To bring you up to speed: Red Hot Riot is a monthly live variety show hosted at Artesian on 13th by Jayden Pfeifer. The last edition — this past Sunday, May 20 — went well: the guest, Regina Folk Festival artistic director Sandra Butel, was charming, and even the most outlandish bits of the evening, like a bear motivational speaker and a meeting of multiple Jaydens from throughout the timestream, hit home.
Some additional notes:
1 PFEIFER’S MONOLOGUES I honestly can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this here — I feel like I must’ve — but Pfeifer’s top-of-the-show monologues are so good. He’s putting together a new ten minute or so chunk of material every month, and every time I see him do this, it seems more effortless and natural. As an improviser and an occasional stand-up comedian, he’s always been able to find laughs readily, but I really feel like he’s developing a masterly ease here.
2 THE RETURN OF MIKE GILL Previously, local actor and improviser Mike Gill had been a staple of the show, acting as Pfeifer’s “intern”. He was so beloved that when Gill left town for school, Pfeifer made a big deal out of finding a replacement Gill. Well, Gill’s now back for the summer and it was great to see him back on the stage.
If you’re looking for some of the Mike magic, he and Colby Richardson, who also performed at Red Hot Riot, are performing as the duo Nouns and Adjectives, doing improv at Artesian on 13th tonight for the Cathedral Village Arts Festival.
And another person who was in Red Hot Riot, Daniel Maslany, has a play he directed called Rubik’s Cube, done with people from the Globe Theatre School, playing at Artesian on 13th tomorrow night. And then Combat Improv has a sampler set this Friday at the same location and for the same festival, and odds are will feature a lot of the same people. You can’t escape them and you shouldn’t want to.
3 ERIN PASSMORE The co-vocalist for Regina’ Rah Rah was the musical guest for the night. She played a trio of songs off her solo release the Downtown EP — “Into the Woods”, “Downtown” and “Rock the Boat” — that sounded great even without the fantastic, full-band arrangements they get on the record. She also played a new one from the upcoming Rah Rah record, The Poet’s Dead, and it sounded out of this world.
4 BEST LAUGH When Best of Regina comes back around, I suggest first, that we have a Best Laugh category and second, that it goes to local improviser Judy Wensel. You can always tell when she’s having a good time in a crowd and it is never a bad thing. Her laugh rocks.