Reviewed by David Smith
The Comedy Capers Gang Shows are in good hands. Their 51st annual production, Aventyr, was bright, breezy, energetic and loads of fun. The enormous cast and nearly as large support group, led by Production Director Rebecca Knott and Exec. Director Andrew MacGillivray, were highly coordinated. Considering the size and complexity of the whole operation, managing the logistics alone is a significant achievement.
The structure of the show resembled a board game in itself, beginning and ending with a family playing the game. That was successfully reinforced by narrators introducing each segment, or Land, by reading typical game instructions from cards. At the same time they also maintained the unity by wheeling a large playing-piece letter A for Aventyr through all scenes.
Each Land allowed individuals – all uncredited – to showcase their singing, acting or dancing skills. In addition, there was plenty of traditional Gang Show chorus work. It went well in the main, but a couple of the huge scenes pushed the limits of the generous Shedley stage, resulting in some upstage clutter. Mostly, though, the choreography was remarkably effective and a credit to Principal Choreographer Laura Unger and her team.
There were lots of Lands to admire. The most successful were Letter Land, Land of Dreams and Robot Land, where the choreography was particularly crisp and suitably menacing.
As a variety show it had a good balance of musical numbers and comedy skits. They did well this year to limit the number of the latter, thus refining their quality and punch.