Theater Review: Red Green performs at Stephens Auditorium

The ’90s Canadian sitcom show “Red Green” holds a live performance, “I’m Not Old, I’m Ripe,” in Stephens Auditorium. This new performance was on the tail end of 77 live performances in the “How To Do Everything… from The Man Who Should Know” Tour. Rick Green, the actor behind the Red Green character, ran the performance as if it were a Possum Lodge meeting and the audience were the lodge members.

Jacob Beals

Red Green brought his unique sense of humor to the stage at Stephens Auditorium on Wednesday night as part of his “I’m Not Old, I’m Ripe” tour.

About 30 minutes before the show started, a video of Green was played as he welcomed the members of the audience and introduced a segment of clips he described as some of his favorite moments on “The Red Green Show.”

“The show was on for 15 years,” Green said. “That means it had to be renewed 14 times. Can you believe that?”

The video felt nostalgic and the audience could be heard laughing right from the start.

This was a great way to set the mood for the night. It gave the crowd a chance to see old favorite clips before the man behind show itself came out onto the stage.

At 7 p.m. the real show began with another clip of Green telling the audience about the Possum Lodge oath, which was heard at the end of each episode of “The Red Green Show.”

Following this, familiar music played from the speakers around the stage as the theme song from the TV show was played and Green himself walked out to excited cheers and much applause. 

Green asked the audience to stand up and he led them through both the Possum Lodge oath and the man’s prayer.

“Alright, bow your heads for the man’s prayer,” Green said. “I’m a man, and I can change, if I have to, I guess.”

The beginning of the night felt just like the ending segment on each episode of “The Red Green Show.” Green did a great job making the audience feel like they were members of the setting.

One of the first major topics Green talked about that night was a little history about himself.

He began by telling the audience that he was born on Christmas Eve into a dysfunctional family.

Even though Green didn’t always see eye to eye with his parents, he mentioned that his uncle had a major impact on him as a child.

“He took me under his wing,” Green said. “Well he called it a wing, it was really a loose flap of skin.”

Green then pulled out some visuals for the audience and displayed them on a screen as he explained some of the projects he worked on with his uncle.

These included a homemade device that would close a toilet seat manually and a tape measure attached to a belt, which would pull up his pants’ zipper.

This was interesting because it showed a lot of background about Green’s character and where he discovered inspiration for his own projects and life tips. 

He also explained that one of the things his uncle did was getting him involved with Possum Lodge, where “The Red Green Show” was set.

Green used this as a segway to talk about funny stories about some of the characters who he has spent time with at Possum Lodge.

He used to tell these same type of stories back when the TV show was on and it felt just like that for the live show. It was almost like catching up with old friends but instead with characters. 

Another thing that Green brought from his TV show was his facts about men. He began by speaking about how guys just have a desire to be left alone.

“I think Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone so no one would have to come over to his home,” Green said.

Green then jumped to the topic of age and the effects it can have on men. He pointed out the less desirable parts of getting older, but he had a lot of fun with this topic all while coming to a conclusion that aging is a good thing.

“You don’t want the old guy, like me, to be in charge forever,” Green said.

After about a 15-minute intermission Green returned to the stage with more insight and views, this time on alcohol.

While he said he was OK with a beer sometimes he believed that too much alcohol can be a bad thing, but he acknowledged that drinking had made people do some incredible things. 

To prove this, he brought a Guinness Book of World Records to the stage and read some examples that included “most clothespins put on a face in one minute,” and “most apples held in a mouth while they were being cut by a chainsaw.” 

Green segwayed into health, another heavy topic. He explained that he was not too keen on all of the changes that happen in the world, especially in the area of fitness and nutrition.

He talked about how people have been telling him that red meat is one of the worst things a person can eat and how eating vegetables is the way to go.

Green explained that he is not the biggest fan of cutting out meat from his diet and that he thinks that taking it away all together could bring some disaster to the world.

“These are just some of the things I don’t understand and as I get older. I see more and more of them,” Green said. 

After that, Green used the time to talk about marriage, another topic he frequently visited on his TV show.

He explained that this year him and his wife Bernice will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary and he used his years of marriage as a chance to give advice to the couples in the audience. 

Once again, this felt like the same lovable Red Green from the TV show and it was great to hear what new things he had to say about relationships. He tied it into his earlier topic on age very well.

Even with getting older, a lot of the challenges that come with relationships still remain including that of communication, Green explained, and he went on to say that he remains quiet most of the time.

“My wife will say, ‘Why don’t you say what you are thinking about,'” Green said. “I say, I am.” 

As the show came to a close, Green brought out one final video, which was a montage of his handyman projects. The clips included some of his greatest homemade concoctions.

Finally, Green ended the show by talking about the importance of the handyman in today’s society and the future.

His point was that no matter how much technology we have we will always need the handyman. Green ended his discussion on this topic by closing with his famous line. 

“If the women don’t find ya handsome, they should at least find ya handy,” Green said.

Before he exited the stage, Green made his way around to wave to every section of the audience as they were clapping and giving him a standing ovation. 

Red Green’s performance at Stephens Auditorium gave his fans exactly what they have always enjoyed. Even though the TV show stopped production in 2006, Green’s stand up during the night made the evening feel like it was a direct continuation of that show and a perfect reunion for the fans.