A Naughty Little New Year’s

Photo courtesy of Aly Figenshaw.

How best to end a year?  Each cycle of the earth around the sun is an occasion worthy of its own celebration.  After an eventful 2013, I felt like doing something particularly special to commemorate the past 12 months.

In the final hours leading up to 2014 my wife, some friends and I headed out to Vancouver’s Rio Theatre for “Patrick Maliha’s Naughty Little New Year’s”.  Together we claimed a whole row of seats at the venue, and with fresh ales and wine filling our cup holders we awaited the performances to come.

First up, after some initial introductions, was Mark Hughes. Drawing from a past of substance abuse, the comedian delivered a dark brand of humour that set the tone for the delightfully debaucherous nature of the rest of the evening.

A subsequent burlesque set by the enticing Melody Mangler had members of the crowd hollering with each cleverly subtracted piece of clothing.  When later she came out again dressed as a provocative bathtub overflowing with bubbles, people were equally ecstatic to watch her artfully strip the costume down to thong and tassels.

The other lady of the lineup, Shirley Gnome, came out for seconds as well, thrilling the audience to laughter with her crass musical hilarity.  Never before had I heard the words “farted on your dick” sung with such pitch-perfect melody.

Another catchy musical number by comedic hip-hop duo Game Genies had me questioning “What’s this?” for the rest of the night, and a shortened performance by magician James Hanson left me wishing I could have seen him try to escape the straightjacket that was present on stage.

After all that it was time for headliner Patrick Maliha, who greeted a crowd that by then was well beyond buzzed.  A highlight of the comedian’s set was his impeccable vocal impressions, among which loaned a disturbing sexual edge to Homer Simpson’s doughnut cravings, while revealing that the voice of Bane really amounts to Sean Connery speaking into a cup.

The interposed witticisms of Art Factora, MC for the evening, kept things moving smoothly from the opening punchlines through to the circulation of champagne just before midnight. The event was a hit, its end and the new year coming much too soon with a flourish of drunken cheers.

Upon the collapse of 2013, my friends and I met outside for one last round of hugs, cigars, and slurred heart-to-hearts.  Then it was off for some much needed fast food grease and a burning of sparklers, because no grand celebration is complete without a little bit of fireworks.

New Year’s Eve at the Rio turned out to be a night of crude jests, exposed skin, and great memories that not even a theatre’s worth of discarded beer cans could erase.  Quite the naughty time indeed, it was one damn fine way to kill off a year.

– Cory Stumpf


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