What should you not wear to a nude potluck in August? Vancouver-based broadcaster and author Grant Lawrence plans to address this burning question and more when he visits Rupert for the first time next month.
On April 13 at the Tom Rooney Playhouse, Lawrence will share stories from his books and broadcasts, including his bestseller Adventures in Solitude: What not to wear to a nude potluck and other stories from Desolation Sound.
“That’s become my go-to,” Lawrence told the Northern View.
In the 1980s, when he was 10 or 11, Lawrence and his family had a summer cabin in Desolation Sound.
The area “attracted a lot of draft dodgers, a lot of hippies and a lot of people into counter-culture,” Lawrence said, but his parents were “as straight-laced as you got.”
“Put it this way, my dad just loves Stephen Harper,” he said. “We ended up in this area that was like Woodstock 24 hours, 7 days a week.”
Neighbours invited his family to a potluck that was accessible by boat.
“We got there and … we were completely shocked that everybody at the potluck was naked,” he said. “Men, women, children, teenagers, all naked.”
Despite the heat of summer, Lawrence was still at an age when he was uncomfortable in his own skin and showed up wearing long corduroy pants and an E.T. turtleneck.
Not wanting to give too much away, he saved the rest of the autobiographical birthday suit story for his performance.
Like his nude potluck story, Lawrence said a lot of his content focuses on coastal areas of B.C. and he hopes it will appeal to people in Prince Rupert.
Since he’s a singer and doesn’t play any instruments, and since his Smugglers bandmates won’t be joining him for his Rupert show, he’s recruited musical guests to support his songs and stories.
Luke Wallace of Salt Spring Island and Rachelle van Zanten of Burns Lake will both be appearing to perform their original music.
Lawrence said he’s worked with Wallace — a “cool, earnest, young protest singer” — previously on various Gulf Island shows.
He said he’s known about van Zanten for “like 20 years” and this show will be their first opportunity to collaborate.
Lawrence launched his stories and songs show format two years ago.
In some ways, he says the show is a tribute to Canadian storyteller Stuart McLean, who passed away in February 2017.
“When he died, I felt a major void was left in the storytelling landscape of Canada,” Lawrence said in a release.
“Grant Lawrence and Friends: an evening of stories and songs” will take place on Saturday, April 13 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Tom Rooney Playhouse (954 3rd Ave. West). Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are available for $25 at Homework (145 Cow Bay Rd.) or via Eventbrite.