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Archive for June, 2011

Review: Sketch Com-Ageddon: Final Round

Posted by art On June - 19 - 2011

By Meagan Snyder

June 18: Finals

The Hooligans
The Local Drysdales

Sketch Com-Ageddon had its final rose ceremony tonight, featuring the four sketch troupes that made it through Friday’s semi-finals – Fratwurst, Jape, The Hooligans, and The Local Drysdales. Each troupe performed their best 15 minutes, whether that meant many small sketches, or fewer longer ones. This time around there was no security blanket in the possibility of a judges’ pick – the audience alone was responsible for awarding one troupe $450 and a guaranteed spot in November’s Toronto Sketchfest. All jokes ironically aside, it was a great night for sketch comedy. The troupes were all at the top of their games, and the house was packed (courtesy of The Hooligans, for the most part, based on audience reaction to the mere mention of their name. Spoiler alert.).  Let’s take a look at each troupe’s contributions: Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Sketch Com-Ageddon, Day Three

Posted by art On June - 19 - 2011

By Meagan Snyder

June 16: Rounds E and F

Round E:

Grade Eight Dance
Parker and Seville
The Regulars
Good Game
Emergency Bingo
A Classy Affair
Pagan and Eggs

Round F:

Creedence Bathwater Revival
The Raisin Gang
The Local Drysdales
The Troupe of Seven
Corporate Elevator
Smells Like The 80s

Tonight marked the final two preliminary rounds of Sketch Com-Ageddon at Comedy Bar. Decisions were made, and yet another 11 sketch troupes were sent into the sketch comedy abyss to live amongst lost footage of Comedy, Inc… or WERE THEY? Stay tuned (or skip to the end of this review) (no, don’t) for an unprecedented Sketch Com-Ageddon TWIST! I haven’t been this shocked since Ashley decided to give out that one extra rose on Monday’s The Bachelorette. Regardless, I’m sure the unlucky performers that were eliminated will all rise in the style of Phoenix, one of the most resilient sketch troupes out there,  but in the meantime, let’s celebrate their best moments, as well as those of their better, more talented, funnier, champion peers. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Sketch Com-Ageddon, Day Two

Posted by art On June - 19 - 2011

By Meagan Snyder

June 15: Rounds C and D

Round C:

Not on a School Night
100 and 50
The Hooligans
Vest of Friends
Two Weird Ladies
Obvious Rabid Machine

Round D:

Touch My Stereotype
The Ugly Stiks
The Specials
Dick Wolfs
The Hemingways

11 more sketch troupes packed up their knives and left tonight as the preliminary rounds of Sketch Com-Ageddon continued at Comedy Bar. Tension was in the air as host Paul Snepsts delivered interstitial updates on the score of game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The tension, however, came out of the fact that a room full of comedy nerds didn’t understand the implications of any of these reports. Or, at least, that’s what I assumed. The laughs were plentiful tonight – Round C in particular was jam-packed with high-quality sketches, and I imagine the judges’ pick was not easy. Here are some highlights of the night: Read the rest of this entry »

Interview: Daniel Kurland of The Raisin Gang

Posted by art On June - 16 - 2011

Daniel Kurland

By Meagan Snyder

The Raisin Gang’s members are active in Toronto’s sketch comedy community, translating their fast-paced and often absurd sketches into innovative live shows as well as high-quality short films. They will compete in TO Sketchfest’s Sketch Com-Ageddon during Round F, Thursday at 9:30 at Comedy Bar. Raisin Gang member Daniel Kurland was kind enough to answer a few questions for MONDO.

MONDO: Tell me how The Raisin Gang came to be.

DK: We had all worked together previously in various capacities prior to The Raisin Gang, the biggest one being Ryerson’s sketch troupe, RIOT. That would have been our “Groundlings,” I suppose. We started there, and then after getting out of university, no one seemed to think that education was the ingredient that held us all together, so we kept at it. We all have known each other for a gross amount of time.

MONDO: You perform live but also produce many videos. What do you get out of these different formats? Does one motivate you more than the other? Does your work in each format compensate the limitations of the other?

DK: They’re both great formats to play in, and I’m very happy that we do both, but it’s almost like they’re different vehicles entirely. With videos, you can tell stories that you couldn’t on stage. It’s that simple, and that always has me thinking videos are the greatest, because you can pretty much write anything, and more or less make it happen. Not only that, but you can get humour out of filming, by having jokes in the editing, or the effects, or the continuity. There was a solid stretch of time when everyone’s favorite sketches on SNL were the Digital Shorts, and it’s because of things like this. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Sketch Com-Ageddon, Day One

Posted by art On June - 16 - 2011

By Meagan Snyder

June 14: Rounds A and B

Round A:
Rulers of the Universe
The Adjective Nouns
The Migratory Salvation Show
Plum Thunder
Tough Crowd
Seventh Round Picks
Reverse Oreo

Round B:
The Cool Grapes
Warm Summer Hotness
Colonel Mustard
The Temps
Tony Ho

The preliminary rounds of Sketch Com-Ageddon began June 14 at Comedy Bar, and let me just say that if the intensity of the Stanley Cup finals has been too much for you, STAY AWAY from Comedy Bar between now and Saturday night. Ba-rutal vibe. Just kidding, everyone was super nice and supportive of each other. After all, they’re all fighting the good fight for sketch comedy in Toronto. That fight was very enjoyable to watch – everyone clearly had fun on stage, the audiences were supportive, the host’s (Paul Snepsts, co-artistic producer of TO Sketchfest) interstitials were short and sweet, and energy was high. In MY heart, Sketch Com-Ageddon-ers, you’re ALL winners. That said, here are the highlights of Rounds A and B: Read the rest of this entry »

Preview: TO Sketchfest: Sketch Com-Ageddon

Posted by art On June - 15 - 2011

By Meagan Snyder

November is a long way away. Thank goodness. None of us even want to THINK about November, right? The snow may have started falling. The Christmas (yeah, I said it) ads will definitely have started jingling. Those of us who may or may not be teachers will be gearing up for report card season and facing the long, long, incredibly long did I mention long tunnel of multiple thousands of days before summer vacation. Yeah, I’m pretty sure the ONE GOOD THING about November is TO Sketchfest. For five glorious nights, Torontonians will be able to forget about the potential snow and definite endless schooldays applicable to everyone as they take in the best sketch comedy the city has to offer. I bet now you’re cursing the very gods that sent this beautiful, beautiful summer that stretches out before us, forcing us to enjoy every moment of it before cruel November comes our way. Well, guess what? November’s come early this year, kids.

From June 14-18, TO Sketchfest presents its fourth annual sketch comedy competition, Sketch Com-Ageddon. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: The Last Man on Earth

Posted by art On June - 3 - 2011

The Last Man on Earth
Co-created by Phil Rickaby, Dana Fradkin, Stephen LaFrenie, Janick Hebert, Ginette Mohr (Director), Richard Beaune (Dramaturg/Artistic Director), David Atkinson (Music), and Kimberly Beaune (Stage Manager/Production Manager)
Part of the Toronto Festival of Clowns
June 2 & 5 @ Pia Bouman School for Ballet and Creative Movement

By Jessie Davis

We were led out the back door of Pia Bouman School of Dance, into a parking lot where the evening sun seemed determined not to leave us. Then, as our eyes adjusted to the burst of light, down into the darkness of the adjacent theatre. The setup, though cleaner and painted entirely black, is reminiscent of the freak show at Coney Island—a tiny, intimate space with a handful of amphitheatre-style seats—and we were fortunate enough to find ourselves in the front row.

Quite honestly, at the end of this grueling workday, I was happy just to sit down. I had no idea how thoroughly delighted and enveloped in whimsy I was about to become. Warning: this review contains an obscene count of the word adorable. There really is no better word to describe it. Read the rest of this entry »



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