Teige Reid & Darryl Purvis take us to the Church of the Perpetual LOLs in the Teige & Darryl Do A Show Together Show

 

Last night, a sizeable crowd gathered up in the Studio at Alumnae Theatre for a one night only evening of laughs and celebration for the Teige and Darryl Do A Show Together Show. Featuring Teige Reid and Darryl Purvis, plus a surprise guest, the celebration part was about Purvis’s 20th anniversary as a stand-up comic.

First up was Purvis with an edgy, hilarious stand-up set that ranged from the personal to the observational. Cheeky, irreverent and sometimes adult (and by that, I mean dirty), topics covered social interaction, autobiography and bizarre, eye-opening experiences. Keeping us laughing as he recorded the set for posterity, we rolled along with bit after bit: extreme social awkwardness meets faux pas in an unfortunate elevator moment; an unusual reception from an American; and a surprisingly disturbing visit to an Alberta strip club in Red Deer—to name just a few.

Purvis’s underlying vibe of awkwardly shy, beer loving introvert translates well into some sharply delivered self-deprecating humour and storytelling. With a twinkle in his eye the whole time, he plays on the edge of shock and ‘aw, shucks’—and delivers it with an engaging east coast kitchen party flavour (or maybe that’s because, like Purvis, I spend more time at Reid’s kitchen table than I do my own).

After a brief intermission, it was Reid’s turn; showcasing bits from his solo shows, including In Vino Veritas, and a surprise guest appearance. Philosophy, religion and politics emerge in a blend of social satire, scathing political commentary and whip-smart insight. From the snake-like Southern minister preaching salvation with a gambling angle, to the darkly funny Church of the Gun’s take on The Three Little Pigs, to the drunken wisdom of Rory MacFadden and his philosophy of transcendental intoxication, Reid has us laughing, thinking—and sticking it to the likes of Trump, the NRA and sociopolitical dumbassery in general.

A sharply tuned wordsmith, entertainer and social agitator, Reid is a mercurial and cerebral performer with a bang-on sense of comic timing, a dark edge and a great sense of fun. Julian Sark joined Reid for a hysterically quirky two-hander to close the set. Was Cletus afflicted by the delayed effects of puberty or Lycanthropy? In any event, you’ve definitely never seen a silver bullet cure like this one.

Teige Reid and Darryl Purvis take us to the Church of the Perpetual LOLs with sharp, observational stand-up and storytelling in Teige and Darryl Do A Show Together Show. This was one night only, but keep an eye out for Reid and Purvis performing around the city.

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Drunken. Continually. In Vino Veritas entertains & surprises

An actor pounding back vodka shots can’t bring himself to play the jolly old man in red in the Santa Clause parade. An elderly man sipping white wine has lost his wife, but not in the way you’d think. A drunken, foul-mouthed and hilariously funny Scotsman named Rory loses his bottle of Keith’s, threatening mayhem till he finds it. And a charming, but oily Southern gentleman sips a cocktail, his apparently delicate sensibilities masking a raging hunger. A gay lawyer sipping whiskey opens up about his relationship with his father, who is bitterly disappointed in him – but not for the reason you’d expect. All woven together by Irish bartender Seamus, who worships at the altar of Guinness and has his own pain to manage, and bookends the piece with snippets of Baudelaire’s “Be Drunken.” Welcome to the Empty Glass, the divey bar playing host to the evening’s revelries and tales of woe that comprise In Vino Veritas. And all characters we see are created and performed by actor/playwright Teige Reid. It’s moving, darkly funny and irreverently philosophical – and just when you think the show is going in one direction, there’s a surprise. No game of “What’s in the Wellie” this time – but an equally fun turn unfolded. And all the while, the audience may order food and drink. The only rule: keep our cell phones off.

And since this is a Pubcrawl Theatre production, that’s not all. The evening opened with an acoustic set from guest artist Julian Sark, who I was able to get my ears on from just outside the room (we were in the second floor space of the pub). I working the box office and had just come up from ushering folks upstairs from the main floor pub entrance. Sark described his set as full of wordy, fast songs. For his last song, he conducted an audience poll: slow and depressing, or upbeat and fast? Formerly with the band flickershow, Julian’s been playing solo these days – and he opened for In Vino Veritas in the same space when I saw the show back in March, so it was a treat to hear him play again. Lyrical, eclectic pop with an equally varied cast of characters and, of course, a romance or two.

In Vino Veritas is playing once a month on the second floor of the Fox & Fiddle Wellesley (27 Wellesley St. East, Toronto), with more dates scheduled till May. The next show is Friday, February 15 – doors open at 6:30 p.m. for a 7:00 p.m. show – tickets $20. For reservations, give Teige a shout at: teige@pubcrawltheatre.com

Teige Reid as Rory 2
Teige Reid as Rory, cracking up the audience
Teige Reid as Rory
Teige Reid as Rory

Movie, music & monologues

Finally got out to see Monsieur Lazhar yesterday afternoon at the TIFF Bell Lightbox – and was so glad I did. What a beautiful, tender – and also funny and frank – film!

Monsieur Lazhar comes to the school as a replacement teacher under tragic circumstances. As he works with the students, both academically and with their grief, so too does he process his own grief. Secrets come to light as he and the students try to make sense of senseless events that have deeply affected their lives, which will never be the same again. Outstanding cast, especially Fellag (M. Lazhar) and the students.

Monsieur Lazhar was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and won several Genies, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Fellag and Best Supporting Actress (Sophie Nélisse, as student Alice). Highly recommended – for details, check out the IMDB page.

Last night, I joined my pal Liam Doherty at the Fox & Fiddle (Wellesley St.) for Pub Crawl Theatre’s In Vino Veritas, an evening of music and monologues organized by actor/writer Teige Reid. Singer/songwriter Julian Sark took the first set, overcoming technical difficulties with his rented sound equipment to do an acoustic set of original folk rock tunes. Lovely, melodic sounds and lyrics. I picked up his band Flickershow’s CD drawing a blank; the band is now on an indefinite hiatus, but he has a solo CD in the works: Pedestrians Obey Your Signals. You can find Julian on his website.

Teige Reid ruled the post-intermission set with a series of monologues, collectively titled In Vino Veritas, each character’s piece bridged by Irish bartender Seamus. Darkly funny, poignant, insightful and lyrical, there really is truth in the liquor.

The monologues were followed by a game of “What’s in the Wellie?” Teige, as Scotsman Rory, asked for an audience volunteer and I’d had just enough pints to go for it. I will say that, while I do know Teige, I had no idea what was in store. I was instructed to remove my right shoe and sock. I was then to put my foot into the boot, with the heads-up that there was something inside, the object of the game being guessing what that something was. The audience had their part too, asking in unison what was in the wellie – to which I responded “I don’t know, but I think it’s…” and made a one-word guess. Jello? Cold porridge? In the end, it was baked beans. Great fun and Teige kindly supplied me with a wash basin, soap and towel to clean up.

Teige is hoping this will be the beginning of Pub Crawl Theatre performing a rotating series of shows at various pubs throughout the city, featuring local singers, actors, comics and writers. And I hope so too – it was a great evening – and I’ll be sure to keep you posted.