The First Ever Kensington Variety Show!

Picture this: the night of the full moon, in the warmth of a summer evening, down a back alley in Kensington Market, therein lies a garage-barn hybrid that is ‘El Gordo’s Garage’. Inside there is a stage, stacks of straw, and some furniture, which will host a bundle of guests and three main acts guided and hosted by Alexey Ots, who also put on this event.

First act was an improv troupe called, ‘Spread Eagle Tourists’, in which the common denominator between the members is that they were or are Second City students. They put on a skit that was all over the place, silly, and entertaining. Everything you expect improv to be, featuring a photography prize winning drunk guy they called Ontario. He did a bang on Trump impression, which was very literally just him with a goofy grin and doing a double thumbs-up.

Baby Doomers at the Kensington Variety Show

The second act was a band called the Baby Doomers, which consisted of a guitar, bass, and an alternating tenor sax with a percussion box. Despite them lacking a usual drummer, they put on a great set of ambient and ‘mood’ pieces. The set up was not perfect, but the overall sound was a mix of psych, folk, and jazz. They were easy to get into, even in this transitional period for the band. The lack of foundation brought on by the steady percussion made for an interesting jam-session type set which was laid back and overall enjoyable, considering they are all talented musicians.

The third act was a stand-up comic named, Nigel Grinstead, he was introduced as having some acclaim in the comedy scene, having played Just For Laughs and toured internationally. His style of self-depreciating humour was a genuine laugh. He kept the small crowd in a giggled state covering such topics as boxed wine, urine samples, and exploding into a murder of crows.

The first ever Kensington Variety Show overall was a success, despite the minor hiccups. There was a receiving crowd in a great mood, ready for whatever the night was to give them. Alexey made a point of interacting with the crowd, asking them important questions and giving them a small, lighthearted, yet important platform. The inbetween banter was both entertaining and down-to-earth. The acts pulled through despite some technical difficulties, and they were all genuinely talented individuals. It was a great showcase of local talent, and holds great potential for a community togetherness project. Considering it was the first one, it can only get bigger and better from there. It is a lighthearted, fun, rustic way to spend an evening and we will definitely be there the next full moon, hairy face, teeth, claws and all.