25 May 2012

Harry Anderson in "Harry the Hat Tonight"

Anyone who has known me for any length of time, knows that I have a soft spot in my heart for Harry Anderson's three card monte routine, Monarch Monte.  Seeing his live show has been on my bucket list for quite some time.  (I even briefly considered finding my way to Regina in November of 2010 to see him perform there.)

Imagine my delight when I first learned that he was scheduled to perform and lecture in Whitby, ON.

And so, last weekend, I went to the Class Act Dinner Theatre for the very first time. The theatre itself is spacious.  It looked to me like there were no bad seats in the house.  The buffet was plentiful and delicious.  My dinner companions made more than one trip to the servery before their meal was done.  The roast beef and Yorkshire pudding were the highlights of my meal and the desserts were yummy!

There were quite a few familiar faces in the audience:  David Ben, Julie Eng, Suley Fattah, Mike Segal, Jen Segal, Lee Elliott, Michael Close, Lisa Close, Owen Anderson, Peter MennieMichael Fisher Deborah Fallick, Sammy Jakubowicz, Scott Hood, Ken McCreedyRichard Forget, David Sutherland, Phil, Bob Johnston, David Lax, Philip Groff and Gordon Precious.  There were other faces to which I've been unable to put a name and some I've just plain forgot.  (It was a busy weekend.)  Apologies if I've left you out.*

For entertainment, we had Glenn Ottaway, David Merry (who was non-stop with fantastic zingers, "I've been happily married for six years ...") and Richard Forget to warm us up.  Richard performed many of the effects he discussed at last September's Ring 17 lecture.  (I've never been so happy, to not see a skipping rope on stage.)  Then it was time for the headlining act!

Harry Anderson, complete with signature Borsalino and hand-painted tie, opened with Wise Guy Monte, followed with a discussion of card counting, some reminiscing about his performance with Skippy the guinea pig on SNL, and a straitjacket escape I'll not soon forget.  He also did some snazzy dancing while demonstrating card memorization and card counting in real time.  He finished with a larger than life magic square.   For an encore, we were treated to his very special chapeaugraphy routine.

As for the lecture, "Tipping the Hat," Harry took us through each of the routines in his show, discussed volunteer selection and regaled us with stories from his past.  (My favourite is how an expensive impulse buy started a chain of events which lead to his being cast in Night Court!)  Dave Merry was on the money when said (in April) that "the stories alone are worth the price of admission."  (And this weekend with Harry cost less than a round trip flight to Regina!)

Thank you Class Act Dinner Theatre and Harry Anderson for a wonderful weekend!

"There's just one f***ing rule!"

Poor Yvette.

* If I’ve missed listing anyone who was there please send me an e-mail or leave a comment below! Thank you to Owen, Deborah and Sammy for helping me put names to some of the faces.

The opinions expressed above are entirely my own.  I was not compensated in any way.

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