Following the success of Impro-vivor Granville Island, the Vancouver TheatreSports League once again uses reality television, this time in the guise of the popular Bachlorette series, to help package their unique brand of improvisational theatre.
Much like its predecessor, the set-up for Bacheloretta is pretty simple even if you are not familiar with this particular reality show concept. A single woman looking for her soul mate meets five eligible bachelors. One-by-one she eliminates each of the male players until one is left. Helping to make up her mind who will not make it into each subsequent round is a series of improvisational games that each man goes through either with her as an individual “date” or a group activity. At the end of each game, she must eliminate one of the men in the rose ceremony until the single bachelor is left.
Just like Impro-vivor it is important at the outset to point out that given the cast rotates through the various TheatreSports shows providing a review of what we saw on this particular night does not necessarily mean you will have the same experience. The skill of the actors, the suggestions from the audience and the improv games that are played all impact the success, or failure, of an individual show. For example, the show we saw was variously successful but that doesn’t mean a performance on another night will be any worse (or better for that matter).
Margaret Myfors as Loretta the Bachloretta (I know!) was consistent and held her own against her five suitors (Brian Anderson, Ken Lawson, Allen Morrison, Bill Pozobon and Michael Robinson).
This particular evening was hosted by Tim Cadeny. While it could be argued the role of the host is the easiest of those on stage since their only “job” is to keep the show moving but it actually takes a very skilled improvisor here to move the action forward and to ensure the show doesn’t degrade to toilet humour. Unfortunately, while Cadeny did do a good job with keeping the show paced properly, he did allow the audience suggestions to move to the “dark side” on a number of occasions. I’ve always thought the real skill of any improviser host, or improvisor for that matter, is to stay away from the easy laughs involving bodily fluids and nasty stereotypes and in this regard Cadeny did fail on a couple of occasions. To the credit of some of the other improvisors (Brian Anderson in particular), they try to raise the bar on a couple of occasions.
Despite the toilet humour and some of the rather uncomfortable characterizations of our friends from Surrey that night, the gang here knows how to have fun and are skilled at what they do.
The most dramatic rose ceremony ever? Hardly. But at times it was very funny.
(Given the player roster with its decidedly male slant, it is not difficult to figure out why the show is based on the Bachelorette version of the show instead of the Bachelor. It would be great to see the group try to mount at least one Bachelor version using what would most likely be all of the women of the Vancouver TheatreSports League).
Catch all the sordid details of Bacheloretta every Thursday through Saturday at 7:30pm. Tickets Thursday are $6.50 & $8.50. Friday tickets are $13.00 and $17.00; Saturday tickets are $15.00 & $19.00. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster by calling 604-280-4444 or online. Group rates at Vancouver TheatreSports League 604-738-7013).