Madly Off in All Directions – live at Vogue Theatre in Vancouver

Saturday night in Vancouver… I have two tickets to the CBC show, Madly Off in All Directions  I think my girlfriend is relieved that we are not going to see anymore experimental theatre this week.

This stand up comedy show is an absolute delight.  I have only previously heard it on CBC radio.  I wish I could have brought my parents, they would have fit right in.  Sitting in the audience, I look around… lots of white Canadians… hardly anybody who looks like me in sight… lots of 50+ and 60+ Canadians… Gee it looks like it could be a crowd for an Anne Murrary concert or for Don Messer's Jubilee back in the '70's.  Definitely a very traditional CBC Radio audience.

But host Lorne Elliot is a madcap genius.  Very funny.  Lorne really got the audience going.  Very fun crowd.  He got the audience to go “Awrrr,” for a sea shanty, and the audience couldn't stop.  We said “Awrrr,” for many responses – appropriate and inappropriate.  I think Lorne liked the attention.

And so are all the young guest comics on the show.  Did I say young? 20-Something, 30-Something, even 40-Something…

Outstanding was Todd Butler! Like Lorne, Todd (I love that name!) plays guitar and works in his comical folk and political songs.  T.J. Dawes was a favorite of my girlfriend, who had known him from their days working the Victoria Fringe Festival (she, my girlfriend, worked the Box Office).

And special musical guests were Tiller's Folly  During intermission, I was sitting in my seat, and a long lanky familiar-looking man comes up to shake my hand asking “How're you doing?”  Omigod, it is Laurence Knight, band leader, manager and bass player for Tiller's Folly.  We had met back in 2002 at a conference in Ottawa and had a great time.  Tiller's Folly specialize in creating stories about BC's history, and I had recommended them for inclusion for the CBC TV special “Gung Haggis Fat Choy.”  But alas it was not to be…  maybe for the future?

After the show, I was invited to have drinks with the cast and to meet the producer/director of Madly Off in All Directions, Bryan Hill.  Bryan is a great guy, and was introduced to me by Joan Athey, CBC Radio's marketing and publicity whiz.  Bryan wants to hook up with more Asian Canadian comics.  “I can do that,” I said, as I proceeded to tell him about my friends at Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre such as Tom Chin, and their wonderful Asian Comedy Night.  All in an evening's work in networking!

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