Three in Five
So what happens when the host of a regular room has to leave town for other work, falls ill, or well and truly couldn’t be arsed? Well, it’s usually at that moment that my phone rings or Facebook begins to light up. With Laura out of town in Ottawa, that would leave me to host the room for her. Yes, I know it’s a Celtic bar, but it has one of the few things that can actually make for a good show; a dedicated room and stage area for performances. So you learn to deal. Wicked pal Jason Blanchard was closing the show so that meant that I would at least know one person on the show. The list then just took off with the inclusion of Darryl Purvis, Jeff Elliott, and Aaron Berg sliding on, trying out new stuff, and having some of it work. Hats off to newbie Matt O’Brien, as well as good pals Bobby Mair, Tim Golden, and Deborah Etta Robinson for making it wicked as always.
It was also a night where you sort of forget about perspective. Relative newcomers-but-far-from-unfunny music duo “Bring Back Swayzes” were also on that night. I had the pleasure of seeing them for the first time at Andrew Evans’ Dark Show at Absolute Comedy two weeks ago and was looking forward to seeing them on a stage near me. Before they went on, one of them asked me to bring up another stool so they could both sit down. I gladly obliged. They did their set, sang some songs, got some laughs, and then left the stage. Later they came up to me apologizing for making me take a stool up on stage, thinking it was prima-donna-ish. I was in no way equating the need for a musical act to be able to sit as being pretentious. Let’s just say that I was not on the phone to Laura going “Do you have ANY idea what these assholes made me do? Find someone else to host your deal if this is what I have to deal with!” Kids today, what with their politeness and concern. What happened to “Get a chair up there for me, you old fart!”
Saturday had me at Sean McKiernan’s room on Charlotte Street, the confusingly named “Charlotte Room”. Again, a great room for comedy because of seclusion. People are there because they want to be. I slid in after trying to steady myself from the woe that followed the Dutch loss to Russia. For those of you not in the know or not caring, it’s a soccer thing. It happens every couple of years. I enjoy it. Deal. Sean was kind enough to put me onto his stage and I filled seven minutes pretty easily. After their spots I got to stay behind with Sean, Neil Rhodes, and Mike Harrison so we could mutually ridicule each other. Saturday nights taste like teasing. Good times.
Last night was my first time at Glen Foster’s latest room found at the old Poor Alex Theatre, now called the Brainstorm Lounge. It’s got everything you’d want: secluded room, functional stage, lights, black backdrop, ability to easily project movies and video clips. There’s only two things missing: a crowd and beer. Glen runs a seminar prior to the show and then the show itself runs afterwards. Got to see a load of first-or-close-to-first-new-timers Got to see my old pal Howard Dover perform for the first time in ages (of me seeing him, not him performing) and through luck of the draw and with some act drop-outs, I got to close the show. The new stuff for the most part did not produce the gag reflex that you normally would associate with a swan dive in an open septic tank, so that’s good. The problem with such rooms is the vicious circle. The crowds won’t come unless there’s some pros but the pros won’t come unless there’s people. Yay, circle of life. I hope Glen’s room can carry forward. It’d be a shame to see a room with a great potential yet again leave us.