This is That brought "A Night During the Oscars" to JFL Northwest

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This is That Live | JFL Northwest | Vogue Theatre | March 4, 2018

The audience at This is That Live may not have been able to have a night at the Oscars, but hosts Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring, along with producer Chris Kelly, brought us “A Night During the Oscars,” and it was a hilarious collection of fake news stories. Returning to JFL Northwest after their 2016 appearance, Kelly and Oldring brought a new show that featured previously created content in the first half of the show, and brand new stories based on audience suggestions in the second half.

Wearing tuxedos and acting like they were hosting an awards show, Kelly and Oldring included some Oscars-related content, including a video compilation of major wins for Canadian actors, and an announcement that Canada had won the award for best country impersonating America on film. We were also treated to an interview with successful Canadian actor Malcolm Kind who is looking forward to staring in a three-part Tim Hortons commercial.  

Presenting the “unreal truth,” This is That mimics the tone of CBC radio news stories so well that many listeners have been duped into thinking they were real stories. After a couple of the stories, they aired some hilarious listener feedback in which Canadians passionately supported or opposed the fake news.

Oldring and Kelly have a knack for presenting outlandish stories in a way that makes them seem almost plausible. They alternated the role of host and interviewer, taking on various characters to act out stories including a mother who thinks kiss cams at hockey games are indecent, a man who started a bike share program in Grandview, Manitoba with just one bike (his own), and two police officers who lived undercover for over a decade due to an administrative error.

Switching seamlessly between hosting and playing a variety of characters, Kelly and Oldring are skilled improvisers and talented comedy writers. After intermission, they took an audience suggestions that asked them to do a story about making left-handedness illegal, a new play called The Regina Monologues.

Full of Canadian-specific references, and exaggerations of our modest place in the world, This is That is a CBC Radio segment worth tuning in for (or podcast worth downloading). It was a treat to see them live and witness their improvised reporting in action.      

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