Do the gods walk among us? If we’re talking about Edmonton’s improv gods, then no, they don’t. They’re too busy doing Die-Nasty at the Varscona Theatre for the Fringe.
If you haven’t heard of Die-Nasty before, then I have the pleasure to inform you that that silly downtown mural does not accurately describe “the most Edmonton thing you can do.” Going to the Fringe to see Die-Nasty is the most Edmonton thing you can do. It’s simply a YEG institution. Although there’s lots of greying hair and balding heads at the Varscona when Die-Nasty is on, it’s still wildly entertaining for members of Generation Z and Millenials who have their heartbeat synced up to Edmonton’s pulse.
The format has characters briefly introducing themselves off the top. On Wednesday night we saw Jesse Gervais as Don Iveson, Louise Lambert and Belinda Cornish as classically trained British Actresses, Jason Hardwick as Lost L’il Fringer, Shannon Blanchet as Rachel Notley, Mark Meer as a zombie stage director, and so many more memorable characters. After the intros are complete, the characters are unleashed into Die-Nasty’s own version of the Fringe Festival onstage. The director unites the cast in developing memorable and hilarious antics for your viewing pleasure.
The show wasn’t afraid to get political, with Blanchet’s Notley joking about sinking ships (and then screaming at the audience to “get out and f***ing vote”). It wasn’t afraid to be a little dumb, like when Lost L’il Fringer shared some unprofound poop jokes. It wasn’t afraid to be obtuse, exemplified by Cornish and Lambert lusting over a zombie stage manager.
Generally, Die-Nasty wasn’t afraid of taking a risk, and that’s the most Edmonton thing you can do, outside of going to this show. So please go, it’s worth the $15 ticket price.