By Vanessa Markov
Photos by Vanessa Markov

Theater. Comedy. Music. Improv. Pop Culture. Beer. This is a basic rundown of what you get at just ONE Players show, and it’s just as awesome as it sounds.

The modernized comedy cabaret was originally started by Queen’s University alumni as a platform for aspiring professionals, and has since opened its doors to include young and aspiring performers from various backgrounds.

This year’s production – which opens at The Tranzac Club on June 2 and runs six shows ending June 11 – is a hysterical mashup inspired by hit TV show The Walking Dead and the beloved classic 90s movie Clueless.  Pulling characters, famous lines, and scenes from both, The Clueless Dead creates its own story plot that causes a clever collision of two very different worlds.

But even if you’re not a huge fan of the show or movie, countless other current events references will keep you tickled, especially “Justin”, a lead character who is supposed to refer to Clueless star Cher’s older step brother, but instead impersonates Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with SNL-worthy accuracy.

Music is also a key component of the performance, where characters break mid-scene to sing and dance to hits ranging from Led Zeppelin to Backstreet Boys to Blink 182. The songs are hilariously choreographed and have absolutely nothing to do with the main plot line – and there’s more:

Against any and all traditions of attending live musical theater, show goers are encouraged to interact with and pass drinks to the cast, who are more or less required to improvise on the fly and incorporate catching a buzz into their role, making The Clueless Dead a true one-of-a-kind variety gong show.

Wait, there’s more!

Ever since its inception in 2004, 100% of ticket sale proceeds are donated to different board-selected charities each year, essentially rounding out the maximum level of awesome that Players can possibly be.

Despite selling out the small club every year, Players complete absence of profit motive and pure intent to push artistic boundaries for maximum entertainment value has left the annual show relatively out of the public eye. But, after watching the epic “drunk run” dress rehearsal last week and talking to Artistic Director, Matty Burns, who is responsible for bringing more awareness to the cause, I have a really great feeling that’s all about to change.

Tickets are an astoundingly cheap $15-25 and can be found here. Hurry up, they’re almost sold out!