Local Anxiety
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Local Anxiety

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Duo Comedy Comedy

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(Copyright The Calgary Herald)

Calgary Plays on the Fringe, Lunchbox Theatre and Bow Valley Square`s mini-fringe theatre festival, continues this Monday and Tuesday. Below are more capsule reviews of the featured performances.

The Ex-Wives of Windsor and Other Love Stories of `93 (Local Anxiety; Bow Valley Square Auditorium): Local Anxiety is the Vancouver comedy team of Kevin Crofton and Mark Leiren-Young, two freewheeling satirists who fire their arrows gleefully and plentifully at every Canadian farce and foible. And, much of the time, their aim is dead-accurate, even if their methods are often less than original.

In this hour-long song-and-skit cabaret -- fresh from this summer`s Edmonton Fringe and since re-written for even greater currency -- the pair play no favorites, going after everything from censorship to political correctness, the Reform party to the NDP, white liberal guilt to the logging of Vancouver Island`s rain forest. Some of the less inspired bits score on topicality alone -- such as Crofton doing Preston Manning as children`s TV host Mr. Rogers ("tomorrow boys and girls, we`ll be in the workshop, dismantling multiculturalism"). Their best stuff, however, goes further than the day`s headlines. In particular, Leiren-Young does a great hysterical rant as a pushy Greenpeace canvasser who convinces Crofton`s conscience-stricken liberal that he doesn`t deserve to live. It`s followed by an equally funny song -- a blues apologia called I`m White, I`m Straight, I`m Sorry. They perform again Monday at 1:30 p.m.

The Asylum Show (Virtual Insanity; Bow Valley Square Fringe Theatre): The inmates of this asylum include a fire-eater, a sword-swallower, a dominatrix who consumes live worms and a guy who likes to skewer his flesh with needles and impale his tongue with nails. In their hour-long show, Virtual Insanity, a collection of local sideshow freaks, use a flimsy dramatic premise involving patients in a sanitarium as an excuse to do what they do best -- that is, the kind of grotesque feats that were once a staple of the circus and the fairground.

I suppose the troupe could defend their acts by pointing out that live worms are scarcely worse than chocolate-coated ants, and anyone who wears earrings is already into body-piercing in a small way. Still, this sort of exhibition is the Marquis de Sade`s idea of entertainment, not mine. I`ll admit I sort-of enjoyed Patricia Duquette`s choreographed fire-eating act, which was at least done with style, but when burly, tattooed Steve Tingle began inserting long needles into his face, I averted my eyes. Virtual Insanity is strictly for connoisseurs of the sadistic and the gross. They have one more fringe performance, Monday at 1:30 p.m. - Calgary Herald


(Copyright The Calgary Herald)

Calgary Plays on the Fringe, Lunchbox Theatre and Bow Valley Square`s mini-fringe theatre festival, continues this Monday and Tuesday. Below are more capsule reviews of the featured performances.

The Ex-Wives of Windsor and Other Love Stories of `93 (Local Anxiety; Bow Valley Square Auditorium): Local Anxiety is the Vancouver comedy team of Kevin Crofton and Mark Leiren-Young, two freewheeling satirists who fire their arrows gleefully and plentifully at every Canadian farce and foible. And, much of the time, their aim is dead-accurate, even if their methods are often less than original.

In this hour-long song-and-skit cabaret -- fresh from this summer`s Edmonton Fringe and since re-written for even greater currency -- the pair play no favorites, going after everything from censorship to political correctness, the Reform party to the NDP, white liberal guilt to the logging of Vancouver Island`s rain forest. Some of the less inspired bits score on topicality alone -- such as Crofton doing Preston Manning as children`s TV host Mr. Rogers ("tomorrow boys and girls, we`ll be in the workshop, dismantling multiculturalism"). Their best stuff, however, goes further than the day`s headlines. In particular, Leiren-Young does a great hysterical rant as a pushy Greenpeace canvasser who convinces Crofton`s conscience-stricken liberal that he doesn`t deserve to live. It`s followed by an equally funny song -- a blues apologia called I`m White, I`m Straight, I`m Sorry. They perform again Monday at 1:30 p.m.

The Asylum Show (Virtual Insanity; Bow Valley Square Fringe Theatre): The inmates of this asylum include a fire-eater, a sword-swallower, a dominatrix who consumes live worms and a guy who likes to skewer his flesh with needles and impale his tongue with nails. In their hour-long show, Virtual Insanity, a collection of local sideshow freaks, use a flimsy dramatic premise involving patients in a sanitarium as an excuse to do what they do best -- that is, the kind of grotesque feats that were once a staple of the circus and the fairground.

I suppose the troupe could defend their acts by pointing out that live worms are scarcely worse than chocolate-coated ants, and anyone who wears earrings is already into body-piercing in a small way. Still, this sort of exhibition is the Marquis de Sade`s idea of entertainment, not mine. I`ll admit I sort-of enjoyed Patricia Duquette`s choreographed fire-eating act, which was at least done with style, but when burly, tattooed Steve Tingle began inserting long needles into his face, I averted my eyes. Virtual Insanity is strictly for connoisseurs of the sadistic and the gross. They have one more fringe performance, Monday at 1:30 p.m. - Calgary Herald



After a month out of the limelight, Kim Campbell took to the stage again Tuesday night, playing herself in a satirical comedy called The Year in Revue.

Although it wasn't a very good year for the former Vancouver Centre MP who went from minister of defence to prime minister to political oblivion, ``I'm really here in self-defence,'' she quipped a few minutes before going on stage.

Campbell traded national anxiety for a performance with Local Anxiety, the comedy duo consisting of Mark Leiren-Young and Kevin Crofton.

Campbellmania it wasn't, but it certainly took the Arts Club Revue audience of about 200 by surprise when she stepped onto the stage.

Local Anxiety were back for the second year with their show billed as a send-up of everyone and everything that made the news in 1993.

``We make fun of everybody,`` Leiren-Young said. ``We've done politicians before, but we've never performed before a former prime minister.''

In a parody of the Barbara Woodley photo of a bare-shouldered Campbell, Leiren-Young walked onto the stage topless, holding the robes with a sign: ``For Sale inquire 1-800-Kim-Lost.''

``I'm not selling my robes, I'm out of work,'' said Campbell to a delighted audience.

Her timing was a little off, but she managed to learn her lines in about five minutes while taking stage direction -- and threw in a little ad-lib.

Campbell, whose Conservative party was annihilated in the Oct. 25 federal election, said one of the reasons she's happy to leave Ottawa and be back home in Vancouver is: ``Not having to go to Jean Charest's Christmas party.

``And if you read Frank magazine you can see I'm finally having a chance to practise my Russian'' -- a reference to her current companion Gregory Lekhtman, a Montreal inventor of Russian background.

Then she ad-libbed: ``Well, that's the reason you wrote for me. The real reason I'm glad to be back in Vancouver is I can get my sense of humor back where it belongs and I'm here to make you feel guilty.''

Leiren-Young likes his satirical fodder to join him on the stage.

``It seems like a classy thing to do,'' he said.

Campbell isn't the first newsmaker to appear in a Crofton/Leiren-Young p

Campbell isn't the first newsmaker to appear in a Crofton/Leiren-Young production. Faye Leung starred as herself in Escape From Fantasy Gardens (a show about Bill Vander Zalm) back in 1987 and former liberal House leader David Mitchell says he'll be appearing on Jan. 6 doing "the top 10 reasons for sitting as an independent." - The Vancouver Sun



After a month out of the limelight, Kim Campbell took to the stage again Tuesday night, playing herself in a satirical comedy called The Year in Revue.

Although it wasn't a very good year for the former Vancouver Centre MP who went from minister of defence to prime minister to political oblivion, ``I'm really here in self-defence,'' she quipped a few minutes before going on stage.

Campbell traded national anxiety for a performance with Local Anxiety, the comedy duo consisting of Mark Leiren-Young and Kevin Crofton.

Campbellmania it wasn't, but it certainly took the Arts Club Revue audience of about 200 by surprise when she stepped onto the stage.

Local Anxiety were back for the second year with their show billed as a send-up of everyone and everything that made the news in 1993.

``We make fun of everybody,`` Leiren-Young said. ``We've done politicians before, but we've never performed before a former prime minister.''

In a parody of the Barbara Woodley photo of a bare-shouldered Campbell, Leiren-Young walked onto the stage topless, holding the robes with a sign: ``For Sale inquire 1-800-Kim-Lost.''

``I'm not selling my robes, I'm out of work,'' said Campbell to a delighted audience.

Her timing was a little off, but she managed to learn her lines in about five minutes while taking stage direction -- and threw in a little ad-lib.

Campbell, whose Conservative party was annihilated in the Oct. 25 federal election, said one of the reasons she's happy to leave Ottawa and be back home in Vancouver is: ``Not having to go to Jean Charest's Christmas party.

``And if you read Frank magazine you can see I'm finally having a chance to practise my Russian'' -- a reference to her current companion Gregory Lekhtman, a Montreal inventor of Russian background.

Then she ad-libbed: ``Well, that's the reason you wrote for me. The real reason I'm glad to be back in Vancouver is I can get my sense of humor back where it belongs and I'm here to make you feel guilty.''

Leiren-Young likes his satirical fodder to join him on the stage.

``It seems like a classy thing to do,'' he said.

Campbell isn't the first newsmaker to appear in a Crofton/Leiren-Young p

Campbell isn't the first newsmaker to appear in a Crofton/Leiren-Young production. Faye Leung starred as herself in Escape From Fantasy Gardens (a show about Bill Vander Zalm) back in 1987 and former liberal House leader David Mitchell says he'll be appearing on Jan. 6 doing "the top 10 reasons for sitting as an independent." - The Vancouver Sun



It's been an interesting year, politically, what with Mike Harcourt saying goodbye, Quebec nearly saying adieu and Princess Di saying things nobody could have anticipated.

The stranger it gets, the better the news to Mark Leiren-Young and Kevin Crofton. This talented duo, also known as Local Anxiety, is once again (dare we say it) anxious to tweak your funny bone with their riotous takes on the state of the nation.

The fourth annual year in review -- written by Leiren-Young, who is also a playwright, and performed by both of them -- is coming to Granville Island's newest revue stage, TQ's Musical Comedy Restaurant at 1502 Duranleau.

Licence regulations state that the restaurant is allowed only two performers on stage at one time (doesn't that sound like an idiotic rule?) but that doesn't mean there won't be special guests invited to participate.

Earlier incarnations of The Year in Revue have included guest appearances by Faye Leung, Kim Campbell, Svend Robinson, Gordon Wilson and Judi Tyabji -- who knows who'll be dropping by this time.

The Year in Revue '95 previews on Boxing Day, opens Wednesday (Dec. 27) and runs Tuesday through Saturday to Jan. 13. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., dinner is at 7:30 p.m. and the show begins at 9 p.m.

- The Province



It's been an interesting year, politically, what with Mike Harcourt saying goodbye, Quebec nearly saying adieu and Princess Di saying things nobody could have anticipated.

The stranger it gets, the better the news to Mark Leiren-Young and Kevin Crofton. This talented duo, also known as Local Anxiety, is once again (dare we say it) anxious to tweak your funny bone with their riotous takes on the state of the nation.

The fourth annual year in review -- written by Leiren-Young, who is also a playwright, and performed by both of them -- is coming to Granville Island's newest revue stage, TQ's Musical Comedy Restaurant at 1502 Duranleau.

Licence regulations state that the restaurant is allowed only two performers on stage at one time (doesn't that sound like an idiotic rule?) but that doesn't mean there won't be special guests invited to participate.

Earlier incarnations of The Year in Revue have included guest appearances by Faye Leung, Kim Campbell, Svend Robinson, Gordon Wilson and Judi Tyabji -- who knows who'll be dropping by this time.

The Year in Revue '95 previews on Boxing Day, opens Wednesday (Dec. 27) and runs Tuesday through Saturday to Jan. 13. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., dinner is at 7:30 p.m. and the show begins at 9 p.m.

- The Province



WHICH POLITICIANS will dare accept Local Anxiety's invitation to join them on stage in Victoria?

Will it be those savvy showbiz veterans, Gordon and Judy? Will it be independent MLA David Mitchell, who's previously joined the Local Anxiety comedy duo for Vancouver shows? We know it won't be Premier Mike Harcourt ... he's already sent his regrets.

One thing for sure, any politico sharing the boards with comedians Mark Leiren-Young and Kevin Crofton has jumbo shoes to fill. Former prime minister Kim Campbell made a cameo appearance with Local Anxiety a year ago at Vancouver's Arts Club Revue Theatre. Flamboyant realtor Faye Leung, who played a key role in dethroning Bill Vander Zalm, has also performed with them.

And on Dec. 16, New Democrat MP Svend Robinson donned a prisoner's uniform for a little light-hearted shtik. Robinson recited a David Letterman-style top 10 list of reasons he prefers prison to parliament.

The show's called The Year in Revue , and it opens its 10-day run at McPherson Playhouse next Thursday. It's an evening of satire and comedy that skewers politicians of all ilks, and gives political correctness a hob-nailed boot in the backside. Leiren-Young says the show has played to packed houses at the Arts Club, where it's had annual runs for three seasons.

Over the phone from his Vancouver home, Leiren-Young recited a sample song: "I'm white, I'm straight I'm sorry What's worse, e, I'm WASP and male.

I'm so middle class that I make Wonderbread seem stale.

I've been bad, historically, I've got them white guilt blues." Local Anxiety has stockpiled an impressive resume since forming in 1991. They have appeared on The National, the CTV National News and perform regularly on CBC Radio. Political pundit Peter C. Newman devoted an entire column to the pair in Maclean's magazine. It quoted in full Local Anxiety's "politically correct" national anthem, in which they deem every line of Canada's national song offensive to some special interest group.

Leiren-Young and Crofton met as students at the University of Victoria. Crofton was raised here. Leiren-Young, 32, is from Vancouver, but says he considers Victoria home. He spent considerable time here, partly because his step-father was press secretary for Bill Bennett. As well as a comedy writer/performer, Leiren-Young is a playwright who's written teen plays for Carousel Theatre and a drama about B.C. premier Amor de Cosmos for the Nanaimo Festival.

This is the first time The Year in Revue has played Victoria. However, in 1991 Local Anxiety imported another political satire, Farewell to Fantasy Gardens , to the Roxy Theatre. Its precursor, Escape from Fantasy Gardens , also played the Roxy. And both Leiren- Young and Crofton were writers for the theatre comedy series Beacon Hill , which played Victoria in the mid-80s.

The Year in Revue is satire ... but it's not nasty satire. Leiren- Young said he'd rate its level of nastiness at about six on a scale of 10. He remembers once writing a satirical show that rated a 10. It was called Fantastic Fables from Fantasy Gardens , about the troll who lived under a drawbridge at Vander Zalm's notorious estate. Alas, it was a little too bilious. "Nobody came to see e it." Leiren-Young says Local Anxiety takes pokes at all political parties. They try for "smart laughs" as opposed to eliciting cheap yuks through profanity or insults. "We do Mike Harcourt's s politics as opposed to Mike Harcourt's hairline," Leiren-Young said.

And how does Local Anxiety persuade politicians to kibbitz with them in performance?

Why, they just mail invitations. It seems politicians are either (1) good sports, or (2) hungry for all the spotlight they can get. Or both.

Leiren-Young says he'll never forget the day he got a phone call from Kim Campbell. "She said, 'Hey, it's Kim Campbell. Were you u serious?' I said, yeah, we were. She said, 'What would you like me to do?' And I said, 'Ummmmm. Sing My Way ?" Campbell vetoed that t idea, and the suggestion she play her cello. She did agree to do a top 10 list of reasons why she was glad to be out of politics, however.

Reason number one? "I'm glad to be out of Ottawa - 3,000 miles away from Sheila Copps." Tickets are available from the McPherson or Royal box offices, the usual outlets, or by calling 386-6121. - Victoria Times Colonist



Jean Chretien - Superstar 864-9971 Written and performed by Local Anxiety (Mark Leiren- Young and Kevin Crofton). Until Feb. 6 at Factory Theatre Studio

They haven't tried out east of the Prairies but Local Anxiety, who debuted their satiric revue last night at Factory Theatre's Studio Cafe, could well turn up the laugh thermostat nationally.

The LA duo, a/k/a Mark Leiren-Young and Kevin Crofton, certainly know contemporary audience taste, for surely Canada nowadays is on a par with Britain in its omnipresent, slavish devotion to a pastime of masochism.

Their 95 minutes of skewering songs and newscasts - which you could well suspect is a formula encountered before with, say, the Royal Canadian Air Farce, Britain's Two Ronnies and SCTV - is no desperate quest for meaning and substance.

It's a rib-tickling collection of funnies and not-so-funnies that range from the silly, shallow and graceless to jaunty prods at people and places and - most of all - politicians.

What sets them apart from their peers is the up-to-dateness of it all. It's yesterday's news, even on occasion yesterday's news that appears in today's paper, that they cram into their fat grab-bag of jokes. They could have whacked away excessively at Kim Campbell, Preston Manning, Audrey McLaughlin and the eco-loonies whose lives seem to dominate the deep thinkers of their Vancouver base - in fact, they did consume time trashing such anti-heroes.

But going national means the Jean Chretien of the title, the Bloc, people other than manic Greenpeace canvassers and the ideologically-correct Hogtown hordes, and since the show's title bears the addendum "and other strange love stories" there's room in this LA greatest-hits compilation for fresh targets.

Songs outnumber sketches, and those exploring the current Canadian mood work best. You could cite a new national anthem with oppressive words removed, the "White Guilt Blues" which begins "I'm white. I'm straight. I'm sorry - what's worse I'm WASP and male," a singing apology for being Canadian and regular send-ups of our people in high places - the PM "who can't speak English or French" and Bob Rae get appropriately numerous mentions - all tempered by witty and sometimes cruel lyrics to songs mentioning the Bobbitt trial, skater Tonya Harding, Wal-Mart, the NBA and Michael Jackson.

And of course there are slaps at censorship, hockey nuts, some gentle humor about being follically-impaired (that's Crofton) and defying U.V. index warnings, and some wicked shots at entertainment figures Charlie Sheen, the Tragically Hip and the CBC, who may not be pleased by news of their purported new documentary Billy Bishop Goes To Meet The Boys Of St. Vincent. Plus a splendid medley of snide snippets about TO and its mega-musicals.

The material's so abundant there's little time to reflect before the next zinger. Slowing down would let the barbs penetrate more deeply. There are painful groaners in the script, too, but also gems like the "Mr. Manning's Neighborhood" episodes.

It all amounts to a serious art attack caused by two promising performers whose stuff is tough, irreverent and often echoes the rotten thoughts we're all thinking about ourselves, our land and our human icons. - Toronto Star



WHICH POLITICIANS will dare accept Local Anxiety's invitation to join them on stage in Victoria?

Will it be those savvy showbiz veterans, Gordon and Judy? Will it be independent MLA David Mitchell, who's previously joined the Local Anxiety comedy duo for Vancouver shows? We know it won't be Premier Mike Harcourt ... he's already sent his regrets.

One thing for sure, any politico sharing the boards with comedians Mark Leiren-Young and Kevin Crofton has jumbo shoes to fill. Former prime minister Kim Campbell made a cameo appearance with Local Anxiety a year ago at Vancouver's Arts Club Revue Theatre. Flamboyant realtor Faye Leung, who played a key role in dethroning Bill Vander Zalm, has also performed with them.

And on Dec. 16, New Democrat MP Svend Robinson donned a prisoner's uniform for a little light-hearted shtik. Robinson recited a David Letterman-style top 10 list of reasons he prefers prison to parliament.

The show's called The Year in Revue , and it opens its 10-day run at McPherson Playhouse next Thursday. It's an evening of satire and comedy that skewers politicians of all ilks, and gives political correctness a hob-nailed boot in the backside. Leiren-Young says the show has played to packed houses at the Arts Club, where it's had annual runs for three seasons.

Over the phone from his Vancouver home, Leiren-Young recited a sample song: "I'm white, I'm straight I'm sorry What's worse, e, I'm WASP and male.

I'm so middle class that I make Wonderbread seem stale.

I've been bad, historically, I've got them white guilt blues." Local Anxiety has stockpiled an impressive resume since forming in 1991. They have appeared on The National, the CTV National News and perform regularly on CBC Radio. Political pundit Peter C. Newman devoted an entire column to the pair in Maclean's magazine. It quoted in full Local Anxiety's "politically correct" national anthem, in which they deem every line of Canada's national song offensive to some special interest group.

Leiren-Young and Crofton met as students at the University of Victoria. Crofton was raised here. Leiren-Young, 32, is from Vancouver, but says he considers Victoria home. He spent considerable time here, partly because his step-father was press secretary for Bill Bennett. As well as a comedy writer/performer, Leiren-Young is a playwright who's written teen plays for Carousel Theatre and a drama about B.C. premier Amor de Cosmos for the Nanaimo Festival.

This is the first time The Year in Revue has played Victoria. However, in 1991 Local Anxiety imported another political satire, Farewell to Fantasy Gardens , to the Roxy Theatre. Its precursor, Escape from Fantasy Gardens , also played the Roxy. And both Leiren- Young and Crofton were writers for the theatre comedy series Beacon Hill , which played Victoria in the mid-80s.

The Year in Revue is satire ... but it's not nasty satire. Leiren- Young said he'd rate its level of nastiness at about six on a scale of 10. He remembers once writing a satirical show that rated a 10. It was called Fantastic Fables from Fantasy Gardens , about the troll who lived under a drawbridge at Vander Zalm's notorious estate. Alas, it was a little too bilious. "Nobody came to see e it." Leiren-Young says Local Anxiety takes pokes at all political parties. They try for "smart laughs" as opposed to eliciting cheap yuks through profanity or insults. "We do Mike Harcourt's s politics as opposed to Mike Harcourt's hairline," Leiren-Young said.

And how does Local Anxiety persuade politicians to kibbitz with them in performance?

Why, they just mail invitations. It seems politicians are either (1) good sports, or (2) hungry for all the spotlight they can get. Or both.

Leiren-Young says he'll never forget the day he got a phone call from Kim Campbell. "She said, 'Hey, it's Kim Campbell. Were you u serious?' I said, yeah, we were. She said, 'What would you like me to do?' And I said, 'Ummmmm. Sing My Way ?" Campbell vetoed that t idea, and the suggestion she play her cello. She did agree to do a top 10 list of reasons why she was glad to be out of politics, however.

Reason number one? "I'm glad to be out of Ottawa - 3,000 miles away from Sheila Copps." Tickets are available from the McPherson or Royal box offices, the usual outlets, or by calling 386-6121. - Victoria Times Colonist


What's the difference between Mark Leiren-Young and Kim Campbell?

Well, for a start, Leiren-Young has hairier shoulders.

And he's got a job.

The 31-year-old Leiren-Young is the bearded half of Local Anxiety, a Vancouver satirical comedy duo who combine words and music to lampoon politicians.

Starting today, Leiren-Young and his guitar-playing sidekick Kevin Crofton, launch a two-week stint at the Arts Club Revue Cabaret.

"We'll be covering the federal election; the summit; Gord and Judi, who convinced us that we can do without Vander Zalm -- although we would like him back," says Leiren-Young.

HOCKEY NUT IN CANADA

One highlight of the show, says Crofton, 39, will be a special rendition of Jean Chretien, Superstar, sung to the familiar Andrew Lloyd Webber tune.

With lines like: "Jean Chretien, Superstar, you look like the driver of the getaway car. Jean Chretien, Jean Chretien, who thought we'd vote for the Liberals again."

Lucien Bouchard, "in a role he was born to play, is Judas Iscariot; Pierre Elliott Trudeau in a guest appearance as God, or as he likes to say, Himself; with Preston Manning as Pontius Pilate," adds Leiren-Young.

After the Arts Club show, Local Anxiety goes to Toronto "land of the mega-musical," to stage Jean Chretien, Superstar.

In fact, the act has become a full-time gig for the two, playing conventions and festivals.

They put out a cassette in September called Dolphin Friendly -- available at Sam the Record Man on Seymour Street, Zulu Records, and Pop on Hastings Street.

A modified version of one of the songs, Hockey Nut in Canada, is being played at the Coliseum before Canucks games, which is a "personal thrill" for puck nut Leiren-Young.

They've also won two Washington state Press Association Awards for satirizing the U.S. political scene on a Tacoma public radio affiliate.

Crofton took a year's leave of absence from his job as a youth- care counsellor with the Burnaby school board.

Leiren-Young is writing plays, writing his first screenplay and is a freelance journalist writing for TV Week and Business in Vancouver.

The screenplay is adaptation of his play, Blueprints From Space, and has just been optioned by three people, including the production manager for The X-Files, J.P. Finn.

Leiren-Young is from Vancouver, and Crofton was an "airforce brat" who travelled all over but spent 16 years in Victoria.

Crofton is a singer-songwriter-musician, and the two met when he was involved in the Victoria improv soap opera, Beacon Hill.

Leiren-Young was one of the writers and Crofton was acting in the weekly show, "trashing local issues and celebs."

Crofton also had a radio talk show at UVic and had Leiren-Young come in to do "the lighter side of the news."

NEXT, THE WORLD

That was in 1984-85 and the two worked together again in 1986 when Leiren-Young produced a satire of Expo called Sometime's the World's Fair, Sometimes It Ain't.

The duo's debut came as a warm-up for CBC's Double Exposure team of Bob Robertson and Linda Cullen.

Leiren-Young has political awareness running in his veins.

When he was 11, his mom, Carol Young, ran for alderman in Vancouver.

His father, Hal Leiren, was a political columnist for the Vancouver Sun and later, premier Bill Bennett's press secretary.

As to the future, Local Anxiety wants to write an environmental comedy -- "a topical satirical review that isn't just about politics," says Leiren-Young.

"I think we have a pretty twisted take on it," adds Crofton. "It'll be called Global Anxiety, A Comedy for a Small Planet."
- The Province


What's the difference between Mark Leiren-Young and Kim Campbell?

Well, for a start, Leiren-Young has hairier shoulders.

And he's got a job.

The 31-year-old Leiren-Young is the bearded half of Local Anxiety, a Vancouver satirical comedy duo who combine words and music to lampoon politicians.

Starting today, Leiren-Young and his guitar-playing sidekick Kevin Crofton, launch a two-week stint at the Arts Club Revue Cabaret.

"We'll be covering the federal election; the summit; Gord and Judi, who convinced us that we can do without Vander Zalm -- although we would like him back," says Leiren-Young.

HOCKEY NUT IN CANADA

One highlight of the show, says Crofton, 39, will be a special rendition of Jean Chretien, Superstar, sung to the familiar Andrew Lloyd Webber tune.

With lines like: "Jean Chretien, Superstar, you look like the driver of the getaway car. Jean Chretien, Jean Chretien, who thought we'd vote for the Liberals again."

Lucien Bouchard, "in a role he was born to play, is Judas Iscariot; Pierre Elliott Trudeau in a guest appearance as God, or as he likes to say, Himself; with Preston Manning as Pontius Pilate," adds Leiren-Young.

After the Arts Club show, Local Anxiety goes to Toronto "land of the mega-musical," to stage Jean Chretien, Superstar.

In fact, the act has become a full-time gig for the two, playing conventions and festivals.

They put out a cassette in September called Dolphin Friendly -- available at Sam the Record Man on Seymour Street, Zulu Records, and Pop on Hastings Street.

A modified version of one of the songs, Hockey Nut in Canada, is being played at the Coliseum before Canucks games, which is a "personal thrill" for puck nut Leiren-Young.

They've also won two Washington state Press Association Awards for satirizing the U.S. political scene on a Tacoma public radio affiliate.

Crofton took a year's leave of absence from his job as a youth- care counsellor with the Burnaby school board.

Leiren-Young is writing plays, writing his first screenplay and is a freelance journalist writing for TV Week and Business in Vancouver.

The screenplay is adaptation of his play, Blueprints From Space, and has just been optioned by three people, including the production manager for The X-Files, J.P. Finn.

Leiren-Young is from Vancouver, and Crofton was an "airforce brat" who travelled all over but spent 16 years in Victoria.

Crofton is a singer-songwriter-musician, and the two met when he was involved in the Victoria improv soap opera, Beacon Hill.

Leiren-Young was one of the writers and Crofton was acting in the weekly show, "trashing local issues and celebs."

Crofton also had a radio talk show at UVic and had Leiren-Young come in to do "the lighter side of the news."

NEXT, THE WORLD

That was in 1984-85 and the two worked together again in 1986 when Leiren-Young produced a satire of Expo called Sometime's the World's Fair, Sometimes It Ain't.

The duo's debut came as a warm-up for CBC's Double Exposure team of Bob Robertson and Linda Cullen.

Leiren-Young has political awareness running in his veins.

When he was 11, his mom, Carol Young, ran for alderman in Vancouver.

His father, Hal Leiren, was a political columnist for the Vancouver Sun and later, premier Bill Bennett's press secretary.

As to the future, Local Anxiety wants to write an environmental comedy -- "a topical satirical review that isn't just about politics," says Leiren-Young.

"I think we have a pretty twisted take on it," adds Crofton. "It'll be called Global Anxiety, A Comedy for a Small Planet."
- The Province


Discography

Greenpieces (being released Summer, 2008)

Forgive Us We're Canadian (available on iTunes and through CDBaby)
http://cdbaby.com/found?allsearch=local+anxiety&submit=search

Hockey Nut in Canada (2007) (available on iTunes and through CDBaby)
http://cdbaby.com/found?allsearch=local+anxiety&submit=search
Greenpieces (releasing Spring, 2008)

Photos

Bio

Mark Leiren-Young "Canada's go to guy for dolphins, whales and trees" (The National Post) and Kevin Crofton ("Canada's funniest guitar God," Mark Leiren-Young) shine their environmentally friendly satirical spotlight on the issues plaguing our planet.

"Canada's masters of social and political satire," Local Anxiety were one of the top comedy acts on the much-mourned MP3.com -- at one point owning ten of the top forty spots on the political satire charts.

Their song, Tree Farm, is featured in the award-winning movie, The Green Chain (www.thegreenchain.com) -- which was written and directed by half of the Anxious duo, Mark Leiren-Young. Their song,. Green Guilt Blues, is featured on the award-winning comedy short film, The Green Film.

Their hour-long TV special Greenpieces: An Eco-Comedy won rave reviews when it debuted on VTV in Canada and was featured on Canada's "Green Channel." Shot live at the Vancouver International Folk Festival, Greenpieces featured special guest appearances by such environmental icons as Dr. David Suzuki and received an EarthVision award from PBS for, "excellence in environmental film-making."

Other featured TV appearances include CBC TV's Sketchcom, the Jim Byrnes Show and multiple appearances on Canada's number one morning show -- Canada AM.

They've received awards for their work with National Public Radio in the U.S, they had numerous commissions from CBC Radio in Canada and NPR and have also been heard on Dr. Demento.

Their song, Hockey Nut in Nashville is featured on the CD, Hockey's Greatest Hits, Volume 1.

They've headlined at most major comedy festivals across Canada and have played major theatres across Canada. Their annual "Year in Revue" was a Vancouver tradition.

The Guys:

"Canada's go to guy for dolphins, whales and trees"? (The National Post) Mark is, "one of Canada's greenest writers."? (The Beach) His award-winning film, The Green Chain, (which he wrote, directed and produced) is playing on TMN and Movie Central. His new book -- The Green Chain -- Nothing is Ever Clear Cut was just released by Heritage House. The book collects some of his best interviews dealing with forestry issues and the environment from his Green Chain podcast series for Canada's top on-line -- The Tyee. Here's the series on iTunes. His gold medal-winning short eco-comedy film, The Green Film is playing festivals around the world. His new eco-comedy CD -- Greenpieces -- featuring award-winning comedy duo, Local Anxiety, is being released in December.

Mark was the recipient of the 2009 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour for his best-selling comic memoir Never Shoot a Stampede Queen -- Adventures of a Rookie Reporter.

An award-winning journalist, Mark has written for such publications as Time Magazine, Maclean's and The Utne Reader and he's a regular contributor to The Georgia Straight and The Tyee.

Kevin Crofton has been featured in such TV series and feature films as Masters of Horror (Jennifer), Point Blank, Killer Instinct, Twist of Faith and he had a recurring role in The New Addams Family. He's worked on a wide variety of independent video projects and has been extremely active in live theatre as a director and actor near his home in Gibsons, B.C. Kevin performs his original music with his trio at venues throughout B.C. He is presently working on a new CD.

Band Members