Nikki Hulowski bringing Marv n’ Berry back to town at the Nancy Appleby Theatre April 12

ATHABASCA – There’s no place like home.

Nikki Hulowksi is putting the age-old maxim to the test next month when she brings the award-winning, internationally-acclaimed sketch comedy troupe Marv n’ Berry to the stage she grew up performing on at the Nancy Appleby Theatre April 12.

“We love doing shows in Athabasca,” said Hulowski. “Athabasca has such a lovely, supportive audience that’s ready to laugh so we’re very excited for that.”

Marv n’ Berry is a five-piece group that got its start in 2015 at the Rapid Fire Theatre in Edmonton. Alongside Hulowski are Chris Borger, Sam Stralak, Quinn Contini, and Mike Robertson. The posse’s synergy is readily apparent after nine years of performing, writing, and touring, which Hulowski said stands out every time they take the stage.

“There’s so much trust between the five of us, and it allows us to be mischievous,” said Hulowski. “Sometimes it gets us into trouble in the best possible way — imagine doing a trust fall and being 100 per cent confident that they’re there to catch you, but they might let you fall as a joke, and it’s even funnier because of that.”

Originally, the act came to Athabasca once a year, typically after Edmonton’s Fringe Festival. That lapsed after 2018, and combined with the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruptions that presented, the team hasn’t made it back since.

The good news, according to Hulowski, is that there’s been a lot of writing happening over the last five years, and they’ll be bringing all their award-winning hits with them for the one-off show. This time, instead of bringing Neighbours Pub to the brink of its fire code limits, Marv n’ Berry booked the theatre.

“After the last show we did, there were so many people in the space it was standing room only,” said Hulowski. “I’m pretty sure the only reason we got away with it is because there were a couple RCMP officers and some volunteer fire fighters already there.”

A long way from home

Hulowksi’s career has, quite literally, taken her a long way away from Athabasca — besides her work with Marv n’ Berry, she’s performed in Shakespeare productions in the United Kingdom, acted in High School, an Amazon Prime television series, and much more.

“Touring internationally has been great … It’s really fun being consistently underestimated. Americans really do believe they’re the funniest thing to walk the Earth, and there are a lot of really incredible Americans, but I think Canadian audiences are harder to make laugh,” said Hulowksi.

Tickets for the show are available online via Showpass, and are $30 for a general admission ticket, or, while they remain, a $50 ticket that includes a meal at Neighbours Pub before the show.

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