April 23rd, 2024

New West paying tribute to legends of rock and country

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on February 15, 2024.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Katie Fellger as Dolly Parton and Scott Carpenter as Kenny Rogers, perform a number from New West Theatre's latest production "Legends of Rock and Country" on Wednesday at the Yates Memorial Theatre.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

New West Theatre is concluding its season by paying tribute to multiple iconic performers through its “Legends of Rock and Country” show beginning tonight at the Yates Memorial Theatre.

Artistic director Kelly Reay said Wednesday audience members can expect to enjoy a concert experience from performers such as Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and Fleetwood Mac; something a little different from the typical New West Theatre music comedy reviews.

“We’re tributing 22 different artists in the show, and we put a lot of effort into presenting these artists in costumes and mannerisms,” said Reay.

He said while some of them are straightforward serious tributes, some of them introduce some silly performances and a lot of fun.

Reay explained the process of artists selection was a process of elimination, because iconic legends of Rock and Country music can fill a whole anthology series.

“I think for us it was a combination of knowing who our cast was and selecting the artists who we thought would suit our performers, and our performers could really sink their teeth into,” said Reay.

He said they began with a long list of artists and whittled it down over time down to 22 artists.

Kattie Fellger, who will be paying tribute to Dolly Parton, among other artists, said stepping into Parton’s shoes has been a lot of fun.

“Look at this dress!” Fellger said, referring go her outfit. “truly it feels phenomenal, she is such a character, she’s such a fun loving woman who really had fun with herself and performing, so to get to step into those shoes it just kind of adds a little bit of fun to the performances.”

She said that in order to fully prepare to play Parton, she watched multiple videos to get an idea of her mannerisms, her movements, the way she spoke to her fellow performers when on stage.

“Watching a lot of videos and trying to emulate that, working in the mirror, putting on the wig helps.”

Reay said New West performers truly want to do right by the artists by paying attention to as much detail as possible.

“Some of the more iconic choreography like Tina Turner, for example, we wanted to really do right by the artist,” said Reay. “Madison Cowan would study Tina’s performances and then boil that down to her own set of choreography that we can apply for this show.”

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