Students run RIOT

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By André Voshart

It’s Friday at midnight and the cast of RIOT 2004 is alert enough to run through the whole show one more time. They are gassed up on gummy bears and stale muffins. One of them juggles a pink vibrating dildo before going through a skit title “Gyno Pussy.”

“Nothing is off limits anymore,” says show director and second-year radio and television arts student Kristen McGregor. Judging by this year’s show, chock-full of pussies, prostitutes, and pulled finger, she is right.

RIOT is now in its 54th year. Ryerson’s infamous homegrown sketch comedy show is written, acted, directed, and produced by RTA students.

The show is so infamous that it attracts Ryerson alumni.

“It is carrying on an RTA tradition,” McGregor says. “It is all student produced. All Canadian content.”

Maggie McLean, an actor in the show, whose energy and comic timing are impeccable says she would “rather be dead” than stay in the play for her second year.

She is, of course, joking. She explains that after a crappy summer it was great to be with friends and having fun.

The cast insists that while the show is racy and sexual, it isn’t all dirty. “This year we have some good intelligent stuff in addition to the toilet stuff,” says McGregor.

Their repertoire ranges from bathroom humour to parody to the absurd. One particular sketch, “Aunt Dardanella,” should make you laugh till it hurts. Another sketch just plain hurt.

However, not all necessary props and visual aides had arrived. One skit made absolutely no sense until it was revealed an intro video would set it up for the audience.

The cast doesn’t mind looking like fools when they are imitating Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger, or pretending to be playing the bizarre Aunt Dardanella. The risks they take are the selling points.

“A lot of people come out to the show to see people they know act like complete fools,” McGregor says.

But don’t be fooled. It takes hard work to be the fools that they are. As midnight came and went they were still running lines. There was less than a week till showtime.

RIOT is playing at the Eaton Lecture Hall (Rm. 204) in the Rogers Communication Centre. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or in the RCC atrium this week, for $5 ($3 on Sunday).

Showtimes are Friday, March 26 at 8 p.m. and midnight, Saturday, March 27 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 28 at 6 p.m.

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