Tomorrow is December 1st and even though I’ve been secretly playing Christmas music and checking out holiday events in Vancouver for a couple of weeks now, I can finally say that the holiday season is here!
If you only do one thing in Vancouver to celebrate the season, then you have to check out Merry Kiss-mas. The Vancouver Theatresports League’s improvised comedy show pokes fun at all those cheesy Hallmark and Netflix romantic holiday comedies that we love to hate!
The show is split into two parts, separated by an intermission where you can grab a drink AND bring it with you into the theatre. How civilized! You really feel like you’re among friends when you enter the buzzing theatre. The set design is adorable. It’s a romantic small town backdrop, almost like Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls but it looks more inspired by Fort Langley’s historic city hall. It all sets the mood for those holiday fuzzy feelings!
The first portion of the show is warm-up games inspired by a selection of Christmas romantic comedies;
A Christmas Melody. Coming Home For Christmas. Marry Us For Christmas. The Christmas Ornament. Love Actually. Christmas Cookies.
Each of these classic cheesy titles provided the inspiration for a new sketch led by our host and acted out by a cast of players. The host of our show was the radiant Margret Nyfors who fielded unorthodox audience suggestions with grace and hilarity. Her players were phenomenal.
Angela Galanopoulos, our own Tina Fey, really stood out in each of her scenes. My surprise favourite player was Michael Teigen whose strangely alluring gingerbread house building icing fiasco made me laugh so hard I had difficulty breathing.
This engaging show was fast-paced and pulled inspiration from the audience for their Christmas inspired improv scenes. From a gingerbread house instructional demonstration gone horribly wrong and the most bizarre Christmas tree decorating scene ever, the show never let up!
After intermission, the show switches from short scenes to one longer scene. The players create their own version of those holiday romantic comedies. Each show will have their own unique mini-hallmark holiday classic. The one I got to see was heartwarming and awkward as it leaned into the cheesiness in the best possible way.
Merry Kiss-mas is the perfect remedy for anyone feeling overwhelmed by the stress that comes with this time of year, planning
In December, most of us are catching up on work so we can take time off for the holidays. We’re busy trying to finish our projects and this year we’re stressing if our Amazon purchases are going to make it in time for Christmas.
Dust off your ugly Christmas sweater and take a break from all that holiday mess at Merry Kiss-mas. A good laugh and a fun night out with friends will do you some good.
Vancouver TheatreSports League: Vancouver Improv Comedy
1502 Duranleau Street on Granville Island
Merry Kiss-mas runs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m.with Family Matinees on select dates