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L.A. Beat

Out of the world fun with healthy eating in Luke’s Lunchbox

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New West Theatre’s new theatre for young people production of the Sharon Peat penned comedy/science fiction adventure, “Luke’s Lunchbox”  is a fun way to spend an hour in the afternoon at the Sterndale BeCamille Pavlenko  and Ryan Reese rehearse a scene from New West Theatre’s production of Luke’s Lunchbox, running in the Sterndale Bennett Theatre, Dec. 26- Jan. 7. Photo by Richard Amerynnett Theatre.

 The show spreads the not so subtle message of eating healthy, by turning elementary school lunch trading into a science fiction adventure.

 It starts slowly as “the planets most, solar System’s most and universes’ most picky eater” Luke, played by Ryan Reese, wonders why his treats get turned into healthy snacks like kale, carrots and bean sprouts, by his magic blue lunchbox.

As he is unable to trade his healthy snacks, he tries them, and much to his wide-eyed surprise, finds he enjoys them.
The always hilarious Camille Pavlenko and Kelly Malcom play a cavalcade of crazy characters including Luke’s Australian mom (Pavlenko), bratty older sister (Kelly Malcom) and an assortment of students and teachers and later on otherworldly villains and allies.

Kelly Malcom and Ryan Reese rehearse for New West Theatre’s production of Luke’s Lukebox. Photo by Richard Amery
 They pick up the pace midway through the production with the frenetic energy that is usually a big part of the theatre for young people’s shows,  as Luke’s good eating habits get him transported to Carbohydro 9 where he is to help defeat the evil sugar queen played gleefully by Camille Pavlenko who feeds off of children“s energy in a cape and Darth Vader helmet.

The spirit of Star Wars is strong in this one, not only because of Pavlenko‘s costume, but the “force-like”  voice over and blue light.

There is plenty of colour, racing around the stage and audience participation.
So check it out if you can. “Luke’s Lunchbox” runs at 3:30 p.m. until Jan. 7. There is also a 1 p.m.matinee, Jan 7 and an evening performance at 7 p.m., Jan. 6.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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