***See below for chance to win tickets!***
Don’t let the name deceive you. Piece of Garbage Sex Dungeon: A Night of Sophisticated Comedy has a title that can be a little misleading. Sexy? Sure. Sophisticated? Indeed. But garbage? Hardly!
The brainchild of Toronto improvisers Kirsten Gallagher, Mandy Sellers, Annie Bankes and Kevin Thom, Piece of Garbage Sex Dungeon is high caliber comedy at a deal of a price. For 5 loonies, you get a mélange of stand-up comedy, improvised acts from up-and-coming and established artists, and to cap the show, an improv jam including audience participation. Every week is different, and there’s always something new. All this, in the funky, character-rich space of Unit 102 on Dufferin Street in Toronto.
“The goal is to create a quality improv show that is consistently diverse so the night never feels stale,” explains Gallagher, who produces the show along with Sellers, Bankes and Thom. The four met while improvising together at the Impatient Theatre Company. “[We] decided we wanted to produce a fresh-feeling show and use our combined skills (graphic design, business sense, photography, film, writing, promotion) to push the show, not just to the comedy community, but to a wider audience.”
The show opened its doors on March 4 and plays every Sunday night. Audience members can submit their names as they arrive for a chance to improvise with the week’s cast during the improv jam. Winners’ names are drawn at the end of the performance, and they also win back the price of admission.
The emphasis is on creating opportunities for improvisers. The evening starts with producer Gallagher introducing the show before the night’s host takes over. She encourages people to visit their Facebook page and website, where artists can pitch their acts to be considered for an upcoming show.
The evening I attend (May 6), the host is Sara Hennessey, a young and sassy performer who makes stand-up look easy. She has the audience in stitches discussing topics such as the extinction of cursive handwriting (ah, the infamous upper case Q that resembles the number 2), the lack of eye contact in Toronto, and how wearing pantaloons is an indication that you’re in a comfortable relationship.
There are three improv sets, beginning with the Improvniacs and the Puns of Brixton, who are very funny, but the headline act Big in Japan definitely steals the show. Big in Japan, consisting of Jess Grant, Ken Hall and Kevin Thom, is improv at its finest. Performing with incredible energy, fantastic movement and organic progressions, Big in Japan amazes.
Before two audience member’s names are drawn to improvise with the cast, the host returns to continue the entertainment. The evening runs about 2 hours long, and is well worth the price of admission. Expect great comedy and lots of laughter.
Piece of Garbage Sex Dungeon: A Night of Sophisticated Comedy performs every Sunday at 8pm at Unit 102, located at 376 Dufferin Street in Toronto. Admission is $5.
5 lucky readers can win a pair of tickets to see Piece of Garbage Sex Dungeon!
To enter for your chance to win, submit a comment below. Contest will be open for 1 week. Five (5) random names will be selected on May 22, 2012 from all comments submitted. Winners will be notified by email.