Acting under the influence

Smashterpiece Theatre a beast of its own

Smashterpiece Theatre will bring together actors, comics and improv artists for a night of sloppy, indulgent theatre.

On March 9, Melanie Dahling, comedian, and Angie St. Mars, a fellow writer and actress, will be co-hosting Smashterpiece as Wayne and Garth from Wayne’s World, which should be totally excellent. 

“As an audience member, you get to go see all different types of theatre in one night,” Dahling says about the show. “And, as a performer, you get to choose a different type of scene you wouldn’t get to do otherwise.”

It came about as a sort of fundraiser for Dahling and company, after her most recent venture with the Fringe, Biggest Little Child Star. Although the show was successful with Fringers, it did not work out financially in her favour, so Dahling is running this as a fundraiser to help make up the loss. 

The name of the show, which spawned at a party one night, is undoubtedly apropos, slurring the popular adjective smashed with masterpiece. 

The essence of Smashterpiece, however, lies within its formidable group of performers, who will be attempting to perform their scenes to the best of their ability despite being drunk. 

“It’s going to be wall-to-wall underdog stories,” J.D. Renaud, who is known for his stand-up and visual art, says. He will be performing a scene from Star Wars with a partner. 

Partially inspired by Chantel Marostica’s series of drunken shows and performances, Smashterpiece Theatre is quickly forging an identity of its own, Renaud says.

At first, Renaud says the idea of a fundraiser held some uncertainty, but they’ve reached critical mass, with a full night of acts from an incredibly willing and talented crew. 

At this point, there are 11 acts of all sorts. Unbelievable as it is, a song from Les Misérables will be attempted, drunk. 

Two men will also perform a scene from Showgirls, and University of Winnipeg grad Johanna Burdon will get on stage with Christy Tarrono for a scene from The Room

When asked just how inebriated she plans on getting, Burdon thinks there will be a limit to the booze, and she would like to avoid falling asleep on stage.

“This will be a great opportunity to bridge some gaps,” Dahling says. “A night you can bring anyone to. Well, maybe not your mom, depending on how cool your mom is.”

“It will be a borderline excessive night for unrefined theatre goers,” Erick Casselman, owner of The Park Theatre, says.

Published in Volume 70, Number 22 of The Uniter (March 3, 2016)

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