They laughed. They cried. They impregnated a lobster.
It was a festive night onstage at the Bad Dog Theatre Company as a cast of veteran performers said good-bye to the Danforth Avenue location that served as home to the well-known improv comedy theatre for the last eight years.
Earlier this month, a decision regarding the theatre’s future on the Danforth was finally made. High rent and the HST were among the many reasons for shutting down the east-end location.
“It was clear that staying here wasn’t financially viable anymore,” said Artistic Producer, Julie Dumais. “We’re saying good-bye to the Danforth, but we are still continuing with shows in the city.”
Technical Director, Rob “Bullets” Bartlett (named for the amount of gunfire sound effects he often throws into scenes without warning), has supplied the theatre’s sound and perfectly timed lighting five nights a week for the last seven years. He said that his schedule has been too hectic to really think about the theatre closing, but is sure it will hit him soon.
“In a few days or so it’s going to finally hit me that it’s closed for good,” Bartlett said. “It really is a cool job. I get paid to watch comedy every night. How can you go wrong with that?”
Bad Dog’s final night of comedy started at 8 p.m. with a Theatresports show, followed by “It Ain’t Over,” a sketch and improv show hosted by Ron Tite at 9:30 p.m. The final show, “Hasta La Vista, Danforth!” began at 11 p.m., hosted by Jan Caruana and James Gangl, and featured an all-star cast.
After the show, performers and fans posed on the stage for pictures one last time. Alastair Forbes, who began performing at the Bad Dog six years ago, said the theatre is where he and many others cut their teeth, but that he’s looking on the bright side of the company finding a new home.
“I know everyone keeps saying it’s bittersweet, but I think this is an exciting opportunity right now for the theatre. It’s a chance to find a new home, a better home,” he said. “Maybe even one with a liquor license this time.”
Improv workshops are expected to begin in March at the Comedy Bar, where Theatresports shows will resume on April 23rd. A new, permanent space for the company is expected by the fall.