They say you can’t please all of the people all of the time, but Bull Skit’s taking a good run at doing just that.
Red Deer’s improvisation/sketch comedy team is diversifying its act to widen its audience appeal and give the public more yuks for their bucks.
“We’re passionate about making people laugh,” said Against the Wall Theatre’s artistic director Jenna Goldade. “And we work hard to think of new, creative ways to do it.”
Since troupe members are encouraged to think of new formats and ways to entertain, they have come up with some novel themes:
For those into role-playing games, the Bull Skit troupe will be enacting Dungeons and Dragons at 7:30 on Friday (Jan. 16) at the Scott Block’s Centennial Stage (accessed through the back alley). The show is at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $10 at the door.
Participants create characters, roll the dice and Bull Skit cast members will portray the action on stage for the audience’s amusement. “You have to watch to see whether you live or die,” said Goldade.
For sports fans, there’s the Thespian Fight Club, a 90-minute, high-energy improv comedy show in which two teams battle it out with sports-related scenes, songs and games, based on audience suggestions.
The audience will choose the winner on Wednesday Jan. 21, Feb. 18, March 18, April 22, and May 13 at Fratters Speakeasy. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and there’s a $5 cover charge.
For those who enjoy low-brow humour and drinking, Bull Skit presents Get White Trashed, the Improvised Drinking Game. It’s on at 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 16, 17, and 23, 24 at the Scott Block’s Centennial Stage. Tickets are $10 and there’s a cash bar that also sells corn dogs.
Goldade said the Trailer Park Boys-inspired evening will involve giving cues, through puns and actions in staged comedy sketches, for drinks to be consumed. Since troupe and audience members will be tippling, taxis will be on call, said Goldade, who invites participants to “comb your mullet, tuck that tank top into your sweat pants and come on down.”
Fans of the PBS hit Downton Abbey can look forward to a staging of Bull Skit’s spoof Shabby Abbey in April (check the group’s website in the coming weeks for dates and times). Goldade, a big fan of the British TV series, said Bulls Skit has a lot of fun portraying the gap between the privileged family upstairs and their servants downstairs.
The family-oriented Calf Skit shows (for kids 10 and under and their parents) continue with Cinderella on Jan. 31 and Three Billy Goats Gruff on Feb. 28, both at 2 p.m. at the Scott Block. Tickets are $20 per family, including free popcorn, at the door.
As well, Bull Prov comedy nights will continue at 7:30 and 10 p.m. on the Centennial Stage at the Scott Block. Some dates are Jan. 16, 17 (7 p.m. show only), Feb. 13, 14, March 6, 7, April 10, 11, and May 8 and 9. A special all-female show will be staged on Feb. 13. Tickets are $10 at the door.
Of course, the regular Bull Skit shows will still run monthly at the Scott Block.
The Jan. 30 and 31 show features Owen Chan from Calgary’s Kinkonauts and 1990s tribute band The Discmen. On Feb. 27 and 29 Edmonton singer/songwriter Ben Sures will join the gang. Red Deer’s Levi Cuss performs on March 27 and 28 And a best-of show will be held May 21 to 23. Tickets are $23 from the website.
Goldade feels a great time to be in improv/sketch comedy. “Improv is really hot right now. If you look at any sit-com it’s full of improvisers. It’s interesting to be doing comedy right now.”
While many gifted people have come through the Bull Skit ranks and gone on to other things in Red Deer and beyond, Goldade who has taken some courses at Chicago’s Second City, is happy to train new talent and introduce new comedians to local audiences.
The core of the existing troupe includes Goldade, Jeremy Robinson, Daniel Vasquez, Lee Weselak, Riley Deschambeault and Amy Wood.
“I think we have one of our stronger casts right now,” said Goldade.
For more information or to book tickets, visit www.bullskitcomedy.com.