By Liz Nicholls, 12thnight.ca
They are smart. And they are funny. But there is nothing cautious, or predictable, or even sane about the entertainment proposition that the deluxe improv troupe Gordon’s Big Bald Head offers the world.
They own a summer Fringe tradition that is pretty much unequalled in audacity; they are their own legend. Witness an entire GBBH archive of Fringe hits in which, armed only with the Fringe program, they perform any show in the festival. An audience member picks a show randomly. And then and there, in a daring heist of that show title and description, they do their own version — inventing intricate narratives, creating characters, overlapping subplots, doing back flips off genres, on the spot.
This is top-of-the-line improv, so unfaltering and clever you might have trouble believing it isn’t scripted and rehearsed.
Starting Wednesday at the Grindstone, in a live and live streamed show, you can see for yourself. The troupe is back in action, two of them anyhow: the deluxe duo of Mark Meer and Ron Pederson in Gordon’s Big Bald Head: Good Head. (Times being what they are their third member Jacob Banigan remains at home in Graz, Austria where he lives). And they’re taking on movies.
Meer and Pederson will undertake to DO “any movie in movie history.” As Pederson explains, they’ll use Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide. “The audience chooses a random entry. And we’ll DO that movie.”
Crazy, isn’t it?
Gordon’s Big Bald Head: Good Head runs through Saturday live at the Grindstone, reconfigured with strict COVID precautions for a small, distanced and masked audience — or in your living room if you can’t venture forth. Tickets for both the live and live streamed shows: grindstonetheatre.ca.