Ace Burpee Takes Home the Trophy!

What an amazing evening packed full of entertainment! The first annual So You Think You Can Act was a huge success. All the celebrities brought their A-game to the event and surpassed expectations with solid performances of the nine scenes in the evening. In addition, emcee Big Daddy Tazz kept the audience entertained every moment and played off the panel of judges. Lee White, Kayla Gordon and Bob Metcalfe were impressive in terms of their ability to come up with insightful, hilarious and bizarre commentary that had the audience booing, cheering, laughing and thoroughly engaged.

Although for some celebrities the event was their first foray on stage, they all took risks and really enjoyed themselves. They all deserve an award for having the guts to take on this challenge and for being such great sports no matter what the judges threw at them. Ultimately the audience did cast their ballots and select the first ever So You Think You Can Act winner. Although Al Simmons was the favourite to win in the advance polls, it was Ace Burpee who walked away with the trophy. His scene with mother, Jane, was certainly a big hit. Perhaps it was just his bad wig, bizarre character physicality and ridiculous southern accent but the performance won over the audience. This will likely be the only time the Hot 103 morning host wins an Oscar (the trophy had an Oscar figure perched on top).

Jane Burpee and Ace Burpee accepting the trophy. Photo by Janet Shum.

John Lu, who had flown in from Montreal that very day, and Sylvia Kuzyk, who was a convincing vixen, were the runners-up. John wowed the audience with his natural stage ability and great parody of bad Asian films opposite scene partner Alissa Watson. Sylvia had the grace and airs down pat for a famous actress, a lovely contrast to Toni Reimer’s mousy character who has come pleading for her husband back.

Every celebrity was memorable though. Al Simmons was first on stage and not only did he make an entrance but he also threw himself at the judges afterwards, to the shock of his scene partner Nan Fewchuk. Tracy Koga was charming and a joy to watch as she sped through a relationship with actor Tyhr Trubiak. Laurie Mustard was so natural on stage, everyone had to wonder if he’d missed his calling, plus he played beautifully off scene partner Lois Brothers. Howard Mandshein had a chance to rock out and was the perfect straight man to partner Danielle Savage’s neurotic character in How It Works. In yellow rain coat, boots and covered in mud Judy Wasylycia-Leis made quite the entrance for her scene with Kevin Anderson. Of course the judges were able to play off of the notion of a former politician playing a character involved in a cover-up! Randall King brought his brother’s words to life in David King’s Life Skills and managed to remain focused even when opposite him Cheryl Gensiorek was eating fettuccini with her bare hands.

If all of that wasn’t enough the audience also partook of the raffle featuring amazing prizes, enjoyed violinist John Racaru in the lobby before the event as well as wine and cheese post event.

In fact the audience was amazing and helped to make it a perfect night out!

The response overall has been overwhelming. It will be difficult to top it next year, but we will certainly try!

Will This Judge Win Over The Audience? Meet Robert Metcalfe!

It’s time to meet another judge of So You Think You Can Act! Meet Robert Metcalfe, Artistic Director of Prairie Theatre Exchange! We are so ecited to have Bob on our panel of experts judging our celebrities. A favourite in the theatre community, Bob brings his passion for theatre and charisma to the judging table.

Will Bob butt heads with Kayla and Lee? Will Bob and Kayla develop a Paula/Simon or Nigel/Mary relationship? Will Bob judge like J.Lo and tell eveyone they’re great? Let’s learn more about Bob and find out!

Originally from BC, this is Mr. Metcalfe’s ninth year in Winnipeg as the Artistic Director of Prairie Theatre Exchange where he has directed Zadie’s Shoes, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Unity (1918)Molly’s VeilCopenhagen, Dogbarkedapple, MacGregor’s Hard Ice Cream and GasChimeraHaving Hope at HomeHow it Works, The Vertical Hour, Lawrence and Holloman, Glorious!, The Savannah DisputationBurnin’ Love, and The Secret Mask. This summer, he directed for Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre in Nova Scotia for the fourth year (2011- Caught in the Net, 2010-Sleuth, 2009-Glorious! and 2008-Sexy Laundry, which broke box office records for the Festival).

Before arriving at PTE, he was the Artistic Director of Sunshine Theatre in Kelowna, BC, served as the Associate Artistic Director at Green Thumb Theatre in Vancouver, and had a successful career as a freelance director, actor, dramaturge and fight director after graduating from the acting program at Studio 58 in 1980. Most recently Bob directed The 39 Steps  for the Persephone Theatre in Saskatoon. Bob’s next show at PTE will be Till it Hurts, the new comedy by Douglas Bowie.

He’s never entered a talent contest, nor judged one before, however, Bob has never let lack of experience or inadequate information curtail his judgmental nature.

We can’t wait to see your “judgemental nature” in action Bob!

Please join us February 16th at 8pm, Gas Station Arts Centre! Tickets are limited so purchase yours in advance on our website or by calling 586-2236.