Toronto Fringe Preview: The Carnegie Hall Show!

Last summer I wrote a review for a SummerWorks improv show called Impromptu Splendour. This review basically became a vehicle for me to express my man-crush on cast member Ron Pederson, and to pine for the days back when I used to live in Edmonton and he was one of my favourite local performers. The nostalgia!

This summer, Ron and his two co-stars from Impromptu Splendour, Naomi Snieckus and Matt Baram, along with Chris Gibbs and Waylen Miki, are bringing their (apparently) regular improv show “The Carnegie Hall Show!” to the Fringe. I say apparently because I know little about it, but according to their website it’s every Wednesday in Kensington Market.

I think most people know what the schtick is with an improv show: you go there, the performers get some suggestions for what to do, usually revolving around setting and style and sometimes character, and they’ll make up a show on the spot. So without a script or director or those kind of things that normal actors rely on but improvisers scoff at, improv shows are always hit or miss. However, with a cast of talented performers, there’s a lot more hits than misses, and these guys are as talented as they come. From their press release:

“Matt Baram – ‘Second City’, ‘Impromptu Splendor’, ‘Monkey Toast’, ‘Ghost Jail Theatre’, and so many more! Throw a stone at any of Toronto’s best improv shows and you’ll probably hit Matt Baram. But why would you do that? What’s wrong with you?

“Ron Pederson – Ron Pederson has appeared across Canada with the country’s most distinguished theatres. He spent 8 seasons as a core member of the Improvisational troupe Die-Nasty, the improvised soap opera and 3 seasons in the cast of Fox’s MADTV. But don’t let his baby-face fool you, he’s a menace!

“Naomi Snieckus – Naomi Snieckus is one of the most accomplished comedy actors in Canada. From Second City to Canstage to the big silver screen she’s done it all. Even her TV commercials have a devoted cult following. But don’t let her talent distract you from the fact that she’s a real knockout!!

“Chris Gibbs – Perpetual Special Guest – Street-acrobat turned overweight comedian Chris Gibbs is British! His one-man shows are mainstays on Canada’s fringe festival circuit, where he’s well known for his improvisational approach, turning poorly-written pap into comedy gold!

“Waylen Miki – Musical accompaniment – Two-time Dora Award winner Waylen Miki has won two Doras and communicates almost entirely through music. You should hear him order a sandwich! But the point is… TWO DORAS!”

See? They even write funny press releases. Also, they have credentials. Their show will be good. You could even go to all their shows and they’d be different every night. You would miss a lot of other stuff at the Fringe if you did that, though. I’m not saying it’s a bad idea, I just think that you might want to consider it a little longer before you commit to it.

Want passes or advance tix? Check the Fringe website. The Carnegie Hall Show! is at the Factory Theatre Mainspace, on or about Bathurst and Adelaide. Tix are $10 at the door, $11 in advance. Their schedule looks like this:

Fri, July 2 – 7:00

Sat, July 3 – Noon

Mon, July 5 – 6:45

Wed, July 7 – 11pm

Thu, July 8 – 9:15

Sat, July 10 – 5:45

Sun, July 11 – 1:45pm

Posted on by Brian in Fringe, Reviews, Theatre

2 Responses to Toronto Fringe Preview: The Carnegie Hall Show!

  1. Pingback: TO Fringe Review: Carnegie Hall Show! & S&P and Sega Geniuses Vs. The World | The Panic Manual

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