Thu Sep 7, 10:15pm & 11:45pm;
Fri Sep 8 7:10pm; Sat Sep 9, 6pm
The Bus Stop Theatre, 2203 Gottingen Street
This may be a particularly patriotic year, but Conor Purdy's been thinking about Heritage Minutes Live for years—and anyway, nostalgia is hot. People have been lining up at the Bus Stop since the first show September 1, eager to see their favourite decades-old TV history lessons re-enacted.
The production opens with a three-minute compilation of Very Canadian TV clips—The Littlest Hobo, The Zits' video, Ready or Not—that sets up the following hour, which sees a cast of five recreate more than 70 Minutes. "I feel like I learned more from Heritage Minutes than I did actual school," says Purdy in the Bus Stop's lobby after a show. "And that's not a knock against school. I love the fact that it's this common language we have."
Purdy wrote, directs and acts in the show, and encourages the audience to yell out its favourite lines, Rocky Horror-style. Purdy likens building the show to "planning the Friday night lineup," rating each minute from A ("I smell burnt toast") to D (Emily Murphy) and slotting them in. He doesn't know why these old, dorky television commercials continue to resonate.
"I think it's because they're so diverse, to a certain degree—both in what they present and the way they present them," he says, adding he'd make a new one about Stompin' Tom Connors. "Some of them are intense and dark and scary and other ones are just goofy and light. It runs this emotional gamut—everyone has one they can connect with."