It’s a Mystery with Atomic Vaudeville’s Cabaret #81

25 Oct


Tickets can be bought on Ticket Rocket here.

Celebrating Halloween doesn’t always mean having to get in touch with the macabre. There’s more to the season than just Rocky Horror and Atomic Vaudeville‘s involvement in the Victoria, BC scene doubled ever since they took on producing Richard O’Brien‘s seminal celebration. Their Halloween cabaret series is just as spectacular and is a local fan favourite. It’s a blend of different entertainment formats–variety show, sketch comedy or burlesque–and is a staple for this garden city.

I wanted to start my celebratory days before the 31st with something different. This year’s theme involving The Quin Twins–Tegan (Kelly Hobson) and Sara (Justine Shore)–solving a bunch of mysteries ala Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew (or is it Hardy Boys since they’re a duo?). This combination was right up my alley! Call me nostalgic, but they hit all the right notes when I saw the posters and enjoyed opening night with wide eyed glee. Part of the reason also included audience participation.

“Everything is awesome” as they mixed it up with pop hits from the 70s to now. Not only was this song from The LEGO movie effectively used but also there was AC/DC and Boney M (to name a few) to spice up the night. The most memorable mini-act was the energy put behind the tune, Rasputin. The show began appropriately enough, with “Freaks” to set the spooky mood, and we are introduced to the heroines. The next set piece gets Futurama-like with “Mystery Mites” and the stride was made with a WWE-style introduction of different streaming or telecom services at odds with one another.


It’s easy to parody Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and to say who stood out in this fourteen person act is not fair; everyone was playing different characters in each skit. Even Wes Borg got in the act instead of simply providing musical interludes of “We’re Through” or “I Got Nothing.”

Throughout the show, the narrative pays homage to what the real Tegan and Sara Quin indie pop duo are as activists. As one sibling has nightmares concerning Smokey the Bear, the other tries to make sense of it all. Looking into what Satanism is and representing the LGBTQ community is deftly examined. The show even pokes fun of our times with Justin Trudeau and Hillary Clinton. With so much socially relevant references made, keeping track was quite the task and I stuck with the pop culture nuances. I thought Where in the World is Carmen Santiago helped paint the second act when the mystery solving duo travelled from London to Istanbul (not Constantinople) to Chernobyl to find a reveal. I won’t say what other movie this show takes a bit of inspiration by, but let’s just say Tom Cruise would most likely approve.

Kelly Hobson
Justine Shore
Taylor Lewis
Angela Kostiniuk
Lauren Ball
Emily De Korte
Mary Lou Butler
Carling Battistuzzi
Trevor Hinton
Wes Borg
Britt Small
Mathew Fleet
Steven Piazza
Tiffany Hannan

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