Improvapalooza

Tara Thorne explains the Bucket of Death. It’s not as bad as it sounds.

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“Can I have an occupation please?” “Loser principal!” “I think I heard ‘California surfer!’” You could be re-enacting your favourite Simpsons episode—or, more likely, contributing to any number of brand spankin’ new skits—this weekend at the annual Atlantic University Improv Challenge, happening March 24 and 25 at King’s Alumni Hall.

Organizer Daniel Rosen promises this round, featuring six teams from King’s, Dal, Acadia, UPEI, Mount Allison and CBU, will be better than ever. “We will have the most universities it has ever had before,” he says, “there will be a bar to help get the audience “into the spirit” of the drunken, off-the-wall, improv antics; there will be both laughing and crying at these events; we have an improved system of judging, with a panel of judges, including Kurgan the wrestler; Saturday night’s melee of activities will end with the Bucket of Death and everyone competing is or claims to be extraordinarily attractive.”

The Bucket of Death, he says, goes like this: “Two people start off a scene while a third person has their head underwater. That person can’t get their head out until they are tagged.” Hardcore!

Showcases are Friday at 8:30pm and the competition is Saturday at 8pm. Tickets are $5, call 422-6011 ext 517 for yours.

Nomination domination

Theatre pros in Halifax are looking forward to March 27, when the annual Merritt Awards will be handed out in a ceremony at the Alderney Landing Theatre hosted by the excellent Marty Burt of Fat Morgan Theatre. As usual, Neptune dominates the nominations, with nods going to practically every production the King put on in 2005, including To Kill A Mockingbird, Frozen, God of Hell, The Sound of Music and Trying. Oddly, if a bit disconcertingly, all the supporting actor and actress nominees come from Neptune productions. Congrats to Zuppa Circus (Dave Christensen nabbed two score nominations, for Open Theatre Kitchen and, with Jason MacIssac, for Radium City, written by Robert Plowman, which is nominated for Outstanding New Play) and 2b Theatre, whose Manners of Dying racked up five nominations: Outstanding New Play, Production, Sound Design (John Killawee), Lighting Design (perennial nominee Leigh Ann Vardy, also up for her work on Neptune’s Diary of Anne Frank) and Direction (Anthony Black and Christian Barry).

Got some shocking news for the dope show? email tarat@thecoast.ca with info.

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