Troupe offers Gulf troops comic relief
by Tony Lofaro, The Ottawa Citizen
This time, BigTime Murder Productions is heading to the Persian Gulf to entertain the Canadian Forces as part of a touring variety show. Four actors from the company are joining an as-yet-unnamed Ottawa blues-jazz band on the bill.
The 12-day comedy tour of duty comes after the company’s journey last summer to St. Maarten in the Caribbean.
“We’re putting together a 45-minute show of our best interactive bits,” said Peter Dillon, owner of BigTime Murder Productions, a company started 11 years ago to produce murder-mystery theme events and shows for corporate clients.
“Hilariously interactive comedic entertainment is how we refer to it,” he said.
Joining him on the Jan. 31 trip overseas are cast members Jamie Douglas, Gabrielle Mackenzie and Mark Kennedy. The new show is a departure from earlier themes and brings together the best bits from different productions into a comedy package that will be done at a new location, he said.
“We’re going to be using about 20 people from the audience in the show and they will have no briefings, auditions or rehearsals. We’re going to draw them in and make them the stars of the show. The fun for us is so much of it will be unscripted.”
He said there will be a musical medley on a Titanic theme, as well as an interactive poetry bit with a spoof titled Swamp Lake.
Mr. Dillon said: “This is going to be the adventure of a lifetime. Not only are we going to feel great to be able to entertain the troops, it’s also another feather in our cap.”
Carleton Productions of Ottawa producer Suzanne Kukko is putting together the tour for National Defence. She said she saw cast members at a variety show last summer and thought they could bring comedy relief to the troops.
President of BigTime Productions
Professional Actor and Entrepreneur
Peter Dillon, BigTime’s founder and President-At-Large, is a Top Forty Under 40 award recipient and was named one of Ottawa Life Magazine’s Top 50 People. He has been a professional actor for close to 30 years and appeared in dozens of Films, Television shows, Radio / TV commercials, and 1000s of Comedically Interactive Dinner Theatre productions all over the world. Besides being a regular in Big Time’s incredibly popular Murder Mystery shows, Peter can be seen in TV shows Murdoch Mysteries, SUITS, Orphan Black, Saving Hope, Flashpoint, NIKITA, Degrassi The Next Generation, Hell on Wheels, Quantico, to name a few. Over the years he’s shared the screen with Ernest Borgnine, Denzel Washington, Ed O’Neil, Teri Garr, Angelina Jolie, Dan Aykroyd, Sandra Oh, and many others. In 2001, Dillon co-founded A.C.T. (Acting for Cinema and Television), a company that offers screen training courses, and does its part to introduce local performers to casting agents and producers. Learn more about Pete at PeteDillon.com.
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