Innovative variety show celebrates 8 years as a staple on the scene

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Paul Anthony’s Talent Time is many things. A comedy show, an innovative late night talk show, a place to be introduced to talent you didn’t know existed and a physical space to gather and celebrate triumphs of the human spirit. I know that last one sounds new-age-y and a tall order for an often ridiculous evening but that’s exactly what makes Paul Anthony’s Talent Time so consistently satisfying. None of it should work. But it does. Every month. For 8 years.

Photos by Lindsay Elliott for Lindsaysdiet.com
Photos by Lindsay Elliott for Lindsaysdiet.com

To celebrate this milestone, Paul and his hilarious co-host, Ryan Beil, welcome a wide range of guests, including comedian Ryan Williams. Williams moved here on a football scholarship, tried stand-up, quit the team and changed his career path. Also featured is 12 year old entertainer MJ Ancheta, who apparently can perform difficult Mariah Carey songs like a pro. Also, lighting designer Ace Martens is working with the epic band Revered to prepare a light show that claims to shoot an already theatrical, witty, art-rock band into the next stratosphere of entertainment. I’m sure the evening will be made even weirder when art+music collective SpaceMelt explore themes of an “8 year anniversary” that may include a pottery wheel, brightly painted people and possibly some Kung Fu. To help celebrate Valentine’s day, the Talent Time crew will also play a round of the classic game show The Dating Game. One real-life blindfolded bachelorette, comedian Sophie Buddle, will ask questions to 3 eligible bachelors chosen from the audience. Based on their answers, she will pick one bachelor to go on a date with: that Talent Time pays for and, of course, records. I’ve been told the date segment will then be edited into a “blind date” style, with pop up commentary, and shown to the live audience on the subsequent March 3rd show. If that seems like it’s already enough, think again. A court-room artist will join the festivities to document the evening. So, in addition to 4 camera angles cut live and streamed on the Rio’s large screen, they can also display the artist’s rendition at any moment.

Ryan Beil (L), Paul Anthony (R), with Canadian National Yo Yo Champion Harrison Lee.
Ryan Beil (L), Paul Anthony (R), with Canadian National Yo Yo Champion Harrison Lee.

If you have never seen this show before, what are you doing with your life? Netflix and chill when you’re dead. In the meantime, get out the first Thursday of every month to catch what, in my opinion, is the greatest, most consistently surprising show these parts have has ever had to offer. Just put a recurring reminder in your phone now. I will wait.

It’s also a show you can bring your parents too. Or your teenage kids, or co-workers you don’t really know, or a blind date…I once brought a person I just met the night before AND my kooky grandma. And they both loved it. You really will never understand what I’m talking about unless you go. So just go.

Poster design: Chris Alarcon
Poster design: Chris Alarcon

Thursday February 4th at the Rio Theatre. Doors at 7, show at 8. $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Alcohol served right to your seats on the floor for those 19 and over. The balcony is reserved for all ages. The edited version can be seen on Shaw TV 5 times a week, Novus TV twice daily or on YouTube whenever you want.