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Comedian takes a bow at Stage Struck!

By: Anna Borowiecki

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 06:00 am

PERSONALITY OVERLOAD – Barbara North is a rare breed – a female standup comedian who has been able to achieve national success.
PERSONALITY OVERLOAD – Barbara North is a rare breed – a female standup comedian who has been able to achieve national success.
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Stage Struck!
Feb. 21 and 22
Walterdale Theatre
10322 – 83 Ave.
Tickets: Three session pass $28 to $35, single pass $12 to $14. In advance call 780-420-1757 or online at or at door

Barbara North is a rare breed – a female stand-up comedian who has enjoyed national success.

The former St. Albert resident has written sassy scripts for both CBC and CTV and received numerous invites to present witty, penetrating routines such as Everything I Didn’t Need to Know I Learned in Grade 9.

“My comedy is about laughing and also feeling good. My mission is to entertain, but also to lighten people’s loads. When people walk out, they’ll feel better,” North says.

Next weekend, North is one of 10 playwrights who will come together for Stage Struck! 2014, a two-day adult festival running on February 21 and 22 at Walterdale Theatre.

Sponsored by the non-profit Alberta Drama Festival Association, the festival brings together amateur and community theatre groups presenting a series of one-act plays.

While most of the plays are comedies, drama and multi-disciplinary constructions, North’s is the only stand-up routine.

Revolving around three L’s, learning life’s lessons, her segment is titled Why Didn’t Oprah Tell Me??

“She probably tried, but I wasn’t listening,” laughs North.

The Stage Struck! version of Why Didn’t Oprah Tell Me?? is a 15-minute sampling of a larger work North hopes to present at the Edmonton Fringe this coming August.

The routine is composed of three characters that learn important life lessons and deliver wisdom in unexpected ways.

The characters are Rene, a mannish woman; Esther Kruekshank, a woman always nattering to an invisible husband, and Lorraine Duchampion, a woman who boldly delivers peppery comments.

“Wisdom comes from the strangest places,” North muses. She adds that the project started about 18 months ago when she jotted down anything she’d learned or felt was worthwhile learning.

“I even asked friends to send me bits of wisdom. I now have a repository that I call Barbara-isms. And I thought, life isn’t always easy. Why not share what I have?”

And although it’s difficult to create an entire set, North will be robed in costume.

Below is full slate of productions for Friday and Saturday.

Friday at 7 p.m.

• Grace in Exile by Maria Colonescu and Nicole Grainger

A multi-disciplinary play that uses Japanese Butoh and modern dance to tell a dialogue-based story of a young girl who runs away from home to join the circus.

• sonofabitch by Michele Vance Hehir

It’s late morning in a hotel room. It could be Mexico, but probably it doesn’t matter.

Saturday at 1 p.m.

• FAITH by Tai Grauman

What is an illness? Is it coughing? Sneezing? Or is it all in your mind? Is it showing through the hurt?

• Last Night and Forever by Phil Kreisel

There’s been a murder and there are mysterious comings and goings in an apartment shared by two women. Then things get weird.

• Why Didn’t Oprah Tell Me?? by Barbara North

Three characters share a few light-bulb moments on the eve of turning 50.

Saturday at 7 p.m.

• Bridge by Sara Elliott

Two men descend into mutual distrust and paranoia while trying to share the same property.

• Of Biblical Proportions by Gerald Osborn

Welcome to the Forbidden Fruit Bar and Grill, Sodom and Gomorrah’s trendiest nightspot. Your servers will be Adam and Eve and the special is “fire and brimstone raining down from heaven.”


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