A shirtless troupe of middle-aged men will be gyrating for laughs in a comedy show for all genders at the ACT Arts Centre in Maple Ridge.
The fictitious group of male strippers in their 40s and 50s, played by some of the top improv comedians in the country, will be performing in the parody The Comic Strippers, a completely unscripted show.
“It’s a very silly, innocent show and it’s very body positive,” said Ken Lawson who plays one of the characters.
Lawson is a Leo Award-winning, Vancouver-based comedian and actor and one of the founding members of The Comic Strippers.
“We’re very much a show for everyone. We’re a show for all genders and it’s very ridiculous and fun,” he elaborated.
The plot follows a new member of the group whose confidence is lacking at the beginning but who earns his purple bow tie by the end.
All the men in the group are named Chip, explained Lawson, whose character name is Chip Stick. Chip Stick is a spandex-and eyeliner-wearing metalhead, straight out of the 1980s, who exudes the confidence needed to be a male stripper – a characteristic that has helped Lawson himself overcome his own insecurities for the role.
And, he said there is a lot of audience involvement in the show – not that they pick on people – but in the form of suggestions for their scenes.
Lawson admits that 80 per cent of their audience is female, aged 19 to 95 and older. It’s perfect for a girls night out but also for couples who are up for a night of improv.
However, he noted, it is a show for all genders as well and they always find fans in the men too.
Lawson and his fellow cast members have been performing the show for the last decade and have been coming to Maple Ridge to perform it for eight years.
The show has won a Canadian Comedy Award for Best Live Production and the group has toured the country. It has been described as hilarious and extremely funny.
“We just love it because our job is literally to spread joy,” noted Lawson.
Lawson always enjoys hearing from fans who tell him their face hurt so much from laughing or that the show made them feel beautiful.
The central message of the show is about not having the perfect body image and just enjoying life for who you are, he remarked.
“It’s kind of like rock what you’ve got.”
The Comic Strippers is a show for those 19 years and older.
It will be taking place at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11, at the ACT Arts Centre, 11944 Haney Place, in Maple Ridge.
To purchase tickets go to theactmapleridge.org/comic-strippers.
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