Dancing, comedy, burlesque, the can-can — it’s all coming to Errington War Memorial Hall for the 14th Night at the Palace Vaudeville and Burlesque Show.
Organized by and featuring locals, the popular show will run for four nights this year: Feb. 16, 17, 23 and 24.
However, tickets will be on sale starting Sunday, Jan. 21 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Errington hall.
Selling for $25, there will be a limit of four tickets per person.
A sort of adult community talent show in the style of vaudeville, about 20 acts are preparing to take the stage for the approximately two-and-a-half hour.
This year will see a lot of comedy, said artistic director Virginia Anderson, not to mention dancing and live music.
“There is a lot of comedy and some of it will be, whether in a musical act or physical comedy. It’s a bit tongue-and-cheek and some of it is a bit cheeky and risque,” she said.
There will also be a special act this year dedicated to a strong supporter of the show over the years who has passed away: David Malek.
“He loved the show and was such a huge driving force in helping to make it happen and keep it going. So we wanted to honour that,” said Anderson.
The acts and music are from or inspired by the vaudeville era from the 1880s to the 1930s. “There are some that are focused a little bit more on burlesque, and that coquettish teasing kind of nature, and others that are just more of a straight up comedy and drawn from some of the comedic greats from that time.”
The latter was how Anderson got her start in the Night at the Palace tradition about seven years ago. A friend convinced her to do a Marx Brothers act before Anderson knew just what Night at the Palace was all about. “Once I did it, I was hooked.”
“I was just amazed by how this community came together,” she said. “It’s such a huge team effort, which I just thought was so amazing. Whether you’re in front of the scenes or behind the scenes, all the work that goes together and bringing everyone together to make this show happen just kind of blew my mind.”
The courage of the performers to put together an act or try something new is another aspect of the show that excites Anderson she said.
“It kind of just showed me how it’s such a safe space for people who might not otherwise feel comfortable coming out and try their hand at singing or a comedy piece or a dance piece,” she said.
“Then also just to see the creativity — people that normally you see around the street, or everyone is into farming usually, and then they just come out and you see this whole other creative side and how people would pull together and help each other out.”
Now as artistic director for the second time, her role is to make space available for anyone who comes forth with an act, and then to help them make that act as good as possible.
“We have act advisors so that each act has somebody that they can go to for support to run things by or just another set of eyes.”
There is also a large force behind the scenes that keep the event running, and of course the Night at the Palace band that plays live throughout the show, except during the annual cancan performance.
While the event is a wild combination of many acts, somehow it all comes together on stage with its own kind of magic, said Anderson.
“(The show) sells out usually within the first couple of hours, and I think that’s what people keep coming back for. I think there’s just a lot of heart and soul that comes in. It’s not necessarily this big broadway production, but it’s just got a lot of spunk and meaning behind it.”
Night at the Palace is also Errington hall’s main fundraiser, raising about $10,000 every year.
For tickets, go to Errington hall (1390 Errington Rd.) on Sunday, Jan. 21 between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. After that, any remaining tickets will be sold at the Errington store.
Also, those attending performances are invited to dress up in period costume.