ReviewVancouver – by Darren Cordeiro
Vancouver TheatreSports – Oh Canada
Dates and Venue | June 29 – Sep 2, 2017, Thur-Sat @ 7.30pm | The Improv Centre, 1502 Duranleau St., Granville Island
Ensemble Graeme Duffy, Ken Lawson, Devin Mackenzie, Lauren McGibbon, Margret Nyfors, Brad Rossington & Pearce Visser Production Artistic Director Denise Jones Associate Artistic Director Bill Pozzobon Light Improviser Su Scarfe Sound Improviser Laura Skelton
As Canada celebrates its sesquicentennial, there is an abundance of celebratory events being hosted around this vibrant city. Given the multitude of options available, we have to be strategic in which events we can afford to attend in our personal time and I would recommend Oh, Canada to rank near the top of your to-do list. This soirée of patriotic-themed Improv led by a zany and hilarious cast will remind you through your laughter of the reasons we are proud to be Canadian!
While Improv is generally ‘off-the-cuff’, I really enjoyed the framework that was put in place to guide the performance from start to finish. There were short video clips interspersed throughout the performance to remind us of the accolades Canada has achieved, which helped transition nicely from one act to the next.
The host and the improvisers were true professionals and knew how to engage the audience effectively. The laughter ensued the entire performance with a high level of engagement, and there were no awkward moments when the audience was asked to participate. As well, while a patriotic-themed Improv can easily open the door to the portrayal of offensive stereotypes, I was pleased that it remained tasteful for all audiences.
The topics for each act were well thought out, bringing out the flavours of our beautiful country from the east to west coast. Whether it was poking fun at the eco-friendly, yoga-enthusiast from Vancouver or the stress-ridden business professional from Toronto, it was all done in good humour. And, of course, there were mentions of Tim Hortons, beavers, and our unpredictable weather!
The set design and costumes truly reflected the typical Canadian landscape, which helped enhance the dialogue. As well, the sound and lighting helped keep the playful mood throughout. Snippets of patriotic anthems were featured, from artists such as Bryan Adams, The Great Big Sea and the Crash Test Dummies, which made us nostalgic of our Canadian classics that we grew up with.
I feel it’s also worth noting that the venue is spectacular, with the outside lounge overlooking the beautiful water. Should you decide to attend, you will want to show up a bit early so you can appreciate the beauty that Granville Island has to offer.
This is a light evening out where you can let loose and have a good laugh in a beautiful setting surrounded by a fun and upbeat crowd. As Canadians, we know not to take ourselves too seriously, so why not check it out, eh?