Contributed by Monica Alves, Community Engagement team 

‘Speed Dating Thing’ featuring Elliott Hedley, Colin Darge, Sandra Vinciguerra, Sarah Lipetz, and Kim Dhesi

A Fresh New Format

It’s not every night that you get to witness a rock legend from Kiss, a sultry Marilyn Monroe, the peppy jig of an Irish Leprechaun, and a multicultural cooking show with a Bishop and Bob Marley all in one sitting. But Stage Door Theatre Troupe delivered a one-of-a-kind sketch comedy show jam packed with all of this and more. ‘Skit-Tageous Outrageous’ broke new ground by trying out a new format.

Rather than the conventional scripted show the crew has done in the past, this year’s production took on the feel of a variety show. Using a combination of live action scenes and video segments, the actors with diverse-abilities took us on an adventure that stuck to the classic slapstick comedy they’re known for, while also infusing historical and current pop culture innuendos that had the crowd cracking up all night.

‘Gangsters’ featuring Marty Wong, Nicholas Chan, Jimmy Trinh, and Philip Godolphin

Lights, Camera…Action!

The show ran over the course of six nights, from April 30, May 1, 2 and May 7, 8, 9 at the Stage Door Theatre (The back door of Heritage Hall, Vancouver). “I thought the show was really funny.  It was fast paced and kept the audience engaged,” says Jodie, a longtime fan of the troupe. She especially loved the live performances. The iconic Marilyn Monroe, played by Sandra Vinciguerra, “set the stage for laughs,” in the opening speed dating game show sketch. This scene ended on a heartfelt note, stating, “There’s always someone out there for you.”

Jodie also commented on Kim Dhessi’s rendition of Kiss, whose exceptional commitment to character thrilled audiences. Sources can confirm he was even spotted channeling his inner rock front man as he exited the premises! Perhaps it was the electric energy which bounced back and forth between the performers and audience members that kept the troupe’s spirit high.

‘The Joker’ featuring Adam Sturhahn

Pop Icons Light Up The Stage

This multimedia experience included countless memorable moments, with plenty of star shine too! Not all clowns are happy-go-lucky entertainers, as actress Miranda Orth showed us in her monologue as an introverted clown fed up with the stereotypes. Lavishly adorned in a faux fur jacket, Marty Wong made his grand entrance on the Dr. Pill Show, and carried a bold demeanor with him throughout the rest of the show. Philip Godolphin’s portrayal of a janitor intruding on a sacred Munk meditation had audiences roaring with laughter. It was his quiet yet animated characteristics that reminded some of the beloved British TV character, Mr. Bean.

Using the magic of a green screen, one video short titled ‘On the Bus’ took us on an eventful journey around the world. Cool and composed bus driver, Altan Thomas, drove his concerned riders on a wild ride including on a roller coaster track, in the sky, underwater, through a Russian winter storm, in a hockey game rink, and through the city of Las Vegas. “I loved it all,” marvels Monique, who attended with her son. “One of the many memorable performances for me was Adam’s portrayal of a certain President… I really liked the cheeky political bits!”

‘Dr. Pill’ featuring Altan Thomas, Miranda Orth, Marty Wong, and Jackie Tam (not pictured)

The Crew’s The Glue

The group continues employing their signature brand of entertainment at Stage Door Theatre, where some have been performing since 1998. Decades later, they’ve evolved into a multi-talented force to be reckoned with, with a few new faces in the mix this year! “As per usual, the actors and their production team excelled at building an entertainment experience that drew on the unique strengths of each performer,” says Monique. This format in particular gave actors an exciting opportunity to play a variety of characters with fun costume changes.

Second time show goer, Gabriela, expresses how the lighthearted atmosphere of this production served as the perfect mood booster: “As soon as I entered Stage Door, any negative feelings or stresses from the day melted away! This reminded me that Stage Door is truly a place where one can go to escape and enjoy themselves.” She also shares, “Throughout the series of skits they performed, I found myself wondering how the actors would manage to make me smile and laugh next – and that was exciting.”

In addition to the talented performers, we have to give a huge shout out to the production team who made the entire show a smooth success. “Each sketch was executed perfectly and even the tiny mishaps and mistakes grounded the scenes in reality – but most of all – captured the genuine nature of the actors, cast, and crew,” says Gabriela. In collaboration with the actors, year after year the crew does a remarkable job of constructing scripts which highlight each performers’ strengths, interests, and nourishes their personal growth.

Take actor Sarah Lipetz for example. As a big Mary Poppins fan, Sarah can sing almost all of the songs from the movie sound track! So when she was cast as this whimsical nanny in the opening scene ‘Speed Dating Thing’, Sarah was thrilled. Her sister says the role was absolutely perfect for her, as that’s her favourite Disney character!

Mr. Piano Man Brings It Home

The music selection was also a hit with the audiences and actors alike. In fact, the finale consisted of a lively musical number titled ‘Joy’. All of the actors eagerly united to perform as a gospel choir, with some seen sneaking in a wave to their family and friends in the audience. The song was led by self-taught piano man sensation, Colin Darge, who had all actors on set really movin’ and groovin’. In closing, an explosion of confetti covered the stage to end the night in style.

As per tradition, the troupe proceeded to personally thank audience members in their seats for coming to the show. This special meet and greet moment allowed attendees to see just how proud the actors were to share their passion for theatre. While each storyline was unique, a common thread was woven through every scene. The creative talents and diverse personalities of Stage Door Theatre Troupe were showcased, celebrated, and grounded in rib busting humour. We cannot wait to see what’s in store for next year!