Burnt Tongue runs Oct. 25 to 29 to finish the 50th Anniversary Alumni Festival. Visit finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/phoenix/ for ticket and showtime information.

Burnt Tongue runs Oct. 25 to 29 to finish the 50th Anniversary Alumni Festival. Visit finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/phoenix/ for ticket and showtime information.

Spontaneous clown anchors Phoenix festival

Third solo show finishes season-opening alumni showcase

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, including the adult antics of Shannan Calcutt’s clown character Izzy.

Writer, actor, instructor and clown extraordinaire Calcutt is a decade-long Las Vegas performer in Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity. The show’s co-comedic director and the clown coach for Cirque’s resident shows, Calcutt is best known as Izzy, the charming and radiant clown with the keen sense of timing and a razor sharp wit.

“I’m doing Izzy in Vegas but she’s certainly more grown up than she is in the play I’m bringing to UVic,” Calcutt said in a phone call from Vegas.

In Burnt Tongue, Izzy met a man on the internet. She decides he’s ‘the one’ and arrives for their blind date wearing a wedding dress.

“She’s just very prepared to be spontaneous. She’s ready so anything can happen,” Calcutt said.

It’s a return to the Island and a return to the show. The last time Calcutt performed Burnt Tongue was in Halifax more than a decade ago when it was filmed for Singular series.

She’s been back to UVic a number of times, as a guest artist in the early 2000s, and to teach a handful of clown intensives followed by performances.

“I have been back but it’s been at least 11 years. I am very excited to come back. It’s going to be very fun,” she said. “I love to be on the Island. It’s a pretty different feeling than being here. I’m looking forward to that sense of community.”

Burnt Tongue, co-written by Sue Morrison, has been running since 1999 and anchors the trio of solo shows that make the 50th Anniversary Alumni Festival at Phoenix Theatre.

Forever intertwined by their UVic connections, the alumni festival started with the the One-Man Marathon of Charlie Ross, which was directed by TJ Dawe who then took on the second show with The Slipknot.

“I’m honoured. They are extraordinary artists and incredible human beings as well,” Calcutt said. “We were all there at the same time. We all worked together, we were all in shows together and have and a relationship since the Phoenix.”

In the early days she wound up working in Barkerville with Charlie, and then just recently had him out to Vegas where he was working with her husband. They stay connected, and perhaps in part because of the similarities of how each crafted a career.

“TJ and Charlie and I have made our own breaks. For me I was interested in viewing my own work,” Calcutt said. A former mime teacher phrased it best: “He said ‘Why would you wait for someone to cast you in their project which you don’t believe in, which you’re not inspired to do, and work with someone who is not top top in his field.’ It was an eye opener.

“All three of us create our own material and tour it on a large scale, distance I mean. It’s huge. Even if you’re an actor who really wants to be cast in mainstream theatre a show of your own is a huge showcase.”

She’s grateful for her opportunities to first be a student, then guest instructor at UVic and anticipates a fond return, hopefully featuring a few familiar faces.

“UVic is a really special place. It’s one of those things where you leave and in reflection have an even greater sense of respect. To be invited back … and that they’re doing this big festival it’s an honour,” she said. “It’s a fun homecoming. UVic to me has always been a real sense of community. Everybody really wanted you to do well so it’s a special place to be.”

Each performance features a post-show talk back with the artist, quite a departure from Vegas. She goes from entertaining 1,300 a night to the more intimate Bishop Theatre.

“I’m also very excited about having that intimate opportunity to meet people and connect with them. … People have always connected so strong with Izzy,” she said. “I think that’s going to be very refreshing for me.”

 

Burnt Tongue runs Oct. 25 to 29 to finish the 50th Anniversary Alumni Festival. Visit finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/phoenix/ for ticket and showtime information.

 

 

Just Posted

Co-creatorsAdrianna Hatton and Malcolm McKenzie stand next to the little free library revealed Sunday at 9710 First St. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Literary crowd helps opens little free library in Sidney

Located at 9710 First St., the book sharing box features original art and reclaimed wood

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

The barred owl is the most likely to be spotted in the south Island. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Barred owls dominate Greater Victoria owl-scape

Western screech owl population decimated, partly due to barred owls

Between June 1 and 7, 168 net unconditional sales were made for properties in the VREB region. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria home sales slightly behind last June’s pace

Benchmark value of single-family home in Greater Victoria tops $1 million

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read