; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: The Government Inspector - Langara's Studio 58

Sunday, 18 November 2012

The Government Inspector - Langara's Studio 58

I had heard so much about the talent and calibre of Langara's Studio 58 theatre but had yet to go see a show there. There was The Crucible a while back, which I wanted to see, but everytime I tried, it was sold out! Well, I was fortunate enough to catch a preview of their latest production, The Government Inspector.

Anna & Hlestakov - Stephanie Izsak as Anna Andreyevna & Tim W. Carlson as Hlestakov in The Government Inspector on stage @ Studio 58, Langara College until December 2. Photo by David Cooper.

Based on a play from 1836, this newly adapted show stays true to the original with a few modern gags thrown in for good measure. In fact, the gags are plentiful in this burst-out-loud-laughing night of theatre. From bumbling physical comedy to jokes and quips that whiz by if you're not paying full attention, the show had something for everyone. At points when I felt something was so absurd or dumb, there were others in the audience who were bellowing with laughter, and vice versa. I had moments of, "Oh my God, this is SO stupid!!" but yet I could not help smiling and laughing!

Anna, Dobchinsky & Bobchinsky - From Left to right: Jordan Jenkins as Bobchinsky, Stephanie Izsak as Anna Andreyevna & Dallas Sauer as Dobchinsky in The Government Inspector on stage @ Studio 58, Langara College until December 2. Photo by David Cooper.

The Government Inspector is a screwball Russian comedy that involves mistaken identity, silly shenanigans, and a twist ending that left me feeling very satisfied. It kind of reminded me of my favourite movie from the 80s, Clue, with its farce-like comedy and over exaggerated acting. The cast of actors in this show were wonderful. My favourites of the night included Katey Hoffman's gossipy postmistress, the village idiots Dobchinksy and Bobchinsky played by Dallas Sauer and Jordan Jenkins respectively, and the accordion girl whose comedic timing was on point and helped transition the scenes.

Postmistress & Hlestakov - Katey Hoffman as The Postmistress and Tim W. Carlson as The Government Inspector on stage @ Studio 58, Langara College until December 2. Photo by David Cooper. 

At first I was worried because the first scene was set in the Mayor's office, which looked rather uninspired with a single desk and red curtains hanging from the walls. However, it transformed entirely as Scenes 2 and 3 evolved the open space into first a bullet-ridden room at the local run-down inn and then into a luxurious waiting room at the Mayor's extravagant home.

Siona, Joel & Stephanie - From left to right - Siona Gareau-Brennan as Marya Antonova, Joel Wirkkunen as The Mayor & Stephanie Izsak as Anna Andreyevna in The Government Inspector on stage @ Studio 58, Langara College until December 2. Photo by David Cooper.

The show itself revolves around a small Russian town who have caught wind that a government inspector would be visiting to take stock and report back to the mighty Czar about how things were being run in said town. We then meet a visiting disgruntled government clerk, assumed to be the inspector and hilarity ensues.

There is so much going on up on the stage that there will definitely be something for everyone to look at or focus on. For my first Studio 58 production, I was very glad to see that they measure up to all the hype and buzz that they have going for them. If you need a good night of Russian comedy (and really who doesn't) then go check out The Government Inspector!

The Government Inspector runs at Langara's Studio 58 until December 2nd.


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