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Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Puppet Up Toronto Tour Diary – Day 15 – Goodnight Toronto! by Grant Baciocco


 November 4, 2013
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I knew this day was coming, but it still hit me…last day of the tour. Last Puppet Up shows for awhile. Last full day in Toronto. The ‘End of Tour’ Blues setting in big time.

After waking up, I worked on my words and got a good 1919 written in my NaNoWriMo novel. It’s coming along. It’s all garbage, but it’s coming along.

I then got ready to head out to the theatre about an hour before our call for the matinee show. I stopped by the theatre to do a quick load of laundry as I realized the day before I’d done my laundry a day early and was now in need or a few more clothing items to wear on our travel day home.

After starting my laundry, I decided on a burger joint that’s right next to the theatre. A place that also sells gelato. While waiting in line Peggy came in so we had a bit of an impromptu lunch date. This place had a flavor of gelato called: Bacio. I thought I deserved a free scoop, seeing as it’s a good portion of my last name. The woman behind the counter was so dour I didn’t press it. Peggy and I had a great time talking about our love for the show and how we hope we get to do it again soon. After our lunch it was time for soundcheck for our final two shows of the run.

The Sunday Matinee show was a ton of fun. Was honored to be in a piece that was really a standout on this tour. It was a new choice scene with me and Colleen and the suggestion was Squirrel Baiting. Colleen had already picked up the red squirrel puppet, her favorite, so the path of the scene was clear. She was the squirrel and I was baiting her. What made the scene so great is Colleen didn’t say a word in the entire scene. It was just me leaving out nuts for her and her advancing and then creeping backwards. It was simple, it showcased puppetry, it was just a really funny scene. It ended with her attacking me and me yelling, “Squirrel Rape!” but other than that it was a classy scene.

Alien Barbershop suggestion was Hunting. My rhyme:

Oh every season,
I got hunting deer.
Never shoot anything
But I kill four cases of beer.


Not the best of the run, but it got a good chuckle. The Sunday matinee crowd was great and after the show I got a chance to chat with puppeteers Kanja Chen and Tom Stewart. Glad to talk to them in person as opposed to virtually. Both great guys.

Took the break between the matinee and the call for the 8PM show to walk back to the hotel and drop off my laundry. Soon it was back to the theatre for the final show.

What a show. This show was just loose and crazy and from the opening moments, the cast just seemed to decide that we were all going to screw with each other. From the opening number to the closing number were were having just as much fun as the audience. In the James Bond number the suggestion for the villain was The Ejaculator. By the end of the song, Ted had run off stage and come back with a bottle of hand sanitizer and created what might have been the single greatest and grossest puppet effect ever performed on stage. I’ll leave it to your imagination as to what he did.

During another scene, Michael was playing a condemned man and I came in as the executioner. After strapping him into the ‘gizmo’ I said something to the effect of, “Clybourn, you have been sentenced to death for your crimes.” Without missing a beat Michael goes, “List them.” It was just so perfect. The audience loved it.

My final Alien Barbershop suggestion was Mediation.

People who meditate,
To you I scoff
I get more relaxed
If I just jerk off.


Dirty, but that’s where it seemed the show was going.
The crowd for the 8PM show was amazing. A great way to wrap up a great tour. After the show the whole cast went to the lobby for photos and then we hustled back to the stage to help Amanda pack up the puppets. We got it done in record time.

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After we went to the Artful Dodger Pub to have a closing night get together. Ironic because that’s where we went the first night after arriving in town.

After the hang out in the pub, it was back to the hotel. Once there I had a nice time talking with Amanda about puppetry and the projects we’ve both worked on. Always super fun to connect with someone who has similar passions as you. Even though we’re on separate coasts, we know a lot of the same people so it was fun figuring out who we both knew.

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Then it was super late and it was time for bed to put the cap on the final day of Toronto shows.

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