Red Hot Riot

If you’ve checked out our Best of Regina nomination ballot you’ll perhaps have noticed we have a Best Regina Comedian category. With his duel gig as host of this comedy variety show and the Talkies series at Central Library Theatre where a cheesy movie of some description is screened and mercilessly mocked, Jayden Pfeifer is definitely a contender.

The final round of voting starts on Sept. 23, so you’ll have to wait until then to see if he made the cut. Meanwhile, Pfeifer kicks off the 2015-16 Red Hot Riot season with a show tonight at the Artesian. The musical guest is Danny Olliver, who played the Regina Folk Festival and also did a Market Under the Stars show in late August.

Also guesting is Joey Tremlay, a veteran playwright, director and theatre performer in Saskatchewan/Canada who was recently hired to head Curtain Razors Theatre Co. following Michele Sereda’s tragic death last February.

Curtain is 8 p.m., and tickets are $15. Find out more on the Artesian website. To close, here’s video of Olliver performing “Speak to You” as part of the Empty Room series at Creative City Centre.

Weekly Reckoning: Togarishi Edition

weekly-reckoningHave you ever tried shichimi togarishi? It’s a seven-spice blend of Japanese pepper, nori, black sesame seeds and whatever else. I sprinkled a bit on some corn-on-the-cob today, and I have to say, I’ve had worse things in my life. Why don’t you sit down for a while and think about all the things you haven’t tried and may never get around to trying before your heart reaches its allotted number of beats? It can be comforting. If you’re a crazy person.

1. EUROPE YOU SO CRAZY The Communist Party is polling well in Portugal and may end up forming the next government if trends hold. It would be weird to see the European Union’s southern limbs drop off, but there you go.

2. ALL THE ARBITRARY BUT FASCINATING REASONS YOU CAN’T WEAR WHITE AFTER LABOUR DAY But the real reason is that God will come to your house and lick everything in the fridge. Anyway, enjoy!

3. GO HOME SCIENCE YOU’RE DRUNK Some super-dumb scientists produced a cockamamie study that says my cats don’t love me. Well I’ve got enough love for all of us, science.

4. HEY EVERYONE, I JUST DISCOVERED SOME TRUE SUFFERING HERE Never mind refugees, here’s the harrowing tale of a guy who lined up outside a Toys “R” Us for Star Wars toys and came away empty-handed. Well, almost empty-handed – he got some toys, but not the toys he wanted. Not the cool ones. Also, a bunch of kids didn’t get Star Wars toys because grown men lined up outside toy stores to relive their childhoods. Also, refugees.

5. THE EGG COUNCIL CONSPIRACY IS REAL! The American Egg Board launched a campaign to crush food bloggers, a celebrity chef and a Silicon Valley egg-replacement startup. Every part of the last sentence is more ridiculous than every other part.

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Talkies

The movie that Jayden Pfeifer is screening tonight as part of his Talkies series has some top-flight talent associated with it. First off, it’s produced by Roger Corman, and the director is the late Jimmy T. Murakami. Cast-wise, the first five credited actors are Richard Thomas (of John Boy fame), Robert Vaughn, George Peppard, John Saxon and Sybil Danning.

The flick is called Battle Beyond the Stars and it was apparently intended to function as a space-based version of a spaghetti Western that Vaughn had previously starred in called The Magnificent Seven.

I won’t steal any of Jayden’s thunder here by dishing any details on the plot, but in 2011 it was re-released on DVD and Blu-Ray as part of Roger Corman’s Cult Classics series.

Battle Beyond the Stars screens tonight at the RPL Theatre at 7 p.m. Talkies is restricted to people 14+, and admission is free with a donation of non-perishable food items to the Regina Food Bank.

Here’s the trailer

Talkies

When the M. Night Shyamalan supernatural thriller The Happening was released in 2008, the late legendary film critic Roger Ebert gave it three out of four stars in his review. Currently, though, the movie “boasts” a 17 per cent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so it seems that Ebert was in the minority in liking the film.

The plot involves a neurotoxin of some sort that, once people are exposed to it, compels them to do something grisly. Tonight, Jayden Pfeifer is screening the film at the RPL Theatre at 7 p.m. as part of his Talkies series. The series is restricted to people 14+, and admission is free with a donation of non-perishable food items to the Regina Food Bank.

Here’s the trailer

Talkies

To help set the stage for possible wilderness adventures beyond hot dog roasting and mosquito squishing to come this summer, Talkies host Jayden Pfeifer has picked a definite thriller of a movie to screen/mock in the form of Bigfoot: The Unforgettable Encounter (1994).

The screening goes Tuesday June 30 at 7 p.m. Admission is free, although I believe patrons are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for the food bank. Here’s the gripping trailer

The Debaters: All-Star Stand-Up Comedy Tour

Last fall, the moderator of this popular CBC Radio program Steve Patterson was in Regina to do a show at the University of Regina. James Brotheridge caught up with him in advance of the show and did an interview that ran in the October 2 issue of Prairie Dog. 

On Saturday May 30, four comics who appear regularly on the show — Erica Sigurdson, Ivan Decker, Graham Clark and Howie Miller — will be in town to perform an evening of stand-up at the Regina Performing Arts Centre.

The first joke should drop around 8 p.m., and tickets are $35. They can be secured by calling the RPAC box office at 306-779-2277.

To give you a sense of what to expect, here’s Sigurdson performing at Just for Laughs in 2014.

Talkies

I haven’t crunched all the numbers, but the film that Jayden Pfeifer is screening on Tuesday May 26 as part of his Talkies series is quite possibly the highest grossing movie he’s ever tackled.

Released in 1994, Junior grossed $108 million. Can a movie that earned that much money stink enough to be a ripe subject for satire? I guess we’ll find out on Tuesday.

Junior stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito as two doctors who end up experimenting with a new fertility drug which leads to a very surprising result. I won’t spoil it for you, although you’ll likely find a hint or two if you check out the trailer below.

The screening goes at 7 p.m. at the RPL Theatre, and admission is free with the donation of a non-perishable food item to the Regina Food Bank.

Talkies

My introduction to Superman came via the old black-and-white TV show starring George Reeves. For those of a slightly more tender vintage, I imagine Christopher Reeve is their go-to as the Man of Steel.

I mention this now because on Tuesday April 26 the last of the four movies that Reeve did as Superman is going to get the BBQ treatment from local comic Jayden Pfeifer.

I don’t know where Superman IV: The Quest For Peace ranks in the Superman canon, but it opens, you might recall, with a scene where Superman rescues some cosmonauts in space. Then Lenny Luther (Jon Cryer) breaks his notorious uncle Lex (Gene Hackman) out of jail and Superman’s got to deal with them, while also taking it upon himself to rid Earth of nuclear weapons by hurling them into the Sun.

The screening goes at the RPL Theatre on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Admission is free with a donation to the food bank. And to get you primed here’s the trailer

Breaking News: Alberta Premier Unveils New Pipeline Plan

DRILLING FOR DOLLARS Giant middle finger extended to Earth during press conference
DRILLING FOR DOLLARS Giant middle finger extended to Earth during press conference

Frustrated with roadblocks erected by other provinces, environmental groups, First Nations, and the Obama administration in the U.S., to three existing pipeline proposals to deliver Alberta bitumen to market, Premier Jim Prantice announced today that his government had had enough.

Flanked by industry officials at an outdoor press conference at a science park, Prantice said that Alberta would begin construction soon on a pipeline that would drill straight through the Earth to deliver bitumen from the province direct to China.

“The idea came to me when I was watching a Bugs Bunny cartoon the other day,” Prantice recalled. “Elmer Fudd was hunting Bugs  with his shotgun, and to escape Bugs dug a deep hole. Like he said after, ‘I knew I shoulda taken that left toin at Albuquerque.’ But he didn’t, and he ended up in China instead.

“After I’d finished wiping away the tears from laughing so hard, I thought, ‘Wait a minute, maybe that Wascally Wabbit is on to something.’”

The next morning, Prantice revealed his idea to cabinet. “They all thought it was a no-brainer. So I had Frank [Oberlay, Alberta’s Energy Minister] contact our partners in the oil patch to arrange a meeting.

“Oil’s in the crapper now price-wise,” Prantice admitted. “But boom times will return. And we intend to be ready.”

Alberta has long argued that to maximize its oil wealth it needs access to global markets — especially energy-hungry southeast Asia. But proposed pipelines heading west to the Pacific (Northern Gateway), south to the Gulf of Mexico (Keystone) and east to refineries in Quebec and New Brunswick (Energy East), are all stuck in regulatory limbo. As a result, analysts say, the Alberta government and oil industry are missing out on billions in revenue.

Responding to reporters’ questions about the project, which would require drilling through 12,000 km of solid rock comprising Earth’s crust and mantle, Prantice admitted they were still figuring out the exact angle they’ll need to drill at to reach China. But he insisted the project, which he declined to give a cost estimate on, was doable.

“Remember, we’ll be able to use Earth’s gravity to move bitumen to the core. We’re also examining the feasibility of using the intense heat and pressure there to refine the bitumen into light crude that would be easier to pump the rest of the way to China.”

It would be a huge undertaking, the premier admitted. “But once the oil’s flowing there’s sweet F.A. all the tree-huggers and anti-Alberta types will be able to do about it. As Porky Pig would say, ‘Th-Th-That’s all folks!’”

Talkies

Winner of the Golden Raspberry in 2005 for worst musical in the history of musicals — okay, I exaggerate, or maybe not, as it truly does stink — From Justin To Kelly was made to take advantage of all the hype around season one of American Idol.

It stars Kelly Clarkson, who won the title in that first year, and the dude she defeated for the coveted crown, as two crazy kids who meet cute in Florida and things proceed from there in typical teen rom-com fashion.

On Tuesday, March 31 at the RPL Theatre at 7 p.m., comic Jayden Pfeifer will screen the movie and offer some insightful commentary on all the hi-jinks that Kelly and the dude get up to with their buddies/galpals. Admission is free with a donation to the food bank. To get everyone pumped, here’s the (mercifully short) trailer:

Jim Jefferies

Jim Jefferies hails from the Land Down-Under, and since 2008 he’s worked as a stand-up comic.

Alcoholism, recreational drug use, sex, religion, celebrities and weird Aussie animals such as kangaroos, duck-billed platypuses and koala bears are some of subjects the now L.A.-based comic favours in his routines. On Saturday March 7 he will be in Regina to play a show at  Conexus Arts Centre. Curtain is at 8 p.m., and tickets are $42.50.

To give you a taste of Jefferies’ humour here’s video from 2014 where he riffs raunchily on the perfect relationship:

http://youtu.be/EqcrLOnyoIg

Talkies

With this installment of his popular poke-fun-at-crappy-movies night, comic Jayden Pfeifer treads on hallowed ground — in the minds of some people anyway.

Talkies goes Tuesday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. at the RPL Theatre, and the film being targeted is Twilight New Moon. Admission is free with a donation to the food bank. And if you’re not familiar with the story, here’s the trailer to whet your appetite:

Jon Stewart Is Leaving The Daily Show

Stewart and Colbert-2From, fittingly, The Onion A.V. Club:

Ending one of the most venerable and trusted careers in making a complete mockery of the news, Jon Stewart has announced that he is stepping down as host of The Daily Show. According to sources who were there (some of whom are already passing word along on social media), Stewart let the news slip at the taping of today’s episode, telling those in the audience that he’s retiring.

The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and the Seattle alt-weekly The Stranger made up an unholy trinity of my editorial influences during the George W. Bush years–the era North America basically committed itself to going to shit (we’ve never recovered).

Given that Stranger editorial director Dan Savage — who was in the crowd of celebrities in the last episode of Colbert — is working on an ABC sitcom, I wonder if I might soon be feeling very, very, lonely.

Cannes Lions 2014

This is always a popular feature at the RPL Film Theatre. It features a compilation of the best commercials from around the world as judged by the 2014 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

The screening goes Sunday at 9 p.m. And here’s one of the award winners from Thailand:

Brian Regan

Born in Miami in 1957, stand-up comic Brian Regan lists Steve Martin, the Smothers Brothers and Johnny Carson as influences. Apparently, when he’s doing stand-up he takes the high road and doesn’t resort to profanity or anything else that’s overly outrageous as far as sex, gender, ethnicity and other common sources of comedic inspiration go.

You can find out if that’s true Saturday night when Regan takes the stage at Conexus Arts Centre. Tickets are $39.75, and curtain should be around 8 p.m. To give you a sense of what to expect, here’s video of him performing on Late Night With Letterman on Oct. 31:

http://youtu.be/iCGhppa2NOw

New Year’s Eve

If you’re looking for something to do tomorrow to celebrate the end of 2014 and the arrival of 2015, here’s some options. None of them are 100 per cent guaranteed to be a good time. That’s where you come in, as no matter how much we might like to, we can’t do your partying for you.

NOON YEAR’S EVE Family-friendly way to ring in the new year, with crafts, refreshments, exhibits and a Big Bang stage show. Saskatchewan Science Centre, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. $15 per person ages three to adult. For more info visit the Science Centre website.

NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY Includes a meal, plus performances by ventriloquist Doug Arden and comics Erica Sigurdson and Michael Dunne followed by a DJ. Ramada Hotel, cocktails at 6 p.m. $95. To reserve tickets call 306-569-1666 ext. 7260.  

CHUCK NEGRON at Casino Regina, 8:30 p.m. $55, $62.

NEW YEAR’S EVE with the Florals and the Danger Bros at O’Hanlon’s.

NYE CELEBRATION with the Milkman’s Sons at the Artful Dodger. Tickets are $20 advance, $25 door

BROADWAY’S NEW YEAR’S EVE BASH with Big Bad Storm at Broadway’s Lounge, 9 p.m. $20, includes midnight lunch and champagne.

THIRD DEGREE BIRNZ at the Pump Roadhouse. $15 advance.

DAN SILLJER BAND at McNally’s Tavern. $10 advance, $15 door.

DEFUNK! NEW YEARS! with Krooked King, In2Hz, Billy B and Techtonix at Tumbler’s Pizza (2108 Grant Rd.), doors at 9 p.m. $15.

NEW YEARS KARAOKE at Smitty’s Golden Mile, 9 p.m.

Outside of Chuck Negron, who was one of the founding members of Three Dog Night back in 1968, there’s limited YouTube options tied to most of these acts, so to close here’s U2 doing “Where the Streets Have No Name” at a show in Chicago in 2005:

Talkies

Now that Christmas has come and gone for another year, Santa Claus has flown back to the North Pole on his reindeer-powered sleigh and is kicking back with Mrs. Claus and all the elfs in front of a roaring fire, enjoying a bit of down time before starting work on preparations for Christmas 2015, right?

Well, not necessarily. At least, if the film that Jayden Pfeifer is screening at this holiday edition of Talkies is to be believed. Oh, Santa is still doing some kicking. But instead of kicking back, he’s kicking some serious Martian ass in the 1964 holiday cult classic Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

The film screens at the RPL Theatre Tuesday, Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. Admission is free with a donation to the Regina Food Bank. And to get everyone primed, here’s the trailer:

 

Christmas Crackers

Hosted by Golden Apple Theatre’s Uncle Robbie and Auntie Andi, this third-annual holiday-themed variety show promises lots of Christmas Cheer. Special guests are Jeffery Straker (who got your nod as Best Solo Act in Best of Regina 2014) along with Jeff and Evie Sawatzky.

Christmas Crackers goes tonight at the Artesian with doors at 7 p.m. and the show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35, and more information can be found on the Golden Apple website.

To give you a taste of what to expect (absent the huge stage, massive lights and other high-end production values) here’s video from last February of Straker’s winning performance at an international song competition in Chile:

O Come All Ye Faithful!

Tonight at 8 p.m. at the Artesian, Regina-based improv artist/comic Jayden Pfeifer will be hosting the Christmas installment of his comedy-variety show Red Hot Riot.

On the comedy side, local performers Tom Hill, Adam Paisley, Warren Bates, Lucy Hill, Daniel Maslany, Tess Degenstein, Ryan Josephson, Jon Neher, Colby Richardson and Credence McFadzean will be aboard to do stand-up, sketch and improv. Music, meanwhile, will be provided by Scott Richardson who hails from Gravelbourg. Tickets are $15.