BWW Q&A: Bruce McCulloch on Tales of Bravery and Stupidity at Brampton On Stage/LBP Brampton

On stage March 9th at the Lester B. Pearson Theatre.

By: Feb. 21, 2024
BWW Q&A: Bruce McCulloch on Tales of Bravery and Stupidity at Brampton On Stage/LBP Brampton
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BroadwayWorld sat down with Bruce McCulloch to talk about his show Tales of Bravery & Stupidity, coming up at the Lester B. Pearson Theatre on March 9th.

BRUCE MCCULLOCH'S TALES OF BRAVERY & STUPIDITY is a one-man show that moves brilliantly between funny, relatable and surprisingly touching. Using music, stand-up, and storytelling, Kid's In The Hall star, BRUCE MCCULLOCH, takes us on a poetic flyover of his life “pursuing stories” and makes an unspoken agreement with the audience to contemplate the world together. Tales combines Bruce’s knack for funny observations with his humanistic yearnings, looking at the bravely stupid things he’s done - and things we all do - to make sense of our messy lives. From musings about his worldview to a window into his family, Bruce looks at the way we reach outward and inward, and his struggle against his own internal pessimism to see the beauty and joy in life.

Bruce McCulloch is an actor, comedian, writer, and director. Perhaps best known for his work with the award-winning sketch troupe, The Kids in the Hall, which recently finished a new season for Amazon Prime Video. Bruce has since had a career spanning television, film, and the stage. He has written and performed in Young Drunk Punk (a series inspired by his own life), Death Comes to Town, and This Blows (web series) also for CBC, and he created Carpoolers for ABC. He has directed such shows as SNL, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Schitt’s Creek, and Trailer Park Boys. Bruce recently produced and directed the third season of sketch series, TallBoyz, for CBC.

As an actor, he has appeared in numerous television shows such as Saturday Night Live, Arrested Development, Gilmore Girls, Comedy Bang Bang, Workaholics, Nobodies, and even Anne of Green Gables. Bruce has also written and/or directed several films including Dog Park starring Luke Wilson, Superstar starring Molly Shannon and Will Ferrell, Stealing Harvard starring Jason Lee, Leslie Mann and Tom Green, and Comeback Season starring Ray Liotta. Bruce has two spoken word/comedy/music CDs; Shame-based Man and The Drunk Baby Project.

On stage, he has written or performed several one-man shows including Two-Headed Roommate, Jazz Stenographers, Slightly Bigger, and most recently Tales of Bravery & Stupidity. His newest one-man show, Dark Purple Slice is premiering this February. His first book, Let's Start a Riot was released by Harper Collins.  

What inspired you to create the one-man show, Tales of Bravery & Stupidity?

In my life, I have often put myself in weird situations, I suspect just for the interesting stories that will come out of them. So I wanted to do a show that touched on that.

Can you share some of the "bravely stupid" things you've done that viewers can expect to hear about in your show?

Well without spoiling too much, there is a story about how I gobbled the world's biggest edible and took a kafkaesque ride to the hospital 300 feet from my house. There are also a bunch of things I talk about pertaining to how we stave off our own loneliness.

How do you balance humor and more serious, touching moments in your storytelling?

I think it's important to be super funny at first, or at least try to be. And once I've done that, I'm able to have sort of a deeper conversation with some of the stories that turn soulful or more serious.

How have your experiences with The Kids in the Hall and other projects influenced this show?

It's less about Kids in the Hall and other projects - my one man show erupts from my own life and worldview and the format allows me to talk about the world and how I see it in my own weird way. This is the most personal way to do it.

Can you talk about your process in writing and developing this show?

Process is such a weird beast. I mean, simply I get an idea and follow it. And it's the idea's job to turn into something bigger. I have a piece that ends the show which came from a tiny little kernel and I kept following it and now it's a ten-minute, hopefully big closing story.

Can you tell us a little about what it's like preparing for a one-man show compared to working with a cast?

Well a one-man show can feel daunting or lonely until you realize that you have the audience. So what you're really doing is having a conversation or as I like to call it communing with them. And in that way, all you have to do is know and love the stories you're telling and once you try them in front of an audience you can shape them even in ways you hadn't first thought of. So it's like I begin the process of creating a show but having done it a few times with an audience, they help me complete it with their response.

What do you hope audiences take away from your performance?

That I'm funny? I have a weird brain. I can dance (oddly). But perhaps most importantly, that I have a weird soul that connects with the audience, which is what I've found in the joyful act of doing this show for a while.

Why must audiences come and see the show?

Well they don't have to. People are very busy. And do you know how hard it is to get a babysitter? I think, from the reaction I've gotten, people laugh and then, dare I say, moved. Oh and more importantly, it's only 70ish minutes long.