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L.A. Beat

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.

 Ryan Reese shines in 50 Below Zero as Jason trying to save his sleepwalking dad, played by Kelly Malcolm as a sleepwalking dad who invokes lots of laughs without saying a word.


 All three of them get a workout in Thomas’s Snowsuit as mom Camille  and principal Ryan Reese try to put Thomas, Kelly Malcolm into his snowsuit and end up changing clothes in the chaos.

 Their fourth story, The Paper Bag Princess is hilarious as princess Camille discovers Prince Ryan  isn’t all she imagines him to be  as  a dragon destroys his castle and Camille has to go looking for her prince. Kelly Malcolm has fun playing with the giant stuffed dragon and passes it off to Reese when he’s not playing the prince. The audience is asked to help out in this story by waving their hands and wiggle  their fingers to represent fire, when cued by the cast.

Ryan Reese and Camille Pavlenko in Something Good. photo by Richard AmeryPigs winds up the show by involving  the audience again. They had chosen a couple of the kids before the show to play pigs on stage with the cast.. Camille Pavlenko plays the lead pig and leads her charges all over the stage as mischievous daughter  lets them out of their pen despite the warning of dad Ryan Reese.

The pigs follow Kelly into the kitchen, into school and onto her school bus as  she learns pigs are smarter than she thought.

 It is a fun ride all the way through with lots of colour and action to entertain all ages.

 There are three more performances at 1 p.m. , Jan. 2,3 and 5 at Casa.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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