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Geeks versus Nerds Vancouver – Episode 34: Hot Wheels & Shady Deals

Comedy, Events, Reviews, Showcase

May 19, 2017

The last season of Geeks versus Nerds Vancouver is proving to be super entertaining and full of the good stuff.

This episode was Hot Wheels & Shady Deals and it put Team Rocket against Cobra and The Delorean against The Batmobile.

The Opening Debate was Team Rocket vs. Cobra – They just cannot win… but this time, one of them has to! Right? Right?! It’s TEAM ROCKET versus COBRA – “Which is the least effective criminal organization?”

The members of Team Rocket were Adam Duff (a GvN regular), Phil Amore (of The Criticals Comedy) and Neoma Charles-Lundaahl (in her second debate with GvN).

The members of Team Cobra were Keegan Flick-Parker (Producer of GvN Vancouver), Beni Spieler and Nick Drake (both are regular performers for GvN)

This debate was filled with such a great knowledge of the fandoms. I don’t think that I have fully appreciated how crappy both Team Rocket and Cobra both are until I heard these two teams debate.

On one hand, Team Rocket are just the worst at being criminals. They are part of a world where they do not teach basic education but only how to train and fight Pokemon. On the other hand, Cobra is a terrible terrorist organization, they really do not grasp the finer points of espionage. Both teams fought well, but in the end, Team Rocket was THE WORST.

The Headlining Debate was The Delorean vs. The Batmobile – These cars have it all – speed, power, style, and ridiculous special powers! But which is superior? It’s THE DELOREAN versus THE BATMOBILE – “Which is the coolest ride?”

On Team DeLorean was Jo Dworschak (from Fruit Salad and Story, Story, Lie), Zachary Taylor (of The Criticals Comedy) and Graeme Thompson (GvN Regular and actor about town).

The members of Team Batmobile were Brent Hirose (Instant Theatre), Hunter Cochrane, Jess Ode.

One of the great parts of Geeks Versus Nerds Vancouver is that it gives local performers a place to stretch themselves out and grow. I am not going to lie, I love Batman and I was set to cheer for The Batmobile the team for Team DeLorean made the best case possible.

In its essence, this debate is Car vs. Time Machine and who better in our modern popular culture to tout the benefits of owning a Time Machine than Rick Sanchez. The pure amazing that was Graeme Thompson dressed as Rick,  spouting his points mid burp while yelling for that Mulan Szechuan Sauce was possibly the scale tipper on this one.

Team DeLorean despite Team Batmobile’s noble attempt to weave the mythology of John DeLorean advocating for the destruction of his coke induced monster car, won, and they won hard.

 

All in all the show was great and we cannot stress this enough, GO TO THE LAST TWO SHOWS THAT GEEKS VERSUS NERDS VANCOUVER WILL BE HAVING.

May 27th Geeks versus Nerds – Ep35: Absolutely Revolting – Pinky and The Brain Vs. Invader Zim and Gir / Katniss Everdeen vs. Neo

And their final show is on June 24th which will put Black Magic against Super Science and Steve Urkel against Sheldon Cooper.

 

All photo credits belong to Zemekiss Photography

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505

Instant Theatre – Shakespeare After Dark – The Bard, Improvised and Twisted

Comedy, Events, Improv, Reviews

May 3, 2017

When I agreed to review this show, I thought that I would be seeing improvisers taking the premises of Shakespeare plays and then Mad-Lib style scene creation would happen… but wow and hoo-boy I didn’t see what I saw coming.

Mood Music

I arrived at The Havana early so I got a drink and a snack and hung out. As people started lining up for the show there was one guy who was incredibly boisterous and extra huggy with the people around him. Homeboy was drunk. A friend of mine was doing the doors for the show (we do a podcast together) and I mentioned that he was super drunk and she said… “Oh, have you not seen the show before? He is one of the improvisers, he is supposed to be drunk.” And there we have it good gentles a segue into a bonny tale.

Brad The Drunk is the best at being a railing.

As I entered the black box theatre at The Havana a guitarist was playing classical folk music to set the mood. Actors were milling about in peasant shirts. Then the show started.  Nikolai Witschl came on stage and introduced the show, which is two acts, one is a rehearsed piece from a Shakespearean play in which our drunk improviser is the main character and must remember while very drunk their lines including a monologue and the second is an improvised long form scene in the style of Shakespeare based on suggestions from the audience.

The first act was from All’s Well That Ends Well, following his father’s death, Bertram, the young Count of Rossillion, leaves home to attend the court of the ailing King of France, along with his friend Parolles. Helena, the Countess’s ward, is in love with Bertram, and reveals her affection to the Countess, who is sympathetic. The scene is from a trial.

Monologues are hard

Brad the Drunk (who was the inebriated improviser) was able successfully deliver his monologue and follow along with the scene but I am not sure that Shakespeare wrote in all of the extra swearing and long pauses into the scene. By the end of the scene, everyone in the audience was near tears because of the hilarity of the situation. I was so amazed at the performance that a wow slipped out of my mouth and without skipping a beat Brad The Drunk said, “You are correct, wow”.

The next act was the improvised scene, in which a tavern owner who was the former King of England works tirelessly to protect his daughter from finding out her royal line but also from having her meet and fall in love… which is exactly what happened, with a member of the royal court who is an adventurer. The adventurer and his sister met the local drunk who was named Bob.  There was also a plot to capture the Former King’s daughter and to sell back to her father for a price. All of this is 100% improvised. During this, Brad the Drunk was a ship’s rail and also as a parrot who would state the obvious. The conclusion of the story was the adventurer marrying the daughter of the Former King and Bob the Drunk marrying the adventurer’s sister.

Afterwards, I caught up with Brad the Drunk, he was all smile and very happy. His drink of choice was 375 ML of Bombay Sapphire and OJ between the hours 3pm and 10pm. Which, hopefully, was in a bottle that wasn’t recently recalled for being 77% alcohol.

It was a blast and something I think everyone will enjoy. You can catch the next installment of Shakespeare After Dark – The Bard, Improvised and Twisted, Saturday May 27th at The Havana.

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512

Instant Theatre – The Actor’s Nightmare

Comedy, Events, Improv, Reviews

April 21, 2017

At the Havana Restaurant on Commercial Drive there lies a small black box style theatre space hidden at the back. This is where you will find players from Instant Theatre strutting their stuff. On the third Saturday of every month is when Instant improvisers and five guest actors bring you The Actor’s Nightmare – Scripted Theatre and Improv Collide!

As the title suggests, an actor’s nightmare is not knowing their lines, or worst, not knowing what play they are even in. This is exactly what happens in Actor’s Nightmare. Each improviser is paired up with a guest actor who will act out their memorized scripted lines. The improviser then must react to the scripted lines and make a cohesive-ish act. The result is a series of unexpectedly hilarious one act plays.

 

Allie Entwistle doing audience warm ups

 

The night began with host Allie Entwistle introducing the show with an explanation of what to expect and some fairly standard improv audience warm ups. The first actor-improviser pair, Abbey St. Brendan and Janet Davidson were then invited onto the stage. Janet started with asking for audience suggestion of an object: a whisk. The scene began with Janet whisking a bowl of something (a cake!) and Abbey’s Mary Aldin burst in exclaiming something about a murder in the house. The ensuing entertaining chaos of trying to find out who was murdered, who was the murderer, and how Janet’s character became an inadvertent accomplice had the audience in endless laughter. After the act was over, Abbey revealed that her scripted part was from Agatha Christie’s Toward Zero.

 

Abbey and Janet discussing a murder and cake!

 

 

Next was an original piece by Bennett Taylor and improviser Trang Nguyen. Trang’s 12 year old farm girl entered the scene with bucket of milk from their old cow, Betsy, and presented it to her father (Bennett) while contemplated whether the boy from next farm over would take her to the dance. We come to learn that Father worked as a cashier at a restaurant, Bob’s Big Ol’ Steaks. Unfortunately, Betsy succumbed to some sort of ailment involving a ball which resulted in a field full of cow blood.

 

Bennet and Trang investigating Betsy’s illness

 

Third set of the evening was a dramatic observation of bird behaviour by Vuk Prodanovic and Maddy Rafter as Captain and Miss Pennywise. This short half-improvised act started on a submarine, with the Captain’s overreaction to Pa, his seagull friend’s antics, but later was revealed that Captain and Miss Pennywise were criminals on the run. Criminals with a heart, having a heart to heart. There was also a giant heart in the sky, or possibly crows…? Vuk’s scripted part was from Urinetown: The Musical.

 

The second to last pair was Ella Berger as Niki (Curtains) and Mark Sears. The scene took place during intermission of a high school play, Macbeth: The Musical. Mark’s character, a drama teacher named Frank Gower was texting when Niki, whom Mr. Gower embarrassingly misnamed Amber multiple times, barged onto the scene. Niki was reluctant to replace the lead actress who fell off the stage and injured herself as Lady Macbeth. Revelations of death threats and forbidden romances followed, as Mr. Gower was trying to get someone to carry the injured girl off the front rows.

 

Ella and Mark having a crisis during “intermission”

 

Lastly, Julie Casselman and our erstwhile host herself, Allie Entwistle. Allie was given the audience suggestion of “a rack of watermelons”, and thus, Jacob the Watermelon Merchant was born. As the scene progressed, we learn that Mary Snow (Julie), a kumquat seller, and Jacob were once engaged, but Mary promised herself to Jerome since Jacob ran away a year ago. Apparently Jerome was quite the mansplainer and told Mary all kinds of things, such as all the pretty names of the moon’s mountains and valleys, and that bald men are very potent. Yes, potent. There was also a dog ghost. The act ended with Mary sliding her engagement ring off and making suggestive eyebrow movements at Jacob. Julie’s excerpt is from Salt-Water Moon by David French.

 

Julie and Allie at the watermelon rack

 

All in all, The Actor’s Nightmare – Scripted Theatre and Improv Collide! was very entertaining and kept the audience in stitches, which is par of course for Instant Theatre improv shows. The scenes held up surprisingly well though it is not without a dash of chaos, but what’s improv without a healthy dose of entropy. I would highly recommend The Actor’s Nightmare if you are in the mood for some comedy on Saturday night.

The next showing of The Actor’s Nightmare – Scripted Theatre and Improv Collide! will be on May 20th at 10:30 PM, tickets available here.

 


Eva Mak is a local producer, artist and lady about town. You can tweet at her @originalevamak 

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616

The Criticals Comedy show us a new take on an improv classic

Comedy

April 14, 2017

If you live in the Vancouver Lower Mainland and go to fandom conventions then you know who The Criticals Comedy are. You also know that “Whose Line Is It Anime?” is a convention goer favourite. They pack every panel room they are booked in and have had to have people turned away.

However, if you don’t go to fandom conventions, then you would not have had a chance to be delighted… until now. Brothers Phillip Amor and Colin Amor along with their cousin Zachary Taylor had their premier Whose Line event last Friday at Seven Dining Lounge in Vancouver and for a show that started at conventions,  it packed a decent crowd ready to participate in improv scenarios for fabulous prizes.

Colin Amor, Phillip Amor and Zachary Taylor look on in horror/laughter as contestants improv. Photo Credit: Quill Point

Photo Credit: Ashley Gabriel

The setup is simple in it’s formula, upon entering the venue you are give n a door ticket. That door ticket will be entered into the raffle later on in the night but it is also used to randomly choose the contestants for each round. When your name ticket is called, you go up, listen to the improv game instructions and create a scene with the other contestants. Popular games are “Scenes From A Hat” and “Pocket Words”. At the end of the show the winners of each round are called up on stage and given prizes and a chance to do a final scene.

This city is going to be having a local geek culture metamorphosis soon, the long standing Geeks versus Nerds Vancouver announced that season 5 (the current season) will be their last season, and with the change of the culture and those driving it we find ourselves wondering what will be the newest lineup of monthly geeky/nerdy events to gather at, “Whose Line Is It Anime?” is a strong contender.

Chris Nyarady from Geeks versus Nerds Vancouver was there and participated in a scene where you did colour commentary for a game of competitive Monopoly. Photo Credit: Ashley Gabriel

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269

Geeks Versus Nerds Vancouver Episode 33 – Outta This World – A beautiful tribute to the ’90s and Alien...

Comedy, Events, Reviews

March 30, 2017

It was announced earlier this year that Geeks versus Nerds Vancouver will be shuttering up this year only to see the light of day once in awhile during convention season. It will be sad to see a Vancouver institute of unbridled fandoms come to an end, especially after such a solid showing from the debaters for Geeks vs Nerds episode 33 “Outta This World!”.

The night started with Sonic vs. Spawn for the best mascot of the 90’s. With time-traveling past selves, marketing executives, and even a Spice Girl sighting, it was a hard-fought battle to decide a winner. In my own flipping from side to side, I was joined by one of the debaters’ 8yr old self, presenting an interesting way to argue for your hero, by arguing for the other hero more often. The tactic worked in their favor as Team Sonic sped away with the win as the best mascot of the 90’s. The can of Sonic energy drink and dunkaroo bribes must have clinched it.

The main event was Autobots vs. Crystal Gems  for ‘Which team of aliens best defends the earth from their own kind?’  Yes, it is a mouthful. The best kind of mouthful if you are going to name a debate about teams of aliens.

The Nerd side was strong with appearances from all of Steven’s parents and creator, facing off against the Geek team of a walking encyclopedia of Transformer facts, Les Grossman, and a super fan who seemed to have all the toys. I’ll give the Geek team a mention of really knowing their facts, but the presentation of such felt like regurgitated information, especially in an entertainment debate. The toys they brought though? Fantastic. It’s hard not to cheer though when the Nerd team busts out poetry, musical numbers, and Steven himself. With thunderous applause, the Gems captured the win, and many hearts.

A great night out and a ‘fan’-tastic experience.

 

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Jalyn Euteneier is a co-founder of ZeroD20, a gaming addict, and a fan of creativity. She is a sucker for discussions of community, inclusion, and mobile games, so if you are inclined to want to talk about that, find her on Twitter @CrazeeJay

 

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