Lucas Myers didn’t know it would be the last time he would be performing live for an entire year when he took his bow at the end of his performance of White Rabbit, Red Rabbit at the Charles Bailey Theatre in Trail on March 14 of last year, two days before venues shut down as a response to the pandemic.
As the venue shutdown stretched on, it became clear the tour of the Columbia Basin he had scheduled wasn’t going to happen. Myers almost had a chance to perform in November, when he was booked in Kaslo and Revelstoke for limited audiences, but the day before the Kaslo show the province closed all the theatres as cases of COVID-19 started to spike after the Thanksgiving weekend. He still ended up performing the show for Revelstoke, but it was in Nelson at the Capitol Theatre, recorded and streamed by the Revelstoke Arts Council in lieu of a live performance.
“I’m actually really thankful for that experience,” says Myers. “As incredibly weird as it was to perform a comedy to a completely empty theatre, it made me realize that it was possible, that I could still have fun with a show despite not having the immediate audience feedback.”
Myers will be drawing on that experience this Saturday, March 13, when he will once again take to the stage for the Capitol Theatre live stream presentation of Hey Covid, Meet Cromoli! as part of the Homegrown Season series featuring local performers.
Like many of the other streaming events that are happening at the Capitol, Myers’ performance will be available for a week following the Saturday performance, but he recommends watching the live stream as there will be audience participation. As anyone who has experienced the Cromoli Brothers can attest, there is a lot of interaction with the crowd, which Myers and the crew at the Capitol have managed to create some interesting workarounds to accomplish for the live stream.
One of the unique aspects of the show is that the audience chooses the order of how the it unfolds.
“We are figuring out a way that we can still have the audience dictate the order of the show. It makes it a bit more complicated, but I really wanted to retain that connection to the people watching the show live, keeping some of that great, anything-can-happen energy that is so much a part of this performance,” says Myers.
He has been performing as the Cromoli Brothers for the past 15 years, touring as far away as New Zealand, where he took home the Best Comedy award at the International Fringe Festival. The show consists of 12 short plays and musical numbers that range from the poignant to the political to the absurd with titles like Nude Beach, Heaven’s Gate Webcam and Dear Mary, I’m in a Gang Now. As per the title, there will be some COVID-related comedy, but Myers is also intent on doing more then just focusing on our current situation.
“I think it’s important we have an opportunity to poke fun at the absurdity of what’s going on, but it’s also just as important to take a break from it and have a good laugh.”
Hey Covid, Meet Cromoli will be live streamed at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 13. Tickets are $10 plus service charge and can be purchased at the Capitol Theatre website, capitoltheatre.ca, or by phoning the box office at 250-352-6363.