Andrew Allen performed for two intimate crowds of 50 at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Oct. 17. (Camillia Courts Photography)

Comedy returns to Vernon’s stage amid COVID-19

Cabaret-style shows let audience in on the live action once again

COVID-19 can’t stop comedy shows in Vernon.

The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society is bringing comedian Mike Dealont to its stage Saturday, Nov. 14, for two physically-distanced shows.

Delamont’s Socially Distanced Stand Up Comedy Tour is the second performance to take the VDPAC’s stage in its SPOTLIGHT OnSTAGE Concert Series.

“When COVID-19 hit, it shut our industry down. I have had 140 shows in five countries cancelled this year, so the chance to get out in front of people has been a real treat.” Delamont said. “Audiences are much smaller, and socially distanced, but folks are so keen for a night of comedy in this bizarre year that it really makes for a wonderful evening.”

The audience will take their seats in a cabaret-style on the main stage. This unique setup lets audience members up close — but not too close — in an intimate performance.

The award-winning standup comedian will bring his acclaimed, family-friendly comedy for two shows where he’ll talk everything from marriage to bidets.

Delamont started his standup career in 2011. He’s played shows in Las Vegas’ iconic Rio Hotel and Casino and the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City. In 2013, Delamont was nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award for Break Out of the Year. In 2014, he had his television debut at the Halifax Comedy Festival and taped a set for the world-famous Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal.

With a total of 11 cities and 22 performances, Delamont’s Socially Distanced Stand Up Comedy Tour kicks-off on Nov. 7, in Courtney, before landing in Coquitlam, making stops in the Kootenays and continuing to Golden and finally wrapping up in the South Okanagan, making this mini B.C. tour the new reality for performers.

Delamont is no stranger to the VDPAC stage.

“I’m very happy to be coming back to Vernon,” Delamont said. “I have been there three times now previous shows and we have always had such a fantastic time. I have had my stand up on The Debaters, Halifax Comedy Festival and Just For Laughs, but I haven’t ever brought it to the Okanagan so I am very excited for the opportunity.”

VDPAC artistic director Erin Kennedy said Delamont will make you laugh “until your cheeks hurt.”

Tables for the event are sold online in advance for groups of two, four and six persons. Tickets start at $80. Interested parties can contact the Ticket Seller Box Office at 250-549-7469 or order online at ticketseller.ca.

“Our OnSTAGE Concerts format can accommodate different types and styles of live performance, “ VDPAC executive director Jim Harding said of the new style of shows.

“We continue to work with our partner presenters to participate in the increasing number of regional tours by established, B.C.-based artists, so you can expect Erin to be adding concerts of all types for the foreseeable future. People are hungry for safe, highly enjoyable nights out for live performance,” he said. “Andrew Allen’s concerts proved that, so this is what we can offer over this challenging time.”

Allen was the first to grace the stage amid the COVID-19 pandemic where he played two sold-out back-to-back shows.

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