Amazement and laughs for all ages

By Kassidy Christensen

March 1, 2017 2:14 PM

A CLEAN ACT Comedy In Motion with Bob Cates will be at the Vic Juba Community Theatre Mar. 4. Cates offers a family-friendly show with one element being a laser performance. SUBMITTED LLS PHOTO

Clean, family-friendly comedy

Interactive, family-friendly performer Bob Cates will be coming to Lloydminster’s Vic Juba Community Theatre Mar. 3 at 7 p.m.
As one of six performances put on by the Lloydminster Concert Series, Comedy In Motion with Bob Cates is a clean comedy and physical variety act that features juggling, unicycling, lasers and balancing skills, among other skills of Cates’, intertwined with hilarious all-ages comedy.
Gwen Mottram, board member with the Lloydminster Concert Series Association, said the show is a different genre, a mandate they hold within the association to offer a variety of performances throughout the year.
“That’s the goal of the concert series, not to program all country or all folk or all comedy, it has to be a variety,” she said. “It was comedy and variety and physical theatre.”
Mottram said she really enjoys the laser component of the show.
“I think people can look forward to that part,” she said.
Cates spoke over the phone with the Source about how he started doing such performances, and said it all started by fluke when he was in high school by taking up a hobby in juggling.
“It all started in basically the hobby of juggling, then I didn’t know you could perform and use juggling in a performance until a number of years down the road,” Cates said.
Recalling a time when he saw a street performer doing a show, Cates realized he too could make a living through performances that incorporated his hobby.
“I was, like, ‘Wow, you (the street performer) just did a show for 45 minutes with juggling, maybe some day I’ll do that and make money that way,’ and so I got my start performing in festivals and street performing festivals,” Cates said.
Cates incorporated comedy alongside his performance after finding, “Juggling needs to be made more interesting or entertaining, for a lack of a better word,” he said.
“It basically is a slow process of finding out what kind of jokes can I add in that would be entertaining, how can I make this routine flow from start to middle to end,” Cates said.
“A lot of experimentation and usually there’s a lot of that that happens, continually, but especially in the early years.”
With 26 years of performing under his belt and native to a small town outside Sarnia, ON, Cates has most recently been awarded the title of Entertainer of the Year at the 2016 Canadian Event Industry Awards after also receiving nominations four times prior.
“That is for corporate events and gala special events mostly, we do a lot of events, shows for companies and after dinner type of situation … (The show is) a perfect fit for after dinner entertainment in the corporate setting,” Cates said.
“Sometimes standup comedians might be too risky because they might not have any clean material, whereas we’re always clean and it’s not only clean but it’s got the amazing skill aspect as well, so kind of like a double whammy of awesomeness.”
Other recognition includes nominations for Best Variety Act at the 2014 and 2015 Canadian Comedy Awards and two nominations for Best One Man Show again at the Canadian Comedy Awards. Cates has also twice been awarded Best Entertainer of the Year at the Festival and Events Ontario Awards. 
Cates explained his shows are similar to Pixar movies in the sense both children and adults can find the show funny and entertaining.
“I watch Pixar movies and other good animated movies and I don’t feel like they’re too kiddie because I feel like there’s some clever story telling and funny comedy in them,” Cates said.
Likening his show to Pixar movies, Cates said he is not a silly children’s entertainer, and that the pattern of his show is fairly calm and witty that plays to the adults as well as the kids.
Crowd interaction is a big part of Cates’ show, he explained, which happens with both the children and the adults on and off stage.
“I might be getting them to throw things to me, I might be joking around with them by name, I might get some volunteers on stage, it’s kind of a whole gamut of things,” Cates said.
Cates said he looks forward to performing at the Vic Juba Community Theatre and the Lloydminster and area crowd.
“I’m just looking forward to having a great audience there,” he said.
Mottram said tickets are still available—$30 for adults and $5 for students of any age, including Lakeland College students (student ID required)—through the Vic Juba Community Theatre website at www.vicjubatheatre.ca or at the box office from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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