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L.A. Beat

New West has something to “Celebrate.”

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New West Theatre is celebrating 20 seasons performing in Lethbridge with a “Celebration” which lasts throughout August.
Erica Hunt and Duff Macdonad  and New West Theatre’s cast and crew are enjoying an August “Celebration.” Photo by Richard Amery
“Celebration is a broader selection of pop and rock music, that’s a little more high energy, with pretty much the same cast and more vibrant choreography and lighting and antics,” director Nicholas Hanson said, comparing it to “Soundtrack.” The cast of “Celebration,” includes the same members as the July production of “Soundtrack,” with one exception — New West Theatre veteran David Barrus joins the cast , replacing Scott Carpenter who was unable to be in this production.
“He’s  (David Barrus) a long time New West performer and audience favourite,” Hanson enthused.
While New West was considering concentrating on just the music from 20 years ago when they started, they decided to expand their musical horizons to include  selections like “Total Eclipse of the Heart,”, “the Boxer,” “Cecilia,” several Fleetwood Mac hits, a lot of Guess Who hits, more modern hits like “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” and of course “Celebration.”
The cast of New West Theatre’s latest production “Celebration” have something to celebrate. Photo by Richard Amery
“We were thinking about music from 20 years ago but realized we’d end up with lots of MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice,” he explained.
“We’re always looking for ways to challenge our cast and excite our audience,” he continued adding the cast has been doing double duty rehearsing day and night in June and rehearsing “Celebration” during the day while performing  “Soundtrack” at night throughout July.
“It’s very tiring,” he said adding most professional theatre companies shorten breaks between productions by rehearsing during the day and performing at night.
“We’re extremely excited about Aug. 4 and opening night. The audiences are really what drives us to  keep doing these productions,” he said.
 “We’re always  aware and appreciative of the audience’s enthusiasm throughout the years,” he continued.
“Celebration ” runs at the Yates Memorial Theatre Aug. 4-29 at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
There is a new Early Bird ticket special for the first three performances.
 Check their website at for details.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat editor
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