Last night I headed out to see Dan Ramos’s last representation of his show MontreaL.A. at OFFJFL. He took us on his journey of being a comedian in a way I’ve never seen before. Full of sketch comedy, props, music cues, audience members who get up and walk out, his teacher the clown from Abitibi-Témiscamingue, MontreaL.A. had a FRINGE feeling where you never knew what to expect.
The stage was set with hot girls which threw me off because I thought I was going to watch some stand-up comedy. I instantly wiped my slate clean and sat back to enjoy the show. Mixed with many forms of performance arts, Dan tells his story in his style to where you almost don’t know if it’s a part of the show or if he’s doing crowd work. It’s both.
My favorite part was his mother telling a story of when she had to go see his teacher in school about his behavior. “You see that window, you gonna throw him out of it!” It felt like my mother giving my brother crap when I was young. You can see where he gets his humour from.
Dan’s father passed away recently and it’s clear that he played a very special role in his life. He closed the show with two touching tributes to his Father. After playing the piano for 9 years, his father decided to make a switch and bought him a red accordion JUST to play the song ‘Oh Danny Boy’. So there he was, standing on a skateboard, playing ‘Oh Danny Boy’. Holding back his emotions, he closed the show ‘Dan Dan Soy’ – a Filipino folk song his father used to hum as a lullaby. I remember closing my eyes and feeling the music and his emotions flowing through my veins and thinking “This is powerful and raw.” It was a beautiful moment and the only way to close this show.
MontreaL.A. was not just a journey of Dan’s comedy career but of his family and the role they played along the way. It reminds you that life is precious and these moments where you hated your parents or didn’t agree, you can appreciate those too because that’s love.