Review of MTL Sketch Fest 8pm Show
So we meet again, fellow mob followers, for the 6th night of the Montreal Sketch Festival. The city of Montreal may be described as bipolar if one were to judge by the weather. However, despite this past weeks bleak, cold and unwelcome clouds and rain, nothing could turn down the heat on a night when Onassis, Ladystache, Jape, and Elephant Empire took on the stage at Théâtre Sainte-Catherine.
Onassis was the first troupe to come up on stage last night. Throughout their entire act, I felt that I was watching a live episode of Saturday Night Live, with sketches that exaggerate that which is already extreme, such as the lonely and talkative girl who does NOT have friends, to three girls comparing how cute their boyfriends are, even when he threatens the guys who supervise amusement parks to stop all roller coasters…for his girlfriend who fears them so badly (sooooooo caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayute!). They continuously normalized the ridiculous, with Saint Marc’s podcast on confessions, reminiscing about faith and reciting bible passages as though they were lyrics from a popular song. Finally, nothing screams SNL more than digital shorts, and Onassis mastered that too, by showcasing the importance of achieving 69 with one’s partner…because that can, and will, apparently, ruin a relationship, even if your partner already has several other sketchy issues. Indeed, Saturday night’s show was off to a great start.
Now, forgive me, fellow mob devotees, for I have sinned…by arriving 5 minutes late to the show (listen, a girl needs her coffee). I payed my dues by sitting at the back. But hey, it gave me a new perspective of the show. In fact, I was slightly disappointed with Ladystache. Not because they delivered a bad performance, but for those sitting towards the back end of the theatre, it was difficult to fully grasp their otherwise hilarious act, which included a very dramatic wizard (Stephanie Tolev) in an otherwise mundane walk with an annoyed Allison Hogg, a modern day masseuse who deals with backs in sexual ways that may traumatize someone who visions massages as relaxing, and an atypical alpha male who cannot handle a deep-voiced Barbara from a sex hot-line. All in all, this dynamic duo provided the crowd with many laughs…but I just wish they would speak up for those sitting further down!
Within the span of “5 seconds”, Jape brought the energy up after a quick intermission, bringing internet humour to the forefront. Their PowerPoint presentation called “Stephen King: A Brief Proposal of a New Book Cover Designs”, demonstrated how creative one can get with titles like “Stephen King: Under the Sun” and “Stephen King: Under the Dome”…when taken literally. Their tribute to Savage Garden shows how truly, madly, and deeply, two former-friends-turned-enemies-and-turned-back-to-best-friends can feel about one another, as they reminisce about their fandom with this band from the 90s. Finally, Jape put a spin on the modern adage that “looks don’t matter: it’s what’s inside that counts”…for your dick. After a vivid description of one the characters’ genitalia, I just want to say that…looks do matter just a lil’ bit folks.
Last but definitely not least, Elephant Empire closed the night with an act comprised of continuous, short sketches, that would reappear somewhere later on or be referenced. I immediately fell in love with this troupe; their pace and timing was impeccable and, without pause, they fluidly switched from a YouTube simulation, to a bee emperor who sounded like Stitch from the movie “Lilo and Stitch” and had great difficulty controlling his bee troops, to police brutality (so common in Montreal, unfortunately). To end the night with such a phenomenal act, and coming up this big when the previous troupes already spoiled the crowd, nothing could have rained on this parade, filled with laughter and joy.