Fun Palace October Line-up

I’m at the end of my summer adventure. And a beginning of the new one (or two or more.)

There was a Fringe Spectacular, I’ve been at Caravan Farm Theatre running the box office and enjoying the company, and at The Banff Centre and XOXOfest in Portland - both places that are devising ways to co-create a better world with amazing people and new tools.

Tuesday I arrive back in Toronto.

And I’m delighted to announce the line up for The Fun Palace Radio Variety Show - our newest project that brings all of our interests together.

"A real treat. Smart, funny, self-aware but not self-satisfied, it was great live theater that also makes for excellent radio.” - Culturebot.org

BUY TICKETS | Listen to beta episodes

Join us at the Monarch Tavern for two nights and an afternoon of music, stories, questions in the dark and a hard boiled story about philosopher Walter Benjamin.

Each night, the Fun Palace Players - absurdly great talents from Toronto’s theatre and comedy scenes, including Susanna Fournier, Becky Johnson, and Christopher Stanton – along with me hosting and Chris Earle directing - present a detective radio drama about Walter Benjamin, Dramatic Readings of the Internet, to interviews with experts in Toronto politics, neurochemistry, and other topics that matter. And after each show, local musicians will play a live set, Live at the Fun Palace.

Line up of great guests:

Thursday October 2 8pm
The heartbreaking voice of Mr. Thom Gill; writer & designer Malcolm Sutton on non-fiction bestsellers from the 60s and those of today; the wonderful ambient folk of ANAMAI; the very funny, new to town Lucy Hill & Daniel Maslany; the very wonderful Liz Peterson & Matt Smith singing together.

Oh, and questions for Jamie Shannon, the guy running a duck puppet for mayor.

After the show - stay or join us at 10 for
an opening party with a set from
DJ John Caffrey

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Friday October 3 8pm

Questions in the dark with Toronto income disparity researcher David Hulchanski ; songs from musicians, actors and fantastic people Paul Braunstein and Ajineen Sagal; a tale from author and editor of Little Brother Magazine, Emily M. Keeler; beautiful music from Isla Craig; hilarious news with Jessica Moss; and the one and only Ryan Kamstra

10pm “Live at the Fun Palace”
a full-blown Murder Folk Night

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Saturday Afternoon
A special afternoon show or as we call it:
Pre-gaming for Nuit Blanche”

with Theatre Centre scientist in residence Dr. Tanya Suvendrini Lena from CAMH; songs for the baby grand piano from Laura Barrett; the cast of Concord Floral; Music from our very own Music Director Jonathan Adjemian and more surprises - some of them from the United Kingdom and some of the other 100+ Fun Palaces happening around the world this weekend.**

6pm Live at the Fun Palace

To be announced. But you should already plan to come.

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Fun Palace Season One Launches

 Christopher Stanton and Susanna Fournier. Photo by Trevoe

Christopher Stanton and Susanna Fournier. Photo by Trevoe

For immediate release: August 27, 2014
Please include in listings and announcements
Media contact: Amy Lam amyclam@gmail.com
Phone: (416) 827-4503


Small Wooden Shoe presents

The Fun Palace Radio Variety Show

October 2, 3, 4;  November 6, 7, 8; and December 4, 5, 6
Toronto ON  

A live show and podcast from the acclaimed experimental theatre company Small Wooden Shoe.

Jacob Zimmer and friends launch the first season of a groundbreaking new project that combines the best of old time vaudeville and music hall revues with contemporary theatre and podcasts.

A real treat. Smart, funny, self-aware but not self-satisfied, it was great live theater that also makes for excellent radio. - Culturebot.org

Both incredibly entertaining in person and as an online entity … a variety of content for our listening pleasure. - Tunes for Tea

Part theatrical experience, part podcast, The Fun Palace Radio Variety Show mashes-up historical vaudevilles and revues, the golden age of radio, The Muppet Show, and CODCO with doses of the best in radio programs like This American Life, Spark, Radiolab, and Prairie Home Companion.

Each night, the Fun Palace Players – exciting talents from Toronto’s theatre and comedy scenes, including Susanna Fournier, Becky Johnson, and Christopher Stanton – along with host Jacob Zimmer, present everything from a detective radio drama about Walter Benjamin, to Dramatic Readings of the Internet, to interviews with experts in Toronto politics, neurochemistry, and other topics that matter. All of this is woven together with special guest musicians, storytellers, and comedians… and after the show, local musicians play a live set, Live at the Fun Palace.

Named after the visionary “Fun Palaces” –  radical concept buildings imagined by influential architect Cedric Price and renowned theatre director Joan Littlewood, merging the arts and sciences under one roof for the pleasure and education of the public – the Fun Palace Radio Variety Show brings big ideas into an intimate setting.

Launching this fall on the 100th anniversary of Joan Littlewood’s birthday, the Fun Palace Radio Variety Show joins over 100 Fun Palaces worldwide – including in the UK and Iceland – that will pop up in locations as various as theaters and swimming pools to celebrate Littlewood’s revolutionary concept.

Intimate, fun, vulnerable and smart, Small Wooden Shoe engages with the world in an honest, informal way while maintaining the need to step up and entertain. Small Wooden Shoe has presented vital new work dealing in both scientific and theatrical traditions including Dedicated to the Revolutions, a show about the seven scientific revolutions and their effect on our lives (Buddies in Bad Times, 2009; Touring 2010-2), and a reading of The Life of Galileo for Tracy Wright (2010).

A Small Wooden Shoe project
Produced and hosted by Jacob Zimmer
with the Fun Palace Players including Christopher Stanton, Susanna Fournier, and Becky Johnson under the direction of Chris Earle with music direction from Jonathan Adjemian sound by Richard Feren

New special guests each night, including Jessica Moss, Fiver, David Hulchanski, Thom Gill, Malcolm Sutton, Anamai, the cast of Concord Floral, Isla Craig and more.

Live shows
at the Monarch Tavern
October 2, 3, 4;  November 7, 8, 9; and December 4, 5, 6
$12 /ticket
Purchase online: http://funpalace1.eventbrite.ca/

Podcasts released weekly 
on iTunes at: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/fun-palace-radio-variety-show/id912005674?mt=2
on the web: funpalace.ca/episodes

Season One launches October 6th

Beta episodes recorded November 2013 and February 2014 live now

 Jacob Zimmer and Richard Feren. Photo by Trevor Schwellnus.

Jacob Zimmer and Richard Feren. Photo by Trevor Schwellnus.


Fun Palace gets some nice press

After a great and productive Edition at the Rhubarb (that I'm about to start editing and releasing) we got a couple of nice mentions.

The first at Tunes for Tea where the unnamed writer said:

It is both incredibly entertaining in person and as an online entity- featuring interviews, parodies, continued chapters of radio dramas, and storytelling among a "variety" of content for our listening pleasure. 

Read the whole thing and watch a video of musical guest Stewart Legere here.

The second is at Culturebot. Andy Horwitz visited Canada for a conference about criticism and wrote about it – he also saw TDT's voyager by Ame Henderson, Jennifer Castle and the TDT crew, and some shows at Rhubarb including the Fun Palace.

I gotta say it was a real treat. Smart, funny, self-aware but not self-satisfied, it was great live theater that also makes for excellent radio. 

Read the whole thing HERE. The performance review stuff is near the bottom.

As a (¿recovering?) New York downtown theatre nerd and a long time reader of Culturebot, I'll admit to being pretty into being mentioned.

Now I'm writing grants and plotting the launch of the first full Fun Palace season in October. SIGN UP for emails if you want to keep informed.