Sometimes you love them, and sometimes you hate them.
But any small-town VanIsle audience should find Candice Roberts’ “Larry” very familiar.
Larry is your local, well-meaning, not-so-undercover alcoholic, salt-of-the-earth dude trying to adapt to “new-fangled” lingo.
“Just pulling the ‘dude’ out of my psyche from my childhood and it just … people were on the floor laughing it was so, so funny,” Roberts told the Campbell River Mirror.
Larry is her alter ego. And she’s been playing him on stage for years.
Candace Roberts has toured everywhere from New Orleans to New York and all across Canada with her hilarious performance of Larry. But his journey of self-discovery is finally headed back home.
Larry’s roots came from right here at home in Campbell River.
“You know, he’s from my roots,” Roberts said. “It’s very easy to bring out this character because it actually came about in me just joking around playing my dad or my brother.”
The character is a patchwork of the men she grew up with here in the 1980’s. Roberts uses Larry to explore stereotypes and what she loved and hated about growing up in the community, all while giving audiences a heck of a laugh.
“Wherever I’ve played him, everybody knows that dude,” she said. “Like, ‘oh, that’s my uncle from back east.’ Or ‘up north.’ Usually it’s ‘up north’.”
Larry is a complex, fearless, and hilarious portrait of a small-town Canadian dude on a path of self-discovery. He wants to prove that he’s worthy of a good woman, that he can quit drinkin’ and even take up “medertation.”
As audiences will find out, Larry’s journey into his own psyche gives him a lot more than he bargained for.
Of all the places she’s performed, coming home to Campbell River will likely give Roberts more than she bargained for as well.
“Part of it feels like an offering,” she said. “Like I’m excited to share what I’ve created and what’s been going out into the world. And then, on the other part, I’m looking forward to seeing what people think and … I want to move the show forward with good vibes, you know, from where it came from.”
It’s no surprise that bringing the show back to the people who inspired it will make you think twice.
But, likely, no other audience will relate and laugh as hard as those of us here. Even if it gives us a bit more to think about than we bargained for.
She quoted Oscar Wilde saying, “If you want to tell people the truth, you better make them laugh or they’ll kill you.”
So we’ll be expecting to laugh until we cry. (If we cry, we’ll pretend it’s from laughing—in a true Larry style)
You can catch the award-winning show at Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre December 16th at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $28 plus taxes and fees.
One way or another, everyone is ending up in stitches.