Kevin Vidal and his boyfriend recently attended a performance by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. As Vidal craned his neck, taking in the huge crowd at Roy Thomson Hall, his boyfriend teased him: “You need to get used to this. You’re going to be performing here.”
Vidal is in an upcoming show called The Second City Guide to the Symphony. It’ll be an entertaining blend of the dour and the silly; while the TSO plays bits of Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and Strauss, comedian Colin Mochrie and some miscreants from The Second City will perform comedy sketches on all things symphony, from the pomposity of regular symphony-goers to the sexual prowess of a woodwind virtuoso. There will also be original music by Second City’s musical director, Matthew Reid.
Vidal has performed in musical theatre and in two mainstage shows at Second City but never in front of a Roy Thomson Hall–sized crowd. “It’s a huge, huge audience,” he says. “And the music is some of the hardest I’ve ever had to learn. It’s a big challenge.”
It’s been a momentous year for the 25-year-old actor and comedian. In October, he finished shooting the first series of a new sketch comedy TV show, called Sunnyside, which will premiere early in 2015 on Rogers City. It’s his first time in a TV series. “In the way that Portlandia takes place in Portland, this takes place only in one mystical sort of neighbourhood in Toronto,” he says. “I play at least eight different characters, and they’re all pretty out there.”
It’s an exciting time, not least of all because of the mystery of what comes next. “There’s the symphony gig and the show airs, but I don’t know what’s happening in the new year. Next year is the first year of my life that nothing is planned,” Vidal says, “but I guess I’ll audition for things and hope that people want me.”