A bit risqué, but never filthy, Fifty Shades of Vinyl: A Canadian Parody re-imagines CBC’s much loved Vinyl Café for two shows at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre.
On Feb. 23 and March 2, three original stories that thrust Dave and Morley, now lovingly renamed Dale and Marnie, into a series of sexual misadventures that are sure to have you howling with laughter, is coming to Chilliwack.
Performer Nico Dicecco, who wrote the show alongside his writing partner Kyle Carpenter, is a consummate storyteller. Fifty Shades of Vinyl: A Canadian Parody offers sharp writing and a spot-on impression of Stuart McLean. Dicecco fully embodies Stuart McLean, the original host of Vinyl Café, in this affectionate tribute to the iconic Canadian storyteller.
“Ultimately, where Dale and Marnie start, is in a very conventional and stereotypical relationship,” explained Dicecco about the characters of his stories. “Where they end up is in a place where they have to communicate — they have to connect, and they have to care about one another’s needs, as their own ideas of what is sexually possible in their lives is expanding.”
Vinyl Café was a CBC Radio show hosted by McLean that heavily featured the ‘Dave and Morley Stories,’ tales about a fictional Toronto family. The name, Vinyl Café, referred both to the show’s musical content, but also to the fictional record shop owned by McLean’s character Dave.
“Hearing The Vinyl Café on the radio is the earliest memory I have of realizing how incredible storytelling can be. I was listening in the car and when we got home I refused to let my mom turn off the radio until the story finished. I was enraptured. Since then, I’ve been a fan of Stuart McLean, usually listening to his CDs on road trips. There’s a way that The Vinyl Café has of weaving itself into really great family memories.”
“As for Fifty Shades of Grey… I really don’t know much of anything about it. I read two pages once and didn’t care for the writing. We just liked the title.”
Dicecco has been doing McLean impressions since 2008, but in 2013, he and Carpenter started crafting those impressions into a show.
“It started as a party trick that my co-writer Kyle Carpenter and I would do years and years ago to make friends laugh, just saying the dirtiest things we could think of in Stuart McLean’s voice. Eventually, we decided it would be funny to write a full story and record it as a podcast. As we were writing that, we discovered that the whole thing worked best if we pulled back on the really dirty humour and tried as hard as possible to capture what it would actually be like if Stuart McLean revealed the intricacies of Dave and Morley’s sex life,” says Dicecco, and less really becomes more. “We managed to record one story, but then we decided that the project was strong enough to work as an hour long live theatre performance.”
The couple’s adventures are definitely not for the CBC, but the stories never feel dirty; rather, they are funny, heart-warming and sweet with a positive message. It really doesn’t get much more Canadian than this.
Fifty Shades of Vinyl: A Canadian Parody is coming to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on Feb. 23 and March 2 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25, and can be purchased at the Centre Box Office, online at www.chilliwackculturalcentre.ca, or by calling 604-391-SHOW(7469).