The table 23 comedy troupe: (left to right) Russ Brummer

Sleepless marathon of laughter

Maple Ridge comedian Russ Brummer to perform for 30 hours at weekend
Improvathon

Russ Brummer has no magic spell or potent potion to help him ace what seems like an impossible feat – performing 30 hours of improv.

He plans on staying awake from the beginning to the bitter end with a few simple aides.

“My secret weapons are cold water and apples,” says Brummer, who admits he’s never been good at pulling all-nighters.

As a youth worker, Brummer often worked overnight shifts and would sneak a nap under a desk while other staff were busy with activities.

At Second Storey Theatre’s “Improvathon” however, there’s no place to hide.

Brummer will have just 10 minutes between sets.

“Just enough time to eat, connect with my fellow improvisers, and smear deodorant all over my body – smelling good is key,” says the Maple Ridge comedian who’ll be sharing the stage with a talented cast from table 23.

A seasoned performer, Brummer began his career in entertainment in 1999 with the formation of table23 comedy troupe.

Since then, he has helped lead the group to perform hundreds of shows throughout western Canada.

His credits also include Vancouver Theatre Sports League on Granville Island, Urban Improv, Comedy Events with David C Jones, and guest spots with the Fictionals.

When it comes to improv and performing, Brummer likes to challenge himself to do something different with each show.

“I have 30 different goals for 30 different shows. Though my biggest goal is to do good improv for the whole 30 hours without going crazy,” he says.

“Improv is all about reaction and getting out of your head. I’m hoping by Saturday, my brain will switch into auto pilot and I’ll be performing the best improv ever.”

Port Coquitlam-based Second Storey Theatre will host 30 sets — lasting 50 minutes each — from Friday, Nov. 15 to midnight on Nov. 17.

Partial proceeds from the improv bonanza will go to the Family Resource Centre, based at Port Coquitlam’s Minnekhada Middle School.

Artistic director Graham Myers said Port Coquitlam mayor Greg Moore will open the marathon session Friday night.

Among those lined up to perform include Myers’ four-year-old niece Paige “who just likes to pretend,”; Toronto voice actor/impressionist David Andrew Brent; Coquitlam comic Ed Hill, who last week released a new CD titled Canasian; ECCW wrestler Ranvenous Randy Myers; and Pigeon Park rockers Nick Weber and Hunter Elliott.

“We’re got quite a cast of characters,” Myers said. “It’ll be fun to see what they come up with and, without a doubt, you are probably going to see some of the best improv ever.”

Myers said he got the concept for the 30-hour improv from other comedy companies and “it’s a crazy enough idea for me to do it, too,” he said.

Myers will emcee and will stay awake for the entire weekend event. And anyone else who keeps their eyes open as well for the full 30 hours will get a year’s pass to Second Storey shows, he promises.

– with files from Tri-City News

Showtime

The Improvathon takes place Friday, Nov. 15 from 6 p.m. and ends at midnight on Sunday, Nov. 17. Tickets are $5 per show or $30 for a weekend wristband by visiting Second Storey Theatre (201-2550 Shaughnessy St.) or going online at sstimprov.com. That’s $1 for each hour-long show. Partial proceeds will go to the Port Coquitlam Family Resource Center. You can also buy tickets at the door for $5 per  show. Buyers of online passes will be automatically entered to win a prize from the event sponsors, including Cactus Club, Samz Pub Port Coquitlam, Samz Pub Pitt Meadows and Alliance Printing.

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