The money wheel spun and decided that the crowd should unleash a primal yell for 10 seconds; and so the crowd let out the biggest roar that filled Le Petit Campus on Tuesday night. The 13th Hour was underway.
I have never been to a 13th Hour show so I had no idea what to expect. In the past, I’ve hear that it’s one of the festivals greatest features. And that, ladies and gentlemen, was a fact. While the show is used to promote different acts at the festival, the actors aren’t just acting. They are being themselves. In their shows, the actors have a job to do, whether it’s a funny or serious job. But as I learned quickly, the 13th Hour is something else: in the venue’s intimate setting, actors and volunteers were able to relax and goof-off after putting in hours and hours of hard work.
The night started off with a bang, as hosts Al Lafrance and washed-up old-timey rock star Hamhock Velvet warmed up the crowd before welcoming the puppets from the show “Does Not Play Well With Others”. They taught us all about anger before spinning the money wheel and landing on the “primal scream” option (quite fitting with their bit, actually). The “self-proclaimed geekiest troupe” from “Star-Trek: Discovery” took part in a “jock vs. nerd” battle with Lafrance, while the Kathleen Aubert and Simon Fleury from “b2: When boKa rencontre Mazy” performed their bit, only to do the whole thing over again in a 30 second instant replay (again, the wheel controls everything.) Both hosts revealed their festival crushes, which included Mike Carrozza and Sex T-Rex. Before hitting the dance floor, “Rocket to Fame” closed out the hour with a glimpse of their sketch show that features two morticians playing with two cadavres.
My first time at the 13th hour was an absolute blast; and I’m doing it all over again on Wednesday. See you there at 1am.