, also sang an upbeat version of ‘Born To be Wild.’
Ens  and Carpenter also had an inspirational moment in an oddly familiar comedy bit about  mixing up ‘How To cook a turkey’ DVD with a ‘ how to do yoga’ DVD. Though that was mostly Carpenter trying to do yoga , turkey style which brought the funny to the table.

Erica Hunt is always a hoot, especially when playing off Carpenter. They traded one liners like they shared a single brain throughout the show, including several exceptional comedy sketches including two Scotsmen performing movie reviews of Christmas classics. But she had  me and most of the audience practically rolling in the aisles with her version of Wayne Newton performing ‘Danke Schoen’  which you have to see to appreciate.
So if you want to spend a pleasant Christmas season at the theatre, take in Glitz for some familiar fun.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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