Saturday March 30th marks the 8th anniversary of Lunacy Cabaret a variety show that takes place every two weeks at the Centre of Gravity (1300 Gerrard St E). Lunacy Cabaret features a live band, circus aerial acts, comedy, burlesque, jugglers, fire acts, puppetry, dance, spoken word, stunts, clowns, magic, a giant moon, guest hosts and anything else we feel like booking. The show is well attended (over 200 people per show) and it has been based on word-of-mouth advertising. The proceeds of the show go towards upkeep of the Centre of Gravity circus training space.
"We started with the concept of doing a show every full moon and somehow that morphed into the show being hosted by a large moon puppet," says co-producer and host Fesso the Clown. The show attracts a very diverse audience from young downtowners to elderly suburbanites. "The common element of our audience is that everyone was dragged out to the show by a friend who said, 'you have to see this thing!'", states co-producer and host Sketchy the Clown. "If you don't like what you see, wait five minutes and something completely different will take to the stage." Every show has a different theme and there is a different storyline that goes along with the hosting every two weeks.
"For our 8th anniversary show we are bringing back a theme we did in the past. We mashed up a Charlie Brown Easter special along with a Christian passion play. It isn't for everyone, it gets a bit irreverent," advises Fesso. "We have had quite a variety of themes from Fiddler of the Apes, to travelling hobos and Vegas - our March 16th show." "The audience is way more reactive and involved than people are used to in seeing a Toronto audience. They are encouraged to heckle, they dress up in costume based on the theme and sometimes they take over the show," mentions Sketchy. "One time we had a stand-up comic who hadn't seen the show beforehand. He had to negotiate with the audience so that he could get through his routine. He had to remove an item of clothing and the audience would let him tell a joke. Basically they took over as soon as they started yelling 'take off your pants.'" This is not a show for children.
Tickets are $20. Advance tickets are available at the Sideshow Café beside the theatre and at Shanti Baba on Queen Street West. Tickets are available at the door if the advance tickets do not sell out. They usually do.