comedy of errors
Whatever you wanna say about how lamely it was organized -- suspect voting procedures, a lack of advertising/outreach, a Yuk's monopoly in the stand-up categories -- the Canadian Comedy Awards are still a good thing.
Highlights of last Thursday's annual bash included Dave Foley evoking 9/11 and calling it "the events of November 9th," and his statement, "If we don't mock the United States, the terrorists will." Winner for best sport surely goes to Laurie Elliott, who accepted for all the no-show winners (the majority).
We needed more edgy acts like Dave Martin, who presented the Pretty Funny Stand-up Newcomer Award as his glue-sniffing alter ego, Glue Guy.
"Oh god, I love my life!" he said, in Julia-at-the-Oscars style, handing the award to Debra DiGiovanni, who immediately asked if she'd also won a tiara.
Big winners included husband-and-wife duo Bob Martin and Janet van de Graaff, who hauled in four Beavers (the unfortunate name of the award).
"These are gonna go in the awards room, right next to the failure room, which is quite full right now," said Martin at the after-show party, fresh from his performance in The Good Life.
Post-show gossip included news that Jessica Holmes scored a deal for 22 episodes of her new variety show (a half-hour pilot airs April 14); Second City alum and quick study Tracy Dawson filled in -- with 24 hours' notice -- in the new SC show; Karen Hines has a starring role in Ken Finkleman's new NBC series; and winner Sean Cullen just scored a TV pilot to be produced by Madonna's company, Maverick.
Best outfit went to winner Kristeen von Hagen, in a track suit and gold money chain. Who was she wearing? "Old Navy," said von Hagen, who's touring with Puppetry Of The Penis.
brown's best bets
It's been a busy year for third-year George Brown theatre students. After staging a classic (Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost) and a contemporary piece (Road, with Equity Showcase), their last work before graduation includes contrasting plays running in rep: George Farquhar's Restoration comedy The Beaux' Stratagem, about a pair of fortune hunters, and American Sophie Treadwell's 1928 darkly expressionistic Machinal, in which a stenographer, caught in an impersonal society, escapes a loveless marriage by murdering her husband. Catch these talented actors -- including Ben Clost, Neil Mathews, Jonathan Geenen, Sara Wood and Sarah Wilson -- before they move on to bigger stages. See listings page.
out on a limb
Theatre Gargantua always impresses with its physical-theatre work, so it's appropriate that its 10th-anniversary production is called Phantom Limb. Created in collaboration with Welsh company 2021 Performance, it's inspired by the life and work of poet John Mackie, remembered by six friends affected by his death. Written by Spencer Hazel with contributions by Jane Siberry and the Cowboy Junkies' Michael Timmins, the multimedia piece -- it toured the UK last fall -- blends text, choreography, music and video. Hazel, no stranger to Toronto audiences, worked with Gargantua on The Exit Room and in last summer's Toronto Fringe. See listings page.