The cast of the Gold Fever Follies hosted a cabaret show on Sunday night that left the audience in stitches.
This summer’s first Naughty Knickers Night kicked off with the Follies strutting their stuff before launching into “Let’s Be Bad,” a number that not only fit with the Gold Fever Follies’ historical bent, but also helped set the tone for the evening. The audience was then treated to some impressive push ups by Vinny Keats (who plays Joe) and a burlesque number from Rebecca Peterson (Violet), who then launched into “All Men Are Pigs,” while Vaughn Naylor (Ulysses) and Ty Wright (Jordan) followed her around the stage, making a show of proving her point. Then Kendra Bidwell (Hattie), Kirsti Hack (Willa), Jill Amantea (Chandler) and Peterson performed a sassy dance, before ceding the stage to the Forecasters — or the male cast members dressed in drag — who performed to “It’s Raining Men.” The female cast members returned to the stage dressed as men to close the number and the first act.
During the second act there was an improv performance, where the Follies took suggestions from the audience. Highlights included Peterson pretending to be Donald Trump’s hair and Naylor pretending to have rubber limbs. Hack also followed up her Naughty Knickers Night performance from last year — a dance/pantomime to Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” — with a similar number set to Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn,” where she picked on a male audience member every time Imbruglia sang the line “You’re a little late.” The second act ended with a number dedicated to the evening’s sponsor, Saxx, with the whole cast performing “Play That Sax” in Saxx boxer shorts.
The naughty night concluded with a flipped version of “Love and Business,” with all of the actors playing different roles — except Peterson, whose role is orchestrated around her providing accompaniment on the piano; she just dressed as a boy for the flipped show. Hilarity ensued as the Follies ad libbed their way through the play. Naylor shone as Willa, the show’s female protagonist, doing a strong impression of Hack’s dramatic rails against Mrs. Allan, and making eyes at Wright, who was recast as Joe. The two even shared a passionate kiss in the final scene. Casey Gray (Lockhart) took on the role of Jordan, and took the opportunity to poke fun at some of the conceits of the play — which he wrote. For instance, he made fun of the numerous newspapers that are read aloud by characters during the course of the play. A few hiccups added unexpected laughs to the show as well: a bat got into the building and became an unexpected part of the show as it flitted around, and technical difficulties led Peterson to ask, “How many cast members does it take to cue the music?”
For those who didn’t get the chance to attend the first Naughty Knickers Night — or for those who’d like to see it again — the second performance will take place on Sunday, Aug. 21, 8-11 p.m. Tickets are available at Clancey’s Cafe, the old Bank of Montreal building and the Colander.
For those who haven’t yet seen this year’s regular performance of “Love and Business,” time is running out. The final performance will be on Saturday, Aug. 27.