Comedian Robert Post

Act not quite at peak, but still hits highs

North Island Concert Society rounds out season with comedy dinner show.

PORT HARDY—The dispassionate observer would point out that comedian Robert Post should have cancelled last weekend’s appearance in Port Hardy.

The North Island Concert Society patron who attended the 2012-13 season finale, on the other hand, would laugh the dispassionate observer off the stage.

Comedian Robert Post, fresh of a tour of the north that included picking up a nasty bug in Prince Rupert, may not have had his “A” game for Saturday’s show at the Civic Centre. But there was no question the veteran performer earned a passing grade from the audience.

From his portrayal of Pasquale, the cooking show host, to Bert, the inept burglar, to a father giving his son a driving lesson on a standard shift, Post evoked familiar themes with an unerring comic timing that drew laughs in all the right places from NICS patrons.

A notable change from the society’s traditional music concert lineup, Post offered up comedy in a format not typically seen here. The Civic Centre has played host to a number of stand-up acts, but the Robert Post Comedy Theatre is a skit-based, physical comedy routine based on pantomime, props and imagery.

It could have been a long night. From the introduction by NICS president Brian Hicks, who called Post a consummate professional for taking the stage while sick, to Post’s own apologetic introduction, there was a sense of pre-emptive excuse-making. But the performer, who was noticeably struggling for breath at times and who, frankly, appeared grey despite the coloured stage lights, was actually pointing out his reliance on sound effects for his act, some of which were not available to him in his condition.

The result was Post dropping of a couple of routines, but impressing in those left available to him, particularly the murder mystery in which he played all six characters in a rapid-fire, quick-change routine behind a small panel that served as a wall, a bathtub and an automobile, as needed.

The season-ending dinner show featured a catered meal by IV’s Quarterdeck Pub, which did an admirable job in its first season as replacement for Malone’s Oceanside Bistro, the NICS’s longtime partner before closing last year.

In addition, dinner music was provided by the North Island Community Band, which received a warm reception from the audience before giving way to Post’s act.

The NICS will commence its 16th season this fall with a new, permanent stage, courtesy of a Community Infrastructure grant. Lineup info and ticket sales will kick off during the 2013 Fall Fair, scheduled for Port McNeill in September.