March 2005

Hairy Patter and the Improviser’s Stone
Created by Barry Wilson
March 13, 2005 Bad Dog Theatre Toronto

Ben, the 12-year-old sitting next to me laughing so hard he was almost drooling, gasped, “This is completely retarded”. The ultimate compliment, which I take it, indicates that the presentation is so whacky it bypasses all one’s civilized defenses and drags one through muddles of pleasure. I can do that. Ahem.

This ‘Hairy’ spectacle is an improvised take on the book about “a certain bespectacled wizard and his annoying friends”. The show follows the same outline as The Philosopher’s Stone, but the details change each performance because the details come from the audience who are asked to shout out the answers to such questions as “Who kills Hairy's parents?(Booger! Don’t say his name…); what are the names of the four houses at Hogwarts? (Blue, BrokenNose, SpongeBob, and?? Soiney??. ) Bumbledorf, played by Ralph MacLeod, gets the audience to answer these questions. Today’s cast: Lauren Ash as Herheiny, Jane Luk as Prof. McMonocle, Kerry Griffin as Juan (aka Ron), Cary West as Mille Feuilles, Marcel St. Pierre as Hogrid, and the productions creator, Barry Wilson as Hairy, bravely improv out the instructions they are given.

The live photo at the bottom of the page shows the three-headed jerk that guards the entrance to the location of the Improviser’s Stone. To get past ‘it’, the intrepid trio of Hairy, HerHeiney and Juan (aka Ron) have to sing the three-headed jerk a song in order to confuse it. The details of the song are given by members of the audience. The valiant cast work it out. They are amazing. Their antics go on for more than 90 funfilled minutes. Not to be missed, if you have a kid to make you feel justified in going there.

We welcome your comments and feedback
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Report by Stanley Fefferman
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for The Live Music Report

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