Monday Foofarah – The Brad MacNeil Edition

Okay, so I know I missed doing one of these last week, but let’s face it…I’m hardly professional, even IF I do get sued like one by wedding photographers who rhyme with Sven Bell-End (yes, I plan on being bitter about that for a LONG time, get used to it!).  And as such I likely owe you guys a Foofarah twice as long as normal.  But, it’s already past eleven ass I start this, time’s a wasting, and I really, REALLY hate typing on this new laptop keyboard.  So, let’s get to it quicker than usual because I got me something to say.


JASPER STATION from Ottawa Little Theatre.  Until the 25th, and it sounds all fun and musical!

BOEING BOEING from Theatre de L’ile.  Final week, over gatineau way!

THE GAME OF LOVE AND CHANCE from Odyssey Theatre.  Last chance for some fun in the sun at Strathcona this year, so take advantage.

MY NAME IS ASHER LEV from 9th Hour Theatre. Awesome show from Bronwyn and the gang at Arts Court, don’t miss it.

AN IDEAL HUSBAND from Ourobouros Theatre.  New production of Wilde from some crazy kids at Southminster United, near the Mayfair, from the 22nd thru 25th.

THE LAST BRAD MACNEIL:  Tonight was a tough call…go to the Gladstone Season Launch, or check out some Crush Improv at the Elmdale?  I admit, it was touch and go for a while, but in the end, I went Elmdale.  Not the least of reasons because tonight was the last night mister Brad MacNeil would be performing with Crush, before he and his clan relocate to Vancouver.  He and the collective Crush Improv family (including Al Connors, Desiree Connors-MarriedName, Dan Lajoie, Dan from Montreal, Tim Anderson and Jordan Moffat) put on an expectedly stellar show to a foolishly packed house.  Highlights included Tim singing an impromptu Xmas carol, dolphin sex, Brad the Guru, the always amazing Glen Gower, Top Gun Accountancy, and just a whole buttload of you-shoulda-been-there.  But the show ended on an emotional note, with the gang letting the MacNeil know what he meant to them.  And I realized shortly after I left, I had something to add to that.

Last year I was finishing up a series of introductory acting classes at the OSSD.  Part of that included thee odd improv game to warm up, and once, we got to do a game of Questions.  Now, having already seen Crush go at it a few times (including an epic bout involving Tim Anderson), I was familiar with Questions and I LOVED it.  I could not WAIT to try it, especially since no one else in my class could even grasp the concept.  I thought for sure I’d wipe the floor with them.

I had two goes at it.  Both times, I choked before getting a SINGLE question out.  I felt like total shit, like a loser, like a failure.  I was low folks, and no fooling.

Later that week, I was at the Elmdale for the latest Crush bout.  Somehow, I ended up in palaver with mister MacNeil, where I ended up whining about my suckiness at Questions.  Without missing a beat, Brad stood me up and immediately started giving me pointers at the game.  He asked me where I was having trouble, instructed me as to how I could best improve, and just generally went above and beyond what was expected of an improv performer at 1130 pm on a Monday night.  It meant a helluva lot to a dopey neophyte, ten years too old to be ‘starting out’ with shit like this, I promise.  From everything I have seen or heard since, this is pretty typical Brad MacNeil behaviour, and I can tell you I haven’t forgotten it, and I never will.  I had the pleasure of interviewing Brad (along with Nick diGaetano) for his shortlived talk show THE BRAD MACNEIL (which I somehow managed to miss all three installments of), and he impresses as much with his manner and heart off-stage as on.

I’m honestly not sure how I feel about an Ottawa with a Brad MacNeil-shaped hole in it, I’m really not.  There’s hard shoes to fill, and then there’s impossible (inside joke…you REALLY should have been there tonight).  So Brad…I salute you, I respect you, and I’m really gonna miss you.  You were the SHIT, my man, and no fooling.

Oh, and, uh…I’m probably gonna be passing through Vancouver next September on the last leg of my cross-Canada Fringe tour?  So, if you have a couch to spare, or know someone who’s GOT one…keep in touch, okay?  I’m just sayin’.

And check out Crush’s website for news about upcoming shows! Brad’s takin’ off, but ‘prov in O-town goes on!

Peace, love, and soul, Brad MacNeil,

The Visitor (and Winston)

PS!  Help MAY CAN THEATRE get to PEI Fringe without making them do it Hobo-Style!  Donate now to their IndieGoGo campaign, and become a better person!

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