Wednesday, May 25, 2011

In Review: [title of show] #yyc

Sometimes I find it hard to sit through a theatrical production. There are few that are riveting enough to keep me hooked for a whole show. Even a show with an elaborate set and amazing technical properties can bore me to death if the writing doesn't keep me entertained. Let's be honest...I watch theatre to be entertained...if I am not entertained I don't care about your 500,000 budget.

So what does keep me entertained? Comedy. What is so great about a stand-up comedian? Typically they are hard on the eyes and all they do is stand there and talk, but they are funny...and that is enough to keep the audience entertained for an extended period of time. It's all in the words.

Enter [title of show] a play that just started its run in Calgary. It has a cast of 4 (5 if you include the keyboard player), 4 chairs and a modest white backdrop. It is a show written by Hunter and Jeff about writing the show for a competition starring characters Hunter and Jeff and their two real life friends Heidi and Susan. Sounds confusing when I write it, but it actually isn't.

Of the 90 minute show, the first hour I loved. The comedic punch was there. Hunter was crass, crude and in other ways hilarious as was the female version of your perverted construction worker friend, Susan. She talks from her vajay, flaunts her body odor, and does the jacking off spiderman (if you don't know what that is click here). At the beginning I thought she was laying it on a little a comedian that feels the need to yell his jokes, but she became very funny over the course of the hour. Jeff and Heidi were the normal(er) characters...which every show has to have. Trust me, Friends would have sucked without Ross and Rachel (even though no one particularly liked them).

After the show got to the festival I was prepared for it to end...because if this was the first draft of the show it is where the lights would have went out, but then they kept going...and going...and going. The audience gave them the "final" applause a couple of times because they thought the show was finished. I actually thought that we were in there for four hours when the show finally got out. (We weren't, it was the 90 minute allotted time).

Maybe it was because the show got very 'real life' and depressing after they made it. Maybe it was because the comedy had left the building. Or maybe it was because the first part had been perfected over time and the rest was just an add on. Whatever the case, you chop that last half hour out and you would have yourself a pretty legit production. As for the musical element...the music was kind of meh, and the voices were average (except for Erin Breen who played Heidi...kind of a musical baller that one). But it did lend itself to the comedic aspect for the first part of the show so I enjoyed it.

My favorite part of the show was the part with the "blank paper"...I won't say more than that, except I was told during the show that I am the blank paper. This is true. If you go see it you will know what I mean. The show stealer for me was Gully Urra as Hunter. How could he not...his opening line was "A tranny stole my shrimp."

Verdict: 3.1 Stars


[title of show] is playing at the Vertigo Theatre stage until Saturday June 4. Click here for info. 

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