Grindstone Theatre to bring ‘The 11 O’Clock Number’ to Sylvan Lake

Comedic performances to showcase excitement of improv

11 O’CLOCK NUMBER - The cast of Grindstone Theatre’s latest production

11 O’CLOCK NUMBER - The cast of Grindstone Theatre’s latest production

Fresh off an international Fringe Festival tour, Grindstone Theatre will be in Sylvan Lake with The 11 O’Clock Number: Life is a Musical on Saturday, February 4 at 8 p.m. at the Community Centre.

The 11 O ’Clock Number! Life is a Musical is an improv show that creates a musical comedy on the spot based on the suggestions from the audience. Every show is unique and features a line up of the finest improvisers from Grindstone Theatre’s talented roster.

Appropriate for ages 12 and up, an audience member’s life story is turned into a musical, including duets, group numbers, and even some dance.

“You can see your life on stage in this show that your community won’t want to miss,” states a press release for the show. “The 11 O’Clock Number presents 90 minutes of improvised entertainment that unveils scenes, songs, and choreographed numbers completely off the cuff based on an ongoing dialogue with your audience. In Life is a Musical an interview with someone in the audience will inspire the entire show.”

Michelle Houle, Special Events Co-ordinator for the Town of Sylvan Lake explained they are looking forward to having the show come to town. She added they were fortunate to grab one of the last tour spots available upon finding out the show was heading on the road.

Rachel Kent, tour manager for Grindstone Theatre and improv artist in The 11 O’Clock Number, explained the energy of a good improv show is truly unbeatable.

“Improv is a form of community your only as good as the people you’re on stage with,” she explained. “There’s this collective hive mind that appears through improv. It’s so magical when you’re able to help work together to weave this story along then all of a sudden your brains just click together and everyone is in sync.”

A staple of the Edmonton Fringe Festival since 2013, The 11 O’Clock Number: Life is a Musical has toured to many arts festivals across North America, including Orlando, Regina, Winnipeg, Calgary, New York City and Victoria. Garnering great reviews along the way the show also garnered “best improv show” at the Victoria Fringe Festival, and Best Venue Pick for the Calgary Fringe Festival.

Kent said she felt the cultural benefits of Fringe Festivals are vast. She added, having the chance to tour Fringe Festivals offered the improv group the chance to fine tune their show in a supportive environment.

“It’s a great chance for artists to try out their amazing ideas that need a chance to fine tune their productions,” said Kent. “Doing the Fringe tour allows you to do the show continuously and receive feedback from a wide range of audiences.”

Since returning from their Fringe Tour, Grindstone Theatre has also begun putting on weekly shows in Edmonton at Holy Trinity Anglican Church just off Whyte Avenue in the city’s entertainment district. The shows take place at 11 p.m. each week inside the church.

Doors open for the show in Sylvan Lake on February 4 at 7:30 p.m. with the show set to start at 8:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchashed at the Recreation & Culture Office for $15 in advance or $20 at the door.

jenna.swan@sylvanlakenews.com