A comedic connection brought Nicole and Adrian Mancini together and the married couple is now bringing the laughs back to Kamloops.
House of Hilarity, an improv comedy show first started in the Tournament Capital back in 2003, will return this Sunday at the Rivershore Golf Course.
Nicole Mancini produced the first show in 2003, and has performed it many times since in other cities around Western Canada.
That first show involved her inviting a few friends to perform who in turn invited Adrian.
He had no experience with improv, though he had taken some theatre classes at Thompson Rivers University.
That 2003 show was how they met, but Nicole ended up moving to Edmonton and it wasn’t until 10 years later that the pair wound up together after reconnecting via Facebook.
Adrian was still living in Kamloops, but commuting to northern Alberta for work.
“And the rest is history,” Adrian said.
The Mancini’s moved back to Kamloops in 2016 after living for some time in Blind Bay and Vancouver.
“When we realized we wanted to have a family and we knew we didn’t want to raise them in downtown Vancouver, that’s when we looked at moving home,” Adrian said. Nicole is born-and-raised in Kamloops and the city feels like home to Adrian.
“I’ve lived here longer than anywhere else,” he said.
About eight months ago, the couple began tossing around the idea of rekindling the show and were targeting a Christmas show, but not enough of their friends were able to join in.
As residents of Rivershore, they were eventually able to do a show right in their backyard and took advantage of the opportunity.
Sunday will be the first time the show has been performed in Kamloops in 15 years. Adrian, Nicole and Harmony Maher are returning members of the original show. They’ll be bolstered by the talented comedy minds of Alicia Ashcroft, Derek Rein and Courtney Harris.
While he hates to sound cliché, Adrian admitted that most people associate improv with the TV show Who’s Line is it Anyway? and their show will take on a similar format.
“We’ll be doing a series of games [with] two halves to the show,” he said. “We’ll have as much audience participation as we can.”
Each game will last a few minutes with a different combination of the actors involved in each set.
“It’s a pretty traditional improv format as far as short form improv goes,” he said.
While they’d love to be able to do this show again and again, Adrian said that because many of them have families and other commitments, they’ll “start with this first show and see where it goes.”
Tickets are $10 and will be available at the door for what is sure to be an intimate, cabaret-style, 19+ show, with the actors right in front of the audience.
“We want the audience to have some fun and just come and enjoy themselves, have a drink, have an appy and laugh,” he said.