Montreal Sketchfest 2014: Saturday
My Montreal Sketchfest hangover may have finally faded, but the memories certainly haven’t. Here’s what went down on the final night of sketches last Saturday, May 24.
This duo kicked the night off with a couple of sketches about The Tonight Show and Bill Clinton pranking George Bush, which worked well but dragged a little. They tempered their American-centric humour with some great pop culture material, like a deleted scene from Beauty and the Beast in which Gaston’s cholesterol finally catches up with him – simply delightful.
Palcoholics are a couple of confident performers, but I would have appreciated more accessible references. Luckily, their last sketch, in which one of the members impersonates a Portuguese film critic and improvises reviews from the audience’s suggestions, was absolute gold.
The inimitable Marty Topps stopped by for a repeat performance of TapouT-themed synth rock.
A talented troupe with a big cast, New York City’s Party. regaled the crowd with some fantastic character work and a hilariously violent sacrifice scene. They also offered up another great deleted Disney scene, this time from The Little Mermaid.
Vest of Friends brought the energy way up for the last set of the early show with all new sketches about a six-year-old douchebag and an unfortunate trip to Hooters, plus an old favourite of mine, Cornville town meeting. Their light premises and strong endings stole the show.
The first troupe of the late show that night were a couple of strong, charming performers who go by the name of Beggar’s Canyon. Their clever writing and fantastic use of the Ghost Roommate premise as a returning gag blew me away.
These ladies upped the intensity from their set at Katacombes two nights previously with sillier sketches and even more uproarious physicality. And I’m very happy to report the Dawson’s dad dying sketch was every bit as funny the second time around.
The Reception’s brand of extremely physical humour and tendency towards parodying Hollywood Blockbusters reminded me irresistibly of Toronto’s Sex T-Rex. They capped their stellar set off with an epic, unforgettable moment, inviting audience members to rush onstage with them and somehow getting them to sign the lyrics to “Hey Jude” along to “Let It Be.”
The night came to a close with another incredible set by Montreal Sketchfest favourites Elephant Empire. Their password sketch will quite possibly remain burned into my brain for years to come. A fantastic end to an absolutely awesome festival.
Later in the night, Bloody Underrated was proud to give the inaugural Best Local Troupe Award to Ladies & Gentlemen. Congratulations as well to the winners of the Bag o’ Beer Award (Best newcomer): Marty Topps and Bridge & Tunnel; and of the Giant Piece of Bark Award (Best of Fest): Elephant Empire.
True to Theatre Ste-Catherine tradition, Sunday night at Sketchfest was improv night, with performers from all over the festival stepping in for an All-Star Improv show. And then it was really all over. It’s always hard to say goodbye to a festival, especially one as fun as this one. Bloody Underrated is so happy to have been affiliated with this week-long laugh-fest. We already can’t wait for next year.
Bloody Underrated was a proud media partner of Montreal Sketchfest 2014.