Roxy Theatre: “Hey Ladies!”

We really enjoyed ourselves at the first Hey Ladies! we attended back in June, but for reasons to do with timing (and poor planning), hadn’t yet gone a second time…until Friday.

As per our previous experience, you could count on one hand the number of men in the audience not connected to the show in some way. Mack felt a bit uncomfortable, squirming in his chair any time the possibility of having to go up on stage came about, but as he loves Leona Brausen (she stole the show with her peahen call) and Davina Stewart as much as I do, it was an evening worth the potential stage fright factor.

Hey Ladies! is billed as “infotainment”, and I could not think of a better name for it. A variety show not unlike Oh Susannah for women, Hey Ladies! is a daytime talk show without network censors (where else would you find an audience Q & A box dressed in the form of a vagina?). Crude humour aside (the “aspic” joke got really old, really fast), the mix of light-hearted segments, from Michael Berard’s homemade Bump It and backcombing how-to, to musical interludes from Red Shag Carpet, to a “What is it?” bit featuring an oddly-shaped egg peeler, provided for an entertaining show.

Moreover, I think it’s great that Hey Ladies! promotes local talent and businesses. I can only think of the traffic to Kunitz Shoes that will arise after the three hosts raved about the selection and service at the boutique (it was also quite the Oprah-giveaway movement when Kunitz Shoes announced they were giving each audience member a luggage tag). Being able to sample locally-made liquor is also great (even in spite of the anchovy-packed lobby at intermission), and on this instance, Amber’s Brewing Company treated us to a cinnamon-cardamom beer, brewed specifically for New Asian Village.

Hey Ladies! is next up on April 23, and finishes up their season on May 21. Get your tickets soon – the shows sell out every time.

Roxy Theatre: “Hey Ladies!”

We had been meaning to go to Hey Ladies! at the Roxy Theatre for some time, particularly because two of our favourite local actresses, Davina Stewart and Leona Braunsen, were involved, but it wasn’t until late May that we managed to make it to a show.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, except that my standard for such variety/talk shows has been set by the high energy, off-the-cuff hilarity of Oh Susannah. Hey Ladies was billed as:

“your favourite daytime lifestyle show meets your favourite night time comedy jam. The final show of the season promises to be a unique evening filled with comedy, music, fashion, make-overs, ridiculousness, chit-chat, prizes, information, opinions,  possible law-suits, special guests, audience sauciness, experts, rejects, lovers, losers and much, much more.”

Though the theatre was pretty full that night, it wasn’t quite sold out. Mack was a bit uncertain about the show, as he could count the number of men in the audience on two hands.

At curtain, the ladies came out (introduced by a young Education grad named Noel, whose presence could be compared to Ellen Degeneres’ DJ sidekick), and though Stewart and Cathleen Rootsaert were present, Jana O’Connor was standing in for Braunsen, who was currently starring in a play at the Varscona. We weren’t sure how O’Connor would fare, being young and new to the ensemble, but she found her feet quickly, and supplied some of the best zingers and one-timers of the night.

Over the course of the night, several local guests were interviewed, in addition to a game and vegetarian burger taste-off. Guests included:

  • Michael Berard, a local hairstylist, who was asked about the timely subject of highlights;
  • a representative from Wine Runners, who discussed a cheeky line of California wines called Mad Housewife (available at the Sherbrooke Liquor Store);
  • a representative from Ambers Brewing Company, who introduced a coffee-rum liqueur to the audience;
  • Rick Krupa from Flirt Cupcakes; and
  • Sugar Swing, who performed two upbeat and catchy dances and talked about their lessons and weekly dances.

It really was “infotainment” (a word that was up on the marquee to describe the show), and is a perfect venue for those seeking to learn more about events and new trends happening in Edmonton. Best of all, from the liquor and food representatives came free samples – at intermission, the audience was treated to wine and liqueur samples, as well as a free mini cupcake!

The sauciness of the humour surprised me (Rootsaert’s “halter” was a running joke of the night), but really, given that there were Hey Ladies-wrapped pantyliners in the women’s washroom, I should have expected anything. By 10:30, when the show wrapped, Mack and I both had no idea that so much time had gone by – it was definitely an enjoyable way to spend a Friday night.

Stewart announced that Hey Ladies will continue next season, but details have yet to be determined. Do look for it in the fall – I know Mack and I will!