Cast Spotlight: Steve Hobbs

steve-hobbs-high-rez-headshotComedian Steve Hobbs plays sweet but bland insurance salesman, Bruce Baldwin, in His Girl Friday; this is his first production with Bygone Theatre.

Bio: Steve Hobbs is an actor/comedian and a long-time Toronto improviser. A graduate of the Second City Conservatory sketch and Long-form programs, he’s known for his stage performances in hit Toronto Fringe shows like “Behold the Barfly!” (2016, 5N’s – Now Magazine) and performed, co-wrote and produced in “Everything Is Fine” (2014, 4N’s – Now Magazine, 4.5 stars – The Torontoist). In improv, he plays monthly in the James Bond-themed “Double Oh!” show, previously headlined Impatient Theatre Co. comedy nights with “El Fantoma”, and has been featured internationally in various comedy festivals (Detroit Improv Festival, North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival, NYC’s Del Close Marathon). Off-stage, he’s been a writer for The Second City Network, CBC Punchline and the Beaverton, as well as co-wrote the 48 hour film project 2016 finalist “Fumbled”. When he’s not performing, he’s coaching and teaching as part of the Second City Toronto faculty.

How did you hear about Bygone Theatre and this production of His Girl Friday?

I heard about the production through Emily Dix herself at Bygone, but she also close ties to a director/producer team that I go way back with to past Fringe successes and beyond. They kind of recommended me and played match maker a little bit, which was nice. Small world!

What made you want to be involved?/ what do you love about the story?

The theme of professional versions of ourselves clashing with our romantic ideals is something that I not only identify with personally, but it’s also pretty trendy these days (have you SEEN La La Land??). His Girl Friday nails the frustrating balancing act for me, and grabbed me as a lighter, more fun exploration of that same dichotomy and realities.

What’s your favourite old movie?

Uh oh. I know I should probably say “Casablanca” or something, but honestly, its probably more like that 60’s Adam West batman film. Bombs, sharks…it’s basically Casablanca.

Have you been in a show like this before? What else might people have seen you in recently?

I haven’t been in a production set in this particular era before, but I’ve been in multiple successful Fringe shows (“Behold, the Barfly!”, “Everything is Fine”) and make TV/youtube/stage appearances fairly often. I play in a monthly James Bond themed improv show as well, and guest as a comedian when I can.

Why should people come and see the show?

This show has a stellar cast, fast talking drama and comedy, and my character goes to jail a lot. It’s a winner, come watch!

Anything else you want us to know?

It’s my first time working with Bygone, and I’m PUMPED.

See Steve onstage this March in His Girl Friday tickets available online. 

Performer Spotlight – Mullet the Clown

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While clown shows are a staple of Vaudeville, we haven’t seen anything quite like this before. Of course, what’s more Vaudevillian than that? Novelty acts found fame on the Vaudeville stage.

Bio: Jean-Paul Mullét was born in 1726, died in 1747, then washed up onshore 100 years later.

Now for over 16 years, Mullet has been a fixture of the Toronto comedy scene, making him one of this city’s oldest acts. In 2015, he was voted Toronto’s ‘Best Male Improviser’ in the NOW Magazine Readers’ Choice Poll.

Mullet appears regularly in the Toronto Festival of Clowns and Lunacy Cabaret, the longest running circus cabaret in Toronto. The tragicomedy Mullet’s Make-a-Play premiered in the 2011 Toronto Fringe Festival to rave reviews. In 2012, he headlined at The People’s Improv Theatre in NYC to a packed house. Mullet’s Dinosaur Adventure, a family friendly and educational show, sold out at the 2013 Toronto International Circus Festival. From 2011 to 2016, he hosted the hit Mullet’s Night Show, a live comedy variety show done in the style of a late night television talk show. You can see Mullet next in his new play, Mullet’s Ghost Story, every night June 29-July 10 at the 2016 Toronto Fringe.

Television credits include Zoink’d (YTV), the Canadian Comedy Award winning This Movie Sucks (CHCH), and Ed & Red’s Night Party (CityTV/G4), where he was a regular guest star.

For more about Mullet, visit www.meMullet.com.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/meMullet
Twitter: @meMullet

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Cast Spotlight: Eric Miinch

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Eric Miinch plays the sinister Roat in our upcoming production of Wait Until Dark.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself, what do you do when you’re not rehearsing for Wait Until Dark?

I am a professional improviser and sketch comedian. I can be seen with my comedy troupe, Fratwurst.

I am writing my first one man show. It’s about being too good at lying.

I am training myself to lucid dream.

I read everything.

I brew beer and am pursuing a side career as a brewmeister.

2. How did you hear about the show? What made you want to get involved? 

Justin Haigh of Soupcan Theatre informed me of the show. He is a beautiful man.

I always love playing a villain. Roat is a fascinating character with onion like layers. Robert Duvall played him in a very distinct way, but the ambiguity in the character description and the odd demeanour allows an actor to play Roat in a million different ways. And that is bloody fun.

 3. What has been your favourite moment in rehearsal so far?

Fight rehearsal and choreography was great. Specifically when I practiced punching with Abby. Being fake punched by a 14 year old girl and fake punching her back is a great way to spend an evening.

4. How do you prepare for playing a role like Roat? 

I think my sketch and improv background help me to make quick choices and to play Roat. He appears briefly several times throughout the script and it’s important to make an impression immediately! I also draw inspiration from an uncle of mine who also stole dolls and murdered people.

5. Why should everyone come see the show?

Damn good cast and director. Great production team. It’s thriller and it’s a lot of fun! It will be an intimate space which will serve to heighten the text.

6. Anything else you want to add?

I want to thank Daria, Rudolph, Evan and Josh for all their support and patience during rehearsals! Couldn’t do it without you!

I am writing and directing my first play which will premiere at the Toronto Fringe Festival in July. It is a modern telling of the epic poem, Dante’s Inferno.

More info at http://www.fratwurst.com.

See Eric’s sinister side on stage April 14-16th, tickets on sale now.