Local and touring headliners, including Paul Sveen and Corey Robinson, score big laughs in weekend showcases
The Comedy Factory
The Comedy Factory – Up to 75% Off Standup
The Comedy Factory
Local wisecrackers at The Comedy Factory mine for laughs during stand-up routines, hypnotism sets, and other chuckle-conjuring sessions that are profanity-free and suitable for all ages. Upcoming acts include corporate function favorite Tom Liske (September 23–24), a former guitar plucker turned comedian who is best known for his self-deprecating humour and shape-shifting abilities. Ventriloquist Damien James, a man with more than 20 years of performing experience, takes the stage from September 30 to October 1, impressing audiences by manipulating handmade puppets and throwing his voice into a Nerf basketball hoop.
With its impressive list of alumni, regular appearances at the Edmonton Fringe Fest, and annual Soap-a-thon—50 straight hours of improv—Die-Nasty has earned a reputation as an Edmonton comedy institution, winning a 2006 Canadian Comedy Award. For its 20th season, Die-Nasty director Cathleen Rootsaert has set the clocks back to a Prohibition-era Chicago populated by unflappable flappers, gregarious gangsters, and autonomous jazz hands. Many of Die-Nasty's former players, such as Nathan Fillion (Castle, Desperate Housewives) and Ron Pederson (MADtv), have gone on to become people that people know, and the company's impressive roster of guest performers include Mark McKinney (Kids in the Hall) and Mike Myers (Shrek the Halls and The Littlest Hobo episode, "Boy on Wheels").
One of Edmonton's improvisation mainstays since 1981, Rapid Fire Theatre immerses audiences in alternative theatre games and comedic performances while producing notable alumni comedians and comediennes. On the last Thursday of every month, Rapid Fire hosts "Improv on the Ave," launching armadas of eclectic action and wordplay in comedic combat across Avenue Theatre's 1,500-square-foot stage. The ever-changing vaudevillian venture blends the moment-manipulating talents of such troupes as University Improv Group, DropCloth Improv, and Bull-Script in its off-the-cuff improvisations. Each show is general admission, with audiences ushered into the theatre starting at 7 p.m. to allow time for seat selection and folding any discarded programs into origami dates.
X92.9 flexes a muscular mix of alternative-rock legends and tomorrow’s darlings as this summer’s outdoor X-FEST Calgary fills historic Fort Calgary with good vibrations. This year’s lineup springs from the earth like a talented series of Whac-a-Mole, featuring Jane’s Addiction. Recharged, regroomed, and sporting their first new album in years, Perry Farrell and the crew rock and rampage like veteran teenagers. Returning to Calgary to thank fans and get their toothbrush back, Weezer take the fest by the scruff of its neck and stroke its chin, eliciting audiences to purr along to their deep bowl of hits. X-FEST also features appearances by warhorse punkers Social Distortion, bounding enthusiasts House of Pain, and throbbing adventurists AWOLNATION. A slew of prime Canadian rockers is also on hand to charm attendees, including The Rural Alberta Advantage and Michael Bernard Fitzgerald.
Randy Bachman and Fred Turner, the motor, tires, and thrusters of the seminal multiplatinum rock outfit Bachman Turner Overdrive, reunite after 20 years in a newly turbo-charged music machine known as Bachman & Turner. Responsible for classic rock canticles such as “Taking Care of Business” and “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” Bachman & Turner have jolted stereos for decades with their working-man chops, blue-collar riffs, and vocals that elicit tears of joy from stoic bikers. Picking up where they left off, the duo will shower loyal fans with cayenne gunpowder and cloud-punching anthems as they rip through the catalogue that made them famous, along with new chuggers about love and lug nuts. Co-headlining the evening’s aural autobahn, Paul Rodgers, the commandeer of chart-topping acts such as Bad Company, Free, and The Firm, gracefully casts his celebrated voice through the open air of the amphitheatre like a refrigerator with wings made of butter.