Support Live Local Theatre

This weekend, I had the pleasure of watching my Dad perform in a production of Mary Poppins put on by the Port Colborne Operatic Society; an organization in which he’s been involved for 39 years!  The production was spectacular. The costumes, the singing, the FLYING! I mean, come on!

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Re: Flying.

It hit me this year, seeing the PCOS’ productions every year since I was a kid is likely responsible for my desire to perform. I remember watching the plays and thinking: “ One day I want to be up there!” Although that’s since changed to “I want to be up there, but like…by myself with a microphone… or with a small group of people making things up on the spot… or performing something I’ve written myself… likely with less singing, like WAY less singing.”

My parents put me in performance from a young age. Dancing and playing the piano. I can’t begin to imagine a childhood without live performance, or without art.

So, consider this is a plea from me to you. No matter where you are, or who you’re with, go see live performances of plays, of comedy, of music of whatever you can! And bring a friend, a child, a niece or nephew, a parent or aunt or uncle, a Tinder date, ANYBODY.

You never know whose life you might inspire.

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See: acting.

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You’re Never Trapped in a Cave

…or a mud hut, for that matter.  This was certainly well proven tonight in the National Theatre of the World‘s May 30th edition ofThe Script Tease Project, which I thought was brilliant!  Now, I’m pretty stupid, because I’ve only seen NTOW twice since moving to Toronto (if you don’t count the multiple times I’ve seen them on various TV commercials & in a bunch of the photos lining the walls at The Second City.)  I saw them do Carnegie Hallin the first few months after I’d started at Humber and it completely changed my understanding of what improv could be.  They are the outstandingly talented improvisers and ever since I first saw them, I have had the strongest desire to learn to emulate their skill and technique.

I also saw Naomi Snieckus and Matt Baram perform together in November’s Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival – which, if you’d like to take a step back in time, you can read about HERE.

BUT ON TO THE MATTER AT HAND!  It was my first time seeing them perform @The_NTOW’s #ScriptTease format.  If you haven’t heard anything about it, well… who better to explain it than the cast itself:

The Script Tease Project ’12 – YouTube

Tonight, the playwright responsible for penning the first few pages was Anusree Roy, award-winning playwright and performer.  And, well, since Glenn Sumi moderated the Talk Back after #ScriptTease tonight, I’m just going to direct you to his feature in NOW all about Anusree so you can find out more:

OK – so you know how the show works and you who the playwright is – good?  Good.

Anusree Roy’s play:  Starving

The play was set in a mud hut in Calcutta. Naomi is Babui, wife of Gokul (Matt), but she is pregnant with the child of Gokul’s brother, Komol (Ron.)  To feed his starving wife, child and himself, Komol has killed a cow and it is lying outside in the village square.  But they are Hindu and cows are sacred.  The stakes are high and…

You know what, if you want the play-by-play of the play, you really should read what the live Tweeters were getting up to during the show ->  Here check out the feed, it’s hilarious: @The_NTOW

What I will do is tell you about how amazing an experience to watch these guys and lady live.  The moment the scripts are put down and the lights come back up, you’re truly taken into their universe.  Even though there’s not but a rug, a stool and a tiny bag on stage, you’re right there in that hut – and those seemingly meaningless objects become the funniest rug, stool and bag you’ve ever seen in your life.  They seamlessly flow in and out from dramatic and deeply emotional moments into the silliest nonsense:

  • “Please! Let me have a fun fun barbeque!”    (This is Calcutta, remember – after two years of drought!)
  • “There is no fish curry.  Eat the rug.”

No!  There are too many of these…  Just read the Twitter feed!!!! DO IT!!! Read it!!!  Or better yet, go see one of their shows.   This run goes until June 3rd, so you still have plenty of time.

THEN you’ll see how amazing they are at character work – I imagine South Asian accents are probably pretty tough to pull off – but then again, I’m still new to Toronto.

THEN you’ll see what good chemistry looks like.

THEN you’ll see what truly great improv is.

“It’s Jazz.”

Seriously.  Go see this show.  Call 416-504-7529 for tickets, or get them by e-mail at info [at] passemuraille.on.ca.  (Comedy nerds might be happy to know that Scott Thompson’s Script Tease play will be performed on Saturday, June 2nd @ 8pm.)