Calgary's 'vibrant’ northeast explored in improv show
Jamie Northan and Andrew Phung are sharing their best memories about the 'notorious' quadrant
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It’s only cool for Jamie Northan and Andrew Phung to joke about the city’s northeast.
Er, I guess it’s cool for you to joke about it, too, if you grew up in the “notorious” quadrant, according to Northan.
Northan and Phung are set to perform North East: The Show, an improv skit about living and growing up in the northeast.
“We’re not making fun of the northeast,” Northan assured. “We’re making fun of it in a way where you can make fun of your own family. If other people do it, it’s not cool.”
Both Northan and Phung grew up in the quadrant. Northan said he lived in Rundle until he moved out at the age of 20. Phung, however, lived in various communities in that part of town.
“You know, I think the northeast does get a bad reputation,” Northan said. “But I think it’s one of the most vibrant and unique communities in the city.
“I didn’t even know it was considered less than ideal until I moved out.”
People sort of react when you tell them you grew up in the northeast, he added.
“You look back and you go, ‘Oh yea, it was a little weird,’” Northan said. “My neighbours parked their cars all over the back lawn, and it was a regular weekend activity to get together with friends and get in a fight.”
But it’s also a thriving cultural hub, where newcomers move to begin fresh starts, he said.
“You’ll find the best food in Calgary by locally owned Indian restaurants,” he said. “It’s funny — I didn’t realize most of Calgary was pretty much white until I left the northeast.”
Some of Northan’s best memories of the northeast include first dates on 32 Avenue, sneaking into $1 movies at London Town Square, and the Thunder Run water slide at the Village Square Leisure Centre.
Northan and Phung will ask audience members of their favourite memories growing up in the northeast.
The skits will be performed at Loose Moose Theatre at 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.