Stuart Maclean’s Vinyl Cafe was at Hamilton Place last night. I’ve been a fan of the show for years, so I was thrilled when my friend Lissa gave me tickets to see the show as a delayed birthday gift. If you’ve never heard the show, you can check it out via the CBC podcast page.

It was great to see the show live. Hearing it on the radio, it’s hard to imagine what it might look like. It was pleasantly simple and understated. The set was nothing more than a wingbacked chair and a Persian rug, with an antique lamp off to the side. The richness of the show’s experience comes from Stuart’s unique voice and gift of language. Probably the audience’s favorite part of the show is Stuart’s hilarious stories about Dave and Morley. The stories are relationship-based and are filled with so many details that you feel like you’re there. If you want to hear a Christmas story, download this podcast and jump to about the 35 second mark. You’ll enjoy it.

It was a different experience watching Stuart read the stories live. He is a tall, gangly man, who punctuates his stories with awkward gestures and strange kicking motions. Somehow it adds to his charm.

Stuart features Canadian musicians on his show too. Last night, he brought out Dala to sing. They are not only adorable, but they sing like angels too. Highly recommended.