Front Row Center
By Michael Warren
Tickle Your Fancy
Devised and Compiled by Dave McIntosh & Barbara Clippinger
This LLT fundraiser was very entertaining and wildly funny in the best vaudeville tradition. It was a mongrel cross between Benny Hill’s salacious humor and Hollywood/ Las Vegas musical numbers. At the opening we saw the whole cast singing “Everything‘s Coming Up Roses” in front of a glittery Hollywood-style curtain, and all the songs were well performed. A special mention is merited by Mac Morison who can still wow us all with his powerful baritone. “Lullaby of Birdland” was sweetly sung, with some clever glove choreography, by Olga Kaplounenko, and Mac and Alexis Hoff had a cute number “Just the Way You Look Tonight.” Also Alexis and Val Jones danced their butts off throughout the show (more about butts later!).
Though they were good, the song and dance numbers really served as diverting interludes between some very funny comedy acts. I think the “Dead Parrot” scene was borrowed from Monty Python, as was “The Audition” and possibly “The Pope and Michelangelo.” You don’t have to be British and crazy to appreciate this brand of humor, but it helps. Then there was the “Caballeros” scene at the gents’ latrine – all I can say is that you had to be there to appreciate this piece, entirely performed in mime. And finally, to round out the first half, we had the unforgettable “Ajijic Full Monty.” If you remember the movie, this was just as good (or as bad, depending on your point of view), so hats off, as well as everything else, to Dave McIntosh, Paul Kloegman, Greg Clarke, Jim Donnelly, Ken Yakiwchuk and Douglas Pinkerton! They bravely bared their butts for a good cause.
After the Full Monty, the second half was almost an anticlimax. But there were some good musical numbers and clever skits – I particularly enjoyed Patrick Dumouchel’s rendering of “My Sweet Lady” and Alexis Hoff singing (and dancing) “Don’t Tell Mama.” “The Unhappy Husband” required excellent timing between Paul Kloegman and Russell Mack, and Paul was also very good in a couple of stand-up comic routines. Then Patteye Simpson and Mac Morison sang a memorable duet “Let’s Fall in Love.” The best piece in the second half was a comic routine “If I Were Not Upon The Stage” performed with terrific timing by Patteye, Dave, Alexis, Greg, Olga, Russell, Val and Roger Larson.
This was all great entertainment and raised money to update some of the stage rigging equipment. Many thanks to Dave McIntosh and Barbara Clippinger for pulling the show together, and to Win McIntosh (Stage Manager) and Vee Shelton (Assistant Stage Manager). Also to Pierre Huot (Lighting Design), Garry Peerless (Lighting Operation), Karen Lee and Dave Hutchinson (Sound), and Tina Jones (Wardrobe). A hilarious time was had by all!