Review – My Van City, Feb.9,2016
Vancouver TheatreSports League’s The Massacre Slays Audience With Laughter
It’s grey and rainy outside and the evenings are still long. We’re all in debt from the winter holidays and spring seems a long, long way off. It’s a pretty grim and gloomy time of year. If only there was something to bring a little levity into our lives? Enter the Vancouver TheatreSports™ League (VTSL) and its 28th annual TheatreSports™ Festival The Massacre – two and a half weeks of perfectly executed improv to decimate the winter blues.
The Massacre kicked off last week at the Improv Centre stage on Granville Island and runs until February 14. The first two weeks (January 27 – February 6) sees the League’s homegrown improvisers face off in head-to-head sets to determine who will be the best of the best.
The final week (February 9 – 14) will be given over to international teams from Orlando, Florida; Austin, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; and Bellingham, Washington (last year’s international winner), featuring mixed play and individual city showcases in select time slots.
I popped along, braving the torrential rain and nursing a bit of the sniffles, to check out the opening night last week and it was just what the doctor ordered to lift my spirits.
Six quick-thinking VTSL performers were split into two teams – Team Wizard Beard and Team Cirque Do So Lazy – and went head-to-head to woo the audience. Who won? The audience.
The result was an engaging 90 minutes of belly laughs brought about by very talented and likeable performers who demonstrated an envious ability to think quickly on their feet.
While all the performers were fantastic and brought their own unique style to the stage, Margret Nyfors, whose self-deprecating and down-to-earth attitude was really endearing, particularly captivated me.
The show was introduced and hosted by Daniel Chai and involved lots of audience participation including a couple of brave volunteers who joined the crew on stage. Surprisingly, both the performers and the audience, of all ages, kept the humour clean and inoffensive and without unnecessary bloodshed and meanness. Quite a rarity when it comes to live comedy these days.
The Massacre runs until February 14, 2016, at The Improv Centre on Granville Island. Tickets, starting as low as $10/student and senior or $15/adult, are on sale now at vtsl.com.