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L.A. Beat

New West Theatre brings one last shot of sunshine to the stage with Wonderstruck

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Today is the last day to be “wonderstruck” by New West Theatre  latest music/ comedy revue. whichhas a 1 -.m. matinee, today, Aug. 26 a1 1p.m. and closes with the last show at 7:30 p.m.


 As always New West Theatre has a multi-talented cast guaranteed to brings smiles  to your faces.  And who couldn't use the dose of positivity the long standing  theatre company brings with their music comedy  revues.

Erica Hunt performs in New West Theatre’s production of Wonderstruck, which closes Aug. 26. Photo by Richard Amery

 This show focuses on some of the happiest  pop music from the ’70s and ’80s.


 The show opens with the cast performing ELO’s   “Mr. Blue Sky,” so you know happiness will abound.


 The newer members of the cast shine.

  Ethan Bintu- Watt takes centre stage on a beautiful cover of Michael Bublé’s “ It’s a Beautiful Day.” He joins Katie Fellger on ukuleles for a really  cool, understated, folk version of A -Ha’s “ Take On Me.”


 Madisan Cowan  shows her impressive dance moves throughout as well as  sings lead vocals on a couple songs but shines in a few comedic bits like pairing with  Katie Fellger for New West News, and providing sound effects for a mimed airplane sketch featuring  Katie Fellger, Eric Hunt and Scott Carpenter as the most obnoxious   seat-mate ever.


 Fellger has some of the best comedic bits. She and Cowan perform an inspired sketch about dating, incorporating the names of a plethora of Alberta towns.


She  leads the cast in some impressive improv on the game “Click” Where  she was  showing the audience slideshows of her family trip to Antarctica, a destination provided by the audience, as the cast  acted them out.

 Alinafe Lupwayi, who had a lot of inspirational moments of his own, did his best not to break out laughing as Fellger’s “grandmother.”


Kyle Gruninger,  Erica Hunt and Scott Carpenter introduced a trio of hilarious new characters Randy, Brandy and Randy, who were a hit with an enthusiastic audience.


Kyle Gruninger lead the cast through  Blind Melon’s “No Rain,” with the others taking turns chasing away Scott Carpenter , dressed as a giant bee similar to the girl in the Blind Melon video.


Music director Kathy Zaborsky prepared some excellent numbers for the cast to perform. She arranged an impressive Beach Boys  style a cappella version of “Sloop John B,” with Keenan Pezderic stepping out from behind the drum kit to  add baritone vocals, which was different as he usually  is singing falsetto.


New West Theatre]s production of Wonderstruck closes today. Photo by Richard Amery

The second set opens with Kathy Zaborsky on  the grand piano, leading the cast through a fun version of “ Time Warp.”


 They kept the grand piano on stage to let her shine on the Scott Carpenter lead “Summer Wind.”


Scott Mezei played a beautiful version of Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight,” with Scott Carpenter singing.

 Kyle Gruninger took centre stage for Aerosmith’s “ Dream On,” which suited his highest vocal range.

 Alinafe Lupwayi got to star in Stevie Winder’s “Higher Ground.”

With so much happening this week with Whoop Up Days, I was impressed with the turnout  for the show, showing everyone wanted a shot of New West sunshine.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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