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L.A. Beat

New West breaks out the rock side of country music

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New West Theatre goes country for an unusually timed February musical-revue show.Devon Brayne brings back Johnny Cash in Rockers Gone Country. Photo by Richard Amery
 Director Jeremy Mason is excited to return to New West Theatre to direct Rockers Gone Country, Feb. 6-23 at the Yates Theatre.

“ It’s definitely a country show, but it’s country with a rock influence. Everybody will find something  to enjoy about this, even of they don”t classify themselves as a country fan,” Mason said.

 “Each of the artists have had some crossover success,” Mason continued.
“ A lot of country has a rock influence,” he continued, adding musicians featured include Shania Twain, Alan Jackson, The Dixie Chicks and even Roy Orbison. Plus much more.

“ We ’re also doing things like “Blue Moon of Kentucky, but  John Fogerty’s version of it. And We’re doing Jon Bon Jovi’s  “Blaze of Glory,” which was the theme of  the western  ‘Young Guns,”mason said.

 New West welcomes back some familiar faces including Kyle Gruninger, Scott Carpenter, Rylan Kunkel and  Devon Brayne, who played Johnny Cash in “Million Dollar Quartet,” and brings his Cash back to perform Cash’s interpretation of The Nine Inch Nails/Trent Reznor’s ’90s hit “Hurt.”
 Newcomer Bryanna Rae joins New West mainstays Erica Hunt and Kathy Zaborsky on  stage.

“ We’ve been rehearsing for a week and a half (as of Jan. 23) and they’re at the stage where they know the choreography
“There’s great vocals and great costumes,” Mason said adding he is excited to be  back in the saddle, so to speak.
“ It’s exciting to come back and direct a show and look at it with fresh eyes and fun ideas,” he said.
“ It’s a musical comedy revue, which we don’t usually do in February,” said Mason, noting everyone is sure to find something they like in the show.


As usual there will be a lot of comedy.
“ We’re at the stage where we have a glut of comedy to choose from,” he continued.
 Visually, they are moving away from the stereotypical  hillbilly look and moving towards a more contemporary country look.
“ We’re staying away from rhinestones and going with costumes we think may play a little better with local audiences,” he continued.
“The show is going to be a fun winter pick me up,” he promised.
 The show runs at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 6-9, 12-16 and 19-23.

— bY Richard Amery, L.a. beat Editor
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