A&E » Arts

Where Santa and Star Wars collide

The Chairlift Revue returns with Whistler in skit form — plus Gibbons and Brownlie



It's almost (chair) lift-off!

The Chairlift Revue Christmas Special is back and co-organizer Heather Paul is into the home stretch of rehearsals and putting glitter on costumes.

The annual series of comedy skits pokes gentle fun at Whistler locals and the visitors the resort attracts — with all the action contained in a chairlift going up the mountain.

This year, Santa meets Stars Wars, thanks to the opening night of the latter also taking place this week. There is also a dose of Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

A few local heavyweights make appearances onstage. Gibbons Hospitality Group owner Joey Gibbons joins in — with Paul giving hints of an elf filming a reality TV show not unlike Gibbons' show Après Ski.

And president and CEO of Whistler Blackcomb, Dave Brownlie, will be there, taking a rare day off. It's so rare that they've named the show after it.

Whistler Fire Chief Geoff Playfair will also tread the boards.

Paul says their involvement is thanks in part to the turn onstage by Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden last year.

What's it like to get Brownlie and Gibbons?"I'm so excited and proud of our community. I'm proud of them saying yes to doing this," Paul says.

"It was a whim. We decided to ask and there was no hesitation. That Dave and Joey said yes, (was) to my absolute surprise. I'm disappointed in myself for being surprised. It's a testament to how great this place is.

"But you are warned. There are definitely some jokes that are not for the faintest of hearts."

The Chairlift Revue: Dave Brownlie's Day Off takes place on Thursday, Dec. 17 and Friday, Dec. 18, at the Maury Young Arts Centre.

Tickets are $20 for WAC members and $22 for non-members. The show is 19-plus. There will be a cash bar.

Tickets may be gone by the time you read this, but there were still some left for both nights at the time of writing.

It's the second year that the Chairlift Revue has been part of the Whistler Art's Council's Performance Series.The review skits are satirical comedy, but with a respectful tone, Paul adds.

"We make fun of ourselves. We do that in Whistler. But our shows are extremely nonpartisan, except for maybe we're all against Donald Trump," Paul laughs.

"The people who are here in this community are here for one reason — to have fun, primarily. To live our lives and be kind."

Writers this year include Paul, her co-director Angie Nolan, G.D. Maxwell, Christopher Boulton and Jennifer Mann.

"We have a couple of new writers. We workshopped them to allow them to take shape," Paul says.

"There's a lot of new blood this year so we hope this is something we are handing down."