“MANVASION” ONE OF MONTREAL SKETCHFEST’S TOP EVENINGS
By Byron Toben
The 10th anniversary Montreal Sketch fest ended with 60 troupes in 20 time slots over 10 days. THE SIX CLOSING AWARDS FOLLOW THIS REVIEW.
While most offerings had a mix of male and female performers, two were unisexual….
Women in Comedy was all female (intentionally) and one, untitled, all male (unintentionally), The latter was hosted by ebullient local standup Mike Paterson, who dubbed this all male evening a “manvasion”.
It was also an all Toronto evening.
Leading off was the Palaholics duo of Matthew Nadeau and Aaron Peever. A sketch about taking their dog to the vet was particularly clever. How often does a comic get a chance to bark out of a car window with such abandon?
The Rocket Scientists quartet of Brandon Hackett, Kevin MacNeil, Chris Small and Ephraim Ellis kept animals involved.sort of, in their musings about “ghost mice”
One local lady was drafted from the audience for an amusing episode about which bachelor would she pick to marry. (This ensemble had won the 2013 Toronto Sketchfest Producers` Pick award.)
Parker and Seville ( who are really Dave Barclay and Matthew Kowall ) featured a loose physical style, which had garnered them an 2014 Toronto Sketchfest Troupe Award.
A word about the host
Mike Paterson oft throws in the info that he is a vegetarian, which gets a few laughs as he is a husky fellow. However, audiences should be reminded as none other than playwright and vegetarian G. Bernard Shaw pointed out, examples of vegetarians are elephants, hippos, rhinos and water buffalos. Tho best known as a popular and zany standup, Mike is also an accomplished actor (Harvey, Guys and Dolls, Glengary Glen Ross, all at the Segal Centre)
My Favorite Troupe From The Past
As fine an array of talents as this event attracted, most entrants were short form sketch folk, some bordering on stand up black outs. I prefer the long form. I believe it was at the second or third incarnation of the Montreal Sketchfest that the Chicago group, Improvised Shakespeare appeared, blending audience suggested topics with well known works of the late Mr S. Bring Them Back !
LATE BREAKING NEWS.. AWARDS
GIANT PIECE OF BARK for Best of the Fest Guaranteed spot in 2016
Vest of Friends (Toronto)
BEST LOCAL TROUPE Guaranteed spot in 2016
Hot Raw Fire (Montreal, of course)
BAG OF BEER for favorite newcomer Guaranteed spot in 2016….a Tie !
Falcon Powder (Toronto)
Jess Fitzgerald (Toronto)
JUST FOR LAUGHS AWARD $250 cash plus bragging rights
Peter N` Chris (Vancouver)
ZOOFEST AWARD Offers Spot in 2015
Marty Topps (Toronto)
… and a New LIFETIME AWARD