Naughty… But Nice (Theatre Thursday)

Naughty... But Nice publicity shot
Picture courtesy of Forte’s Facebook page –
this moment is right before a really great boy band number about being seated at the Kids’ Table

On this, the last Theatre Thursday of 2023, I am writing about a theatre event that is ending in 2023. And, okay, yes – I understand that theatre is ephemeral and exists only in the moment and also pretty much every local show in Calgary is ending in 2023 anyway because runs are short. But that’s not the point. You’ll understand what I mean if you read the title. Today, I am writing about Forte Musical Theatre’s Naughty… But Nice

What Is Naughty… But Nice?

Ah. You must be a new reader who didn’t experience my Naughty… But Nice post from 2021. To quote myself from the past “Naughty But Nice is a comedy musical theatre revue – all original songs, all sassy, all funny.” It’s also a yearly tradition and this year is the 10th incarnation. 

It’s also the last year. Forte has announced that there is another holiday show coming next year, but this is the last time that we’ll be able to hear such classics as “Bailey’s For Breakfast”, “Why Do I Live Where the Air Hurts My Face?”, and, my personal favourite, “Just Another New Year’s Eve”. (I thought this song was new in 2021. I have discovered that I was wrong but I don’t care because it’s still my favourite.) 

Why See It This Year?

Other than because it’s the last one? Because this year is a delight. It is such an amazing celebration of all the things that make this show what it is. There is not just one but two songs about sleeping with Santa. Scott Olynek gets to sing his song, “Bailey’s For Breakfast”. The audience gets to vote on songs when there are various songs that fit a specific niche. (One of which is New Year’s Eve songs… and my performance was lucky enough to include my fav from above.) 

There is a medley where the performers mash together, like, 50+ classic Christmas songs and carols. There is also a medley to include a bunch of popular NBN songs that aren’t in this production. And there are new songs. And the show ends with a video completion of clips from the past ten years, which is enough to make you cry.

And Eric Wigston is a goddman delight in his first year in the show.

Now, if I have one small criticism, it’s that this particular compilation of Naughty… But Nice songs makes a show that is heavy on dude solos and light on solos for Katherine and Katelyn. But maybe that was in part because of the songs that my particular performance voted on? Hard to say.

So We Should See This Show?

Anyway. Just go buy tickets. If you’re reading this post on the day it comes out, there are four more performances (though tickets are selling fast). And if you can’t make it to NBN – that’s okay. Forte is dropping another new show in the spring and I will do everything in my power to see it and write about it here. 

I love local theatre.

Oh! And also also – they dropped a music video to perennial classic “Why Do I Live Where the Air Hurts My Face?”. Check it below. (Important note – Justine Westby now lives in Florida. Coincidence? I think not.)

Why Do I Live Where the Air Hurts My Face?

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Talespin Trivia

When I started this blog, one of my core goals was to share fun things that I did in Calgary. Which I did fairly well for a time – at least until I did too many shows and a Masters degree. (I don’t think I wrote a single post in 2019.) Then, for a time, I did very few fun things in Calgary, unless you count my living room as Calgary, for reasons that we are all very aware of. And now I feel like I just haven’t really gotten back into the vibe of sharing fun things that aren’t plays. And Blogmas is about getting into routines, so why not take an opportunity to talk about a fun thing I’ve been doing in Calgary!? Talespin Trivia YYC!

Talespin Trivia? Is That Like Trivial Pursuit?

Sort of? I guess? 

Talespin Trivia YYC is Alan, creator and host of trivia events here in Calgary. He’s also a friend and theatre colleague, but that is neither here nor there. Because his trivia is great. He writes fun questions that are clever, informative, and occasionally a little convoluted. Sometimes it is a long walk around from the initial setup to what the question actually is, which is all a part of the magic because it keeps you on your toes. 

We first started attending Alan’s trivia on Mondays at Citizen Brewing, a tucked away brewery in the northeast of Calgary. Megan and Hans had been looking for something to do while we enjoy delicious beverages and Alan’s trivia was the thing we decided to try. We were hooked! It’s just nice to know things, you know? Plus the dream team (Megan, Hans, Kevin, Claire and I – plus Kevin’s girlfriend Jess sometimes or a rotating series of friends) is wildly competitive so we like a thing that we do well at. Yes, we’ve won a couple of times over the past year and a half.

Anyway, we’ve now followed Alan to a few of his other event venues – including tomorrow night at Dickens Pub for Christmas Movie trivia! (Will we be good at this? Hard maybe – we have breadth of knowledge as a team, not depth.) I’ll try to drop a few pictures, at least on the Stories if nothing else.

You Haven’t Actually Explained What This Trivia Looks Like

Right! Too much enthusiasm! 

Pub trivia. Get together a group of your friends (usually 6 is the max, some places take up to 8), arrive at a pub/brewery/cidery at a pre-determined time, enjoy some delicious drinks, and prepare to answer trivia questions. There will be a sheet of paper or cue cards to write your answers on. There is usually a buy-in (maybe $5-10) to compensate the host for their time and hard work. There is usually a prize of some sort for first place and maybe even second or third. (Usually the prize involves a gift card to the venue. For obvious reasons.)

Most of the pub trivia I’ve been to involves 6 rounds. Sometimes the rounds are themed, sometimes they aren’t. Talespin Trivia always has themed rounds because it helps Alan come up with question ideas – after all, constraints cause creativity. Especially with the events at Citizen, because they are General Knowledge trivia, versus the Dickens events which tend to have an overarching theme. There may be Name That Tune style rounds or identify things/people/toys in pictures type rounds. 

And the most important thing to know? Don’t shout out the answers! (Unless the host tells you that you can.) 

So What’s Your Thesis Statement Here?

Obviously, it’s that trivia is fun and you should follow Talespin Trivia on instagram to find out when Alan’s next event is because he is our favourite.

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Beer Exchange Day 6

Beer 6 wrapped

It’s sort of delightful kismet that I’m posting about Beer 6 today. As you may be able to tell from the above photo (if you’re a Full Circle Theatre super fan and follow our YouTube channel), Beer 6 was enjoyed while I was live streaming! On Sunday night, a group of Riverona performers got together to play some games and chat about the show to raise awareness of our IndieGoGo Campaign. And tonight our campaign closes! Such synergy! 

But this post is not about Riverona. You have already read enough posts about that show. (And you’ve definitely read more in the future.) This post is about Beer 6… well, technically Beer 4, but I drank it as Beer 6 because of Weir reasons. Anyway, I’m not going to overcomplicate it. Just follow me through the cut!

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Granary Road

Artisan Collective at Granary Road

Y’all! We’re almost halfway through Blogmas (unless I decide to actually for once, for real, do it all the way until December 31… that seems ambitious). Let’s celebrate today, not tomorrow which is the actual halfway point. I say this because tomorrow is a Beer Exchange post, which requires much less thought. And this post is about a favourite Blogmas topic – a holiday market! Specifically, the Christmas market at Granary Road.

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Holiday Plays in Calgary

It’s Day 7 of Blogmas and it is snowy out. I guess we all knew this was coming eventually, but it feels like a night for hibernation. So, while you’re hibernating, feel free to read this post and make plans for a night when you are ready to leave the house. Because this post is all about Holiday Plays in Calgary.

Holiday Plays in Calgary graphic
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Sleuth – Vertigo Theatre

On Theatre Thursdays, I discuss topics related to theatre. I also write about local productions that I think #yyc should see. Today I’m talking about one of the many holiday productions currently running – Sleuth

Sleuth Poster lovingly stolen from Vertigo Theatre. Photography credit to Tim Nguyen.
Poster lovingly stolen from Vertigo Theatre. Photography credit to Tim Nguyen.

My friends! Do you know what snuck up on me so quickly this year? December! And by “December”, I mean “Blogmas”.

My November was incredibly ambitious. I truly thought I would write every day during the month for Nanowrimo, chronicle what we were doing at Riverona rehearsals, actually produce/director/act in Riverona, and have a social life?! Oh Erin, you sweet summer child.

Blogmas seems easy in comparison. 

And it’s especially easy when I have a fantastic theatre production to kick the season off with… Vertigo Theatre’s production of Sleuth

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Riverona – Nov 12

Another Sunday, another Riverona rehearsal.

This day was a bit of a unique day because we actually started out by having a production meeting between myself, Claire, Megan, Hans, and Kevin. (The team that writes the Riverona script.) There are many forms a production meeting can take and most of them are significantly more professional than what ours look like. (I assume. Because we meet in a place with great food and drinks then proceed to discuss every element of the production and make sure someone has every element in hand. Or we decide we don’t care about that element anymore. haha.)

We spend most of our writing or production meetings at First Street Market, by the way. If we’re not currently in production, catch us there on a Tuesday evening, y’all.

Image of FCT working on Riverona at First Street Market
Yes, Feb 28 was a Tuesday.
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Riverona – Nov 8

Hello Riverona friends and fans! I’m here with another recap of a rehearsal that will maybe make theatre purists lose their minds about our process. So before I share what we did on Nov 8… just know that we had a very talented cast who is very familiar with our weird vibes. Look at how cool Hans Wackershauser, Sarah Nearing, and Joel Taylor all look in this show photo from Riverona Ep 1: Two Households by Hannah Anson and also know that all three of them are in Episode 2.

Riverona Ep 1 Production Photo of Joel Taylor, Hans Wackershauser and Sarah Nearing
Joel (Benvolio) is definitely saying “seeeeeee”(x). IYKYK.

So anyway. Controversially, maybe… on Nov 8, our fifth rehearsal, we did a stumblethrough of the entire show.

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Riverona – A Rehearsal Journey

Erin Weir (Tybalt) and Megan Baldrey (Juliet) in the cafeteria scene during Riverona Ep 1: Two Households
A very collaborative Director’s Relationship During Riverona Ep 1… (maybe don’t slap your hand over your co-director’s mouth?)

Y’all! I feel like this will be a bit of a unique series over on A Flimsy Plan, but it’s also very appropriate. This blog has always been about fun things that I do in Calgary, with a strong arts lean. It’s also always been super fun when I talk about the behind the scenes of the theatre industry. Finally, as the co-artistic director of a theatre collective in town, I’ve started hosting the Full Circle Theatre website as a sub-site on my blog. (Look, life is expensive now, let’s share web hosting costs.)

So, all that to say… it seems super reasonable that I should document the process of Riverona Episode 2: Yonder Window Breaks, from rehearsal to performance, on my blog. This gives everyone involved in the situation what they want – and also helps me get back into the habit of writing on this blog. You can expect a post sometime after every Sunday rehearsal and sometime after every Wednesday rehearsal.

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The Extractionist – Theatre Thursday

On Theatre Thursdays, I discuss topics related to theatre. I also write about local productions that I think #yyc should see. Today I’m talking about a new play that I haven’t been able to stop talking about – The Extractionist.

The Extractionist by Michaela Jeffery - Photo Credit to Tim Nguyen
Image lovingly stolen from Vertigo Theatre. Photography credit to Tim Nguyen.

Calgary has been filled with new theatre this month! I don’t know if it’s because they were inspired by High Performance Rodeo or if it was just a coincidence, but our professional companies have been filled with world premieres this February. And as an artist who pretty much exclusively creates new works these days, I am hyped to see it. That said, it has led to a few little complications for my blog. Either the shows have had short runs (The F Word) or the buzz made its way to me late (Little Red Warrior and His Lawyer), but either way I didn’t have the opportunity to cover them before they closed. But you know what I did love and is still open? Vertigo Theatre’s The Extractionist, written by my very own Michaela Jeffery! 

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