On a Sunday morning over coffee, Linda Kash and Pat Maitland are busy cutting out paper snowflakes.
“I make the worst snowflakes,” Pat says, holding up one of her snowflakes.
“It looks more like a moustache,” Linda points out.
The snowflakes are props for Linda and Pat’s upcoming comedy show klusterfork It’s Winter! Still., which comes to the stage at Market Hall Performing Arts Centre in downtown Peterborough on Friday, February 21st.
The second show under the klusterfork banner features Second City alumni Geri Hall from This Hour has 22 Minutes, Lisa Merchant, Ed Sahely, and Linda Kash with local performers Pat Maitland, Meg Murphy, and Andrew Root, as well as special musical guest Dan Fewings — known for his improvisational musical comedy with The Three Martinis.
Linda and Pat, along with Ian Burns, are the creative team behind klusterfork entertainment, the production company they launched last November with the goal of raising comedy in Peterborough to the next level.
Their first show, klusterfork It’s Christmas— which quickly sold out — brought Second City alumni Paul Constable, Patrick McKenna, Deborah Kimmett, and Ed Sahely to the Market Hall, performing along with Linda and Pat, Meg Murphy, Dianne Latchford, and special musical guest Paul Crough.
“What we want to do with klusterfork entertainment is to offer a smorgasbord of comedic entertainment,” Linda says. “We’ll definitely have improv, but we want to bring in music and stand-up as well.”
“You never know what you’re going to get when you come to a klusterfork show,” adds Pat. “We’re going to work on the strengths of who we bring in.”
“Every show is going to be a unique performance,” Ian confirms. “You’re not just coming to an improv show. It’s a klusterfork show.”
Although the klusterfork shows will most often be based around holidays, Linda, Pat, and Ian decided that the upcoming show would be all about getting through the long, cold winter.
“It’s February, it’s winter” Linda says. “We’re all getting sick of it … although some of us love it. And March is a big fat lie because it’s also winter. But we are at least halfway.”
“Everyone loves winter in the first few weeks, around Christmas, but as soon as that’s done everything goes down,” Ian adds. “This is a chance for everyone to come together and have fellowship so we can get through winter together.”
“Why don’t we help everybody get through it, just like we helped everyone get through Christmas with the first show?” Pat asks. “We can’t fight it. It’s best to just put on our thermals and get out there and have fun with it.”
Peterborough has a known love for improv and comedy shows, starting with Impros vs. Joes, started by Linda’s late husband Paul O’Sullivan, which brought Toronto-based comedy professionals to Peterborough to intermingle with Peterborough improv enthusiasts.
klusterfork entertainment aims to continue this tradition by having big-name comedians take part in their shows. For the February show, two of Canada’s top female comedians are joining in the fun.
“We are really excited to have Lisa Merchant with us,” says Linda. “She’s been awarded best female improviser in Canada three times by the Canadian Comedy Awards. She’s crazy good. She’s inspirational, hilarious, and she never panics.”
“We sold tickets within 24 hours when people found out Lisa was coming,” Pat says. “She has quite a following.”
“We also have Geri Hall, who was on This Hour Has 22 Minutes,” Linda adds. “She’s a great gal and is looking forward to coming.”
While the main goal of klusterfork entertainment is to make the audience laugh, they also want to give back to the community. So a portion of the proceeds from klusterfork shows will be given to local charities throughout Peterborough.
“We love our community, and we want to make a few bucks for local charities,” Linda explains.
“We pick a different charity every month,” Pat adds. “At Christmas, we chose Five Counties Children’s Centre and we were thrilled to give them one thousand dollars. This time, we are giving to the Youth Emergency Shelter.”
With booking continuing as far as December 2021, the klusterfork team have a lot of plans for the next two years. But klusterfork seeks to go far beyond just seasonal improv comedy shows. As a production company, they are seeking to revolutionize comedy in Peterborough.
While Peterborough audiences have an appetite for improv comedy, the comedy landscape has otherwise been sparse. klusterfork aims to change that by expanding opportunities for performance and education.
“We want to encourage local and touring companies to come to Peterborough,” Linda adds. “There is also an opportunity for teaching. We want to offer master classes with the people that we bring in from Toronto as well. That’s the next expansion.”
“Since we all have a history in production, we want to grow with that,” Pat says. “If someone is touring a show, we want to bring it in.”
Join Linda, Pat, Ian and all their guests at 8 p.m. on Friday, February 21st at the Market Hall as they forge a new era of comedy in Peterborough — and help us deal with the winter doldrums — at klusterfork It’s Winter! Still.
Tickets are $35 for assigned cabaret table seats and $30 for general admission ($20 for students, arts workers, and the underwaged). There is also a group rate of $25 for 10 or more people. Ticket prices include all fees. Tckets are available at the Market Hall box office at 140 Charlotte Street (third floor), by phone at 705-749-1146, or online at markethall.org.
For more information on klusterfork entertainment, visit www.klusterfork.com.
kawarthaNOW.com is proud to be a media sponsor of klusterfork entertainment’s klusterfork It’s Winter! Still.