2014, Movies

Live Reading of Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy (1996) at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Toronto, March 11, 2014

Last night I went to my first “live reading” of a movie script, this has become something of a trend. I wasn’t going to go initially, but my cousin was already going and the girlfriend wanted to go. I had some slight reservations, but I had enjoyed their show in the fall so much that I put them aside.

The live reading was performed by the Kids in the Hall themselves – with Foley in particular playing multiple parts that other male actors played in the actual film, because he had such a minor set of roles in the film, because he quit / got kicked out during the making of it – one other member of the original cast and an apparently famous voice actor who I briefly thought was Dan Castellaneta, even though he looked nothing like him. (I never figured out who he was, but he was funny.)

They were accompanied by an all-star band that included one member of the Odds and two members of Sloan.

KITH moved around on stage a little more than I was expecting – with Thompson in particular acting out a few of the scenes – so it wasn’t just a “table reading.” There was at least one prepared additional scene to the movie that made fun of the creative choices they made when under pressure from the studio. There were a few mistakes (maybe five or so) that allowed for some improvisation – probably the best bits of the evening. The highlight for me was when Thompson’s mic broke and McKinney broke into an impromptu song with the band that was beyond ridiculous.

The show also featured two songs from the soundtrack – one which featured a guest appearance from Gord Downie – and the original ending of the film, which was moderately funny and probably a little more true to the film’s theme. Are you missing out for not having seen it? No.

On the whole this night was more nostalgic than I would have liked, and I am really glad I didn’t re-watch the movie before I went; then I would have found the jokes I had forgotten about not so funny. It felt a little like Live at the Hollywood Bowl, so I guess your appreciation of something like this could be gauged by how much you like or dislike that movie. Though I enjoyed myself thoroughly, it was sort of what I feared the show in November was going to be like. I’m more glad I went to that one.

This was juts a reasonably good time with a sketch troupe I have watched so many times they feel like old friends. It didn’t really make me laugh as much – or provoke me as much – as their best stuff, which I think is among the best sketch comedy ever.

Still mostly glad I went.

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