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L.A. Beat

New West Theatre excited about “Blockbuster” greatest hits show this month

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New West Theatre has a “Blockbuster” comedy-variety show planned for the holiday season.

 After  a few out of the box experiments in the Fall,  the long standing local theatre company is bringing back some old favourites and a whole lot of humour to the Yates Theatre, Dec. 14-31.

“It’s an uplifting  journey. It’s a fun spirit lifter,” said cast member Scott Carpenter, agreeing  the show , like most of their December shows, is a best of show, featuring fan, cast and director favourites from past shows.


“There is lots and lots of comedy, both funny songs and comedy bits,” Carpenter promised.


 Though the show is called “Blockbuster,” it isn’t entirely about movies, though there are some  familiar soundtrack songs  including “Old Time Rock n Roll” made famous in the movie ‘Risky Business.’

“We’re performing ‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’ from ‘Hairspray,” but my favourite is  Erica Hunt singing ‘Goldfinger.’ It’s a comedy bit but she really sings beautifully on it,” Carpenter said.

 They are also performing ‘Rewrite The Stars’ from ‘ The Greatest Showman.”


Scott Carpenter welcomes audiences to New West Theatre’s production of Blockbuster, Dec. 14-31. Photo by RichardAmery

 The cast includes a lot of familiar faces who have returned to New West including Devon Brayne, who was last  on the Yates Theatre stage as part of “The Million Dollar Quartet.” 


He has been bringing his character of Johnny Cash to life all across the province in the “Million Dollar Quartet.”


 Jessica Ens returns and there are a lot of familiar faces from more recent shows including Katie Fellger and Madisan Cowan, who made her New West debut last year.

The show also features the New West Theatre debut of newcomer Ethan Bintu-Watt. 


As always they have a top notch band including Kathy Zaborsky, Greg Paskuski, Scott Mezei and Keenan Pezderic. 


Carpenter has been performing with New West Theatre for 31 years and is excited to be part of another production.


 It is an important show for The long standing local theatre company , who are  suffering from serious financial challenges.


“The outpouring  of love from the community has been amazing,” Carpenter said.


 Director Grahame Renyk is glad to be back.

 He last performed with New West Theatre in 2019, right before the pandemic.

Katie Feller, newcomer Ethan Bintu-Watt and Erica Hunt are part of to New West Theatre’s production of Blockbuster, Dec. 14-31. Photo by RichardAmery


“ I was performing with them in 2018, and directed the 2019  “Celebration” before the world turned upside down. So it’s been interesting to watch from afar how they have been coping with theatre in a post-Covid world,” said Renyk, who is a professor at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario.


“It’s really great to be  back. I wanted to create a show that was bright, funny and colourful that creates a real  feeling of joy,” Renyk summarized, adding they are entering the third week of rehearsal for the production.

“ We’re bringing back favourite songs and comedy bit, but we’ve given them a bit of an update,” Renyk said.


He is excited to work with Devon Brayne and Jessica Ens and always enjoys working with the veteran cast members like Erica Hunt and Scott Carpenter.

 he is excited to see how far actors like Katie Fellger have developed as performers.

“They are professionals who are also  balancing day jobs. Lethbridge really has a really high calibre  performers. We have an amazing arts scene of community theatre and professional theatre companies. It’s really fantastic,” he enthused.

“Blockbuster” runs Dec. 14 to 31 in the Yates Theatre. Tickets are available through 403-329 SEAT (7328), online at or in person at the Yates Theatre or Enmax Centre.

 L.A. Beat has two pairs of tickets to give away to “Blockbuster.” One set for opening night, Dec. 14 and the other for Thursday, Dec. 15.

 Just answer the question  Which cast member  makes their New West Theatre  debut in “Blockbuster.” The first two people to e-mail the answer to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it wins.

- by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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