The 10th annual Montreal Sketch Festival drew 61 entrants…29 from Montreal (4 in French), 23 from Toronto, 9 from New York and one each from Boston, Philly, L.A. and Vancouver.
Although many women were in all of these groups, one day was devoted to Women In Comedy.
That afternoon Theatre Ste Catherine and Sketchfest hosted a free panel discussion about women’s challenges and accomplishments in comedy, moderated by Sarah Deshaies (CKUT Upstage). Stand outs in the evening program were the two New York entrants.
THE WIRE MOTHERS, a musical sketch duo (Brianna Kelly and Madonna Marie Refugia) portrayed two rivals, widow and mistress of a renowned off-off- off Broadway composer as they jointly perform a tribute to him. Bitchy rivalry, of course, ensues. Some songs are takeoffs of real hits, such as “The Lion Mother”. Ms Kelly announced a solo, obviously aimed toward a Montreal audience, in French. To Ms. Refugia`s objection “But you don`t know any French… she replies “I know enough” and rattled off a torchy number of unconnected French phrases: “Bon jour, Couchez avec moi, les Miserables…” At the closing of the show, she also wished the audience “Bibliotheque” (explaining that that means Good bye.)
PEGGY LOULOULOU LOULOU a solo act with Amanda Xeller where she becomes an overbearing editor urging a volunteer man from the audience (so good I thought he was a “plant” ) to be a novice reporter and get the big story. An audience favorite was her fedora clad private eye wandering through the mist provided by front row spectators with under their chairs water pistols and sprays.
Two Montreal entrants showed individual talent but were more solo stand ups than sketch extensions.
A.K.A. FLORA LYNN is actually Laura Flynn who portrays two Irish twins, Belinda and Jacintha, who moved to Montreal in search of Love.
PRUDENCE DIVINE is Dawn Ford, who portrays a spinster librarian who literally loves a different book each night.
Montreal`s subtly entitled THE SIGNIFICUNTS is here a duo (Kirsten Humbert and Tessa J. Brown) a radical feminist bluegrass collective.
Toronto`s DING DONG (Chantale Renee and Amanda McQueen) parade an amusing series of rapid fire chuckles involving parent –child, lettuce and the like.
The MONTREAL SKETCHFEST continues at the Theatre Ste. Catherine through May 30.