The CANADA SHOW: The Complete History of Canada in One Hour
by Ryan Gladstone & Bruce Horak
Monster Theatre - Vancouver, BC
 www.monstertheatre.com
V.1 - John Hirsch Mainstage 
Monster Theatre's biggest hit, The Canada Show, takes you on a hysterically historical joy-ride through 20,000 years of Canada. Told from the point of view of three bickering historians – one English, one French and one First Nations actor just trying to keep the whole thing together. Hold on tight for this fast-paced, irreverent and absolutely hilarious adventure as they battle to tell their version of Canadian history.
5 STARS "It's history without the boring stuff" - Calgary Herald

Cast:
Carly Pokoradi, Alex Gullason, Frankie Cottrell

  
Show Info:
60 Mins
Tickets: $12

Audience:
General
No Warnings
Wed July 19 10:15 PM
Fri July 21 3:45 PM
Sat July 22 9:00 PM
Tue July 25 5:45 PM
Wed July 26 5:00 PM
Thu July 27 1:45 PM
Fri July 28 7:30 PM
Sat July 29 3:30 PM

The CANADA SHOW: The Complete History of Canada in One Hour

Monster Theatre—John Hirsch Mainstage

This show is selling out. The actors are competent, the guitarist capable, and the singing strong and on key. The two women and lone man have a great rapport on stage. They make use of the huge stage, covering every inch with leaps, bounds and senseless pratfalls with boundless energy.

My question is to what end? The show is pointless. It purports to be a history of Canada told in one hour. They refer endlessly to this and how many minutes are left; using many of them to do this. I didn’t need the reminders. I was already watching the time. This is more like a second year theatre performance.

I am well aware many people liked this. But with the quality of other historical plays such as the stellar, magnificent PadreX and Melanie Gall’s Vera Lynn, this is a waste of the serious patron’s time.

Lisa Campbell

 


The CANADA SHOW: The Complete History of Canada in One Hour

Monster Theatre—John Hirsch Mainstage

A chest painted with the Canadian flag is at center stage, a man stands on it strumming a guitar, and two women flank him, all of them singing a fantasy song about how great Canada could be. At one point they sing about the dollar being worth ninety-nine point nine nine nine nine cents US, which leads into the coda from Hey Jude (“… na na na na-na-na na…”). Thus begins the Canada Show, which promises “twenty thousand years of history in one hour.”

They talk or sing about the great European discoverers of this land, include Cabot, which leads to a “Who’s on First?” routine featuring Cabot and Costello, and do a sketch about Jacques Cartier involving the puppets from Mr. Dressup. Along the way, the history and grievances of the indigenous peoples, the French, and the English, are represented by one performer each.

This trio skips briskly through history from the Battle of the Plains of Abraham to the War of 1812 to Confederation (and posit that it was a reaction to the recently completed American Civil War, a historical theory that is interesting to ponder), to Louis Riel and the Red River Rebellion, to women’s suffrage, and beyond. As they move through all this content, they use and discard a lot of different props, which eventually come to litter the entire spacious stage.

The three performers do a few very funny songs with great energy, including one listing great Canadian women (which includes a misunderstanding about whether Kim Mitchell is a man or a woman). Another song runs rapidly through all the Canadian Prime Ministers, from drunk Sir John A to “I am a robot” Harper, culminating in Trudeau II, who, according to this show, cares as much about the concerns of his populace as the early British governors, which is to say: not much at all.

Konrad Antony