Melody gives way to merriment in NICS finale

NICS to round off season with multi-faceted act next Saturday.

PORT HARDY—The North Island Concert Society has wrapped up the music portion of its 2012-13 season, but it does have one last show remaining next Saturday, Apr. 20.

Instead of guitars, drums and keyboards, the Civic Centre stage will be graced by a magician, a juggler, a puppeteer, a mime, a sound-effects technician, a dancer and a comedian.

His name is Robert Post.

Post, a rubber-limbed, one-man variety show, can cover so much ground by himself that his act is called Robert Post Theatre. He will wrap up the concert society’s 15th season in its annual dinner show, which will be catered this spring by IV’s Quarterdeck Pub.

Post marks the first NICS appearance for a comedy act since the society brought in the Vancouver Theatre Sports improv troupe in advance of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Over the course of the evening, patrons may see him dance a tango with a pair of red long johns; portray a cooking show host battling a recalcitrant fish; drive a car in the company of his puppet, a Grade 3 version of Post himself; mime the world’s most inept burglar on a would-be break in; or play all six parts in a mini murder mystery, complete with gender-bending quick changes featuring a variety of wigs and hats.

Many of Post’s acts are accompanied by sound effects, either recorded or self-produced. He’s also a threat to juggle anything that’s not nailed down.

Post also performs shows crafted for young audiences, and has performed in thousands of schools in his career. That will continue following his Civic Centre performance, when he visits schools in Port Hardy and Port McNeill as part of the Arts in Schools program Apr. 22-23.

The concert society hopes Post is the last performer to appear on the Civic Centre’s portable panel stage. Society director Malcolm Fleeton announced this week that NICS has been approved for $42,500 of the $50,000 it requested from a provincial community infrastructure grant to build a custom, permanent stage at the Civic Centre.

The society has previously received backing from the District of Port Hardy and the Lions Club in the venture, which would provide a surface suitable for dancers and other acts who have not been able to use the sectional stage.

“Our hopes and plans are for the stage to be ready for the beginning of next season,” said Fleeton.

An evening with Robert Post Theatre begins with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. and dinner served at 6 p.m. While Post is not a musical act, a variety of jazz, swing and pop/rock tunes will be provided by the North Island Community Band during dinner. Post takes the stage at 7:30.

Tickets are $45 and are available only in advance through Saturday, Apr. 13 through the society’s usual outlets — For Scrap Sake, Port Hardy Museum and Cafe Guido in Port Hardy; at The Flower Shoppe in Port McNeill; and in Port Alice by calling Gail Neely at 250-284-3927. To check on availability of seats after Saturday, call 250-949-7778.