In case you miss it, there is a giant clue to what you can expect with the juxtaposition of words in the title for Shawn O’Hara’s new solo show.
A follow-up to last year’s Field Zoology 101, O’Hara is back as his alter-ego Professor Bradley Q. Gooseberry in Advanced Field Zoology for Beginners. This year’s lecture supposedly covers the finer points of becoming a zoologist.
Since I missed his introductory course last year, I can only assume this year’s syllabus covers more ground as O’Hara/Gooseberry doesn’t stop at zoology, but covers astronomy, astrology, and cryptozoology. For good measure, he even throws in a lesson on wildlife cooking.
O’Hara accomplishes it all with a clever use of an overhead projector, transparencies, and his fake mustache. O’Hara’s droll delivery only serves to heighten the ridiculousness of his lecture.
For example, did you know there are less than three Orcas in the wild? According to Gooseberry, if you are fortunate enough to see one on a whale watching tour, it is most likely just a fridge.
A charming performer with a keen sense of timing and an often wicked mind, O’Hara appeared to lose a little steam on opening night as he related a story about encountering the “mythical” deer. He redeemed himself admirably with off-the-cuff answers to audience questions gathered prior to the show.
As with last year’s appearance at the Fringe he also appears with Abdul Aziz in a follow-up to their Fake Ghost Tours. I’m looking forward to joining them later in the festival.
Advanced Field Zoology for Beginners continues at the Waterfront Theatre (1412 Cartwright St, Vancouver) as part of the Vancouver Fringe Festival. Visit vancouverfringe.com for tickets and information.