On Feb. 9, an eclectic group of comedians will take the stage to serve up belly laughs – with a Chubby Checker-style twist.
The Truth or Dance party, hosted at the Park Theatre by former Winnipegger Aisha Alfa and podcast co-host Jonathan Giles, will have comedians in the hot seat. In a daring format, comics will be forced to either speak a revealing truth or bare their souls in the form of a dance.
“We’re doing standup, we’ll have some dancing, a lot of vulnerability,” Alfa says. “Everyone is going to have a great set, and everyone is going to be hilarious.”
Alfa, formerly crowned Winnipeg’s Funniest Person with a Day Job, makes her grand return after moving to Los Angeles to perform comedy and star in television.
“Do I put (Winnipeg’s Funniest Person) on my resume? Absolutely, baby,” Alfa says.
“I love the Park Theatre. I’ve done a ton of stuff there. When I lived in Winnipeg, that was one of my favourite places to perform. I haven’t been home a ton since that show, so this is like my comeback.”
Alfa first met Giles, her A Work in Progress podcast co-host at a comedy festival in Chicago, coincidentally when both were about to make the big move to Hollywood.
“We went for Pequod’s Pizza together, and there’s nothing that bonds two people like a greasy-ass deep-dish pizza and a Coke,” Alfa says.
“We’ve had several projects that we’ve done together. I wrote a web series, and she featured in that,” Giles says. “We had the opportunity to start a podcast, and we said why not? We were hanging out and having a lot of fun together anyways. She’s like my big sister.”
Both Alfa and Giles believe their chemistry has an ineffable quality that stems from their deep bond as friends.
“We’re really friends. We enjoy making each other laugh, but we’re also there for each other as we’re going through real things in life,” Giles says. “It just elevates the shows and performances we do. People come out to see two friends that they feel connected to, as well.”
“We’re so different in so many ways, and we’re still the same in many ways. Our Venn diagram is very fascinating, I think,” Alfa says.
The lineup for Truth or Dance includes local comedians Mike Green, Jordan Wellwoodand Emmanuel Lomuro, along with DJ K Chedda of Tempo Collective providing music.
“These are my homies, my guys. Mike Green, Jordan and I all started together. These are the guys who, whenever I come home, we put on shows together,” Alfa says.
“It’s amazing to see what everyone has done since. I’m so happy that I started in Winnipeg, because it gave me the baseline skills to know how to be in that scene but also how to work very hard and be in community with people.”
Purchase tickets for Truth or Dance at myparktheatre.com. Check out Winnipeg’s Aisha Alfa in Based on a True Story on GlobalTV.
Published in Volume 78, Number 17 of The Uniter (February 8, 2024)