Say Wha?! slams badly written books with comedic flair
“Say Wha?! Readings of Deliciously Rotten Writing” takes a new spin on your traditional comedy night out, which is welcome news for those getting sick of the usual players and show format.
Instead of relying on the performer to come up with a 100% original act, “Say Wha?!” is based around “readings of deliciously rotten writings.” On the night I dropped in at Main Street’s Cottage Bistro, the ‘education’ lineup included a 1960s swingers advice book, two Twilight rip-offs, a former Wheel of Fortune model’s personal memoir and a local B.C. teacher’s tell-all on her real-life affair with an underage student.
Golden material aside, Say Wha?! relies on the interplay between book and performer, in a novel way that leaves most of the frat boy humour at home. Audience participation is just as important, cries of “say wha?!” goading the performers onto new highs (or lows). The night pokes fun at the pitfalls of dime-a-dozen paperbacks (or is it $4.99 red-sticker discount books? What is the going rate for bargain bin fodder nowadays?) – bad writing, continuity errors, author pseudonyms and blatant copycatting. Say Wha?! mimics the commentary in your head of that ill-considered vacation read, putting badly-written yarns under the close scrutiny of sharp-witted comedians.
The performers couldn’t have been any more different, and this is the great levelling effect of the night. No matter how big (or modest) the name, everyone starts off on the same foot – a novel, a microphone, and an appreciative audience. At $10 at the door, Say Wha?! is a steal for a great night out.
Disclaimer: Vancity Buzz’s Jon Keller, was one of the performers at this particular edition of Say Wha?!