Joketown Number 18 is a Hoot
Théâtre Ste-Catherine hosts another monthly improv comedy skit series
By Byron Toben
In addition to special humorous presentations at the improvisational venue of the Théâtre Ste-Catherine, there are repeat themes. My own favourite, the popular bilingual Depflies recently ended its thirteen episode run, after finishing second in a nationwide search for a CBC national TV spot.
Still ongoing, now monthly is the Joketown series. Here, a number of talented improv actors get a week to write a sketch and then four such groups gather to perform them, the audience selecting by applause its favourite and the writer thereof being deemed the ‘mayor’ of the fictional Joketown.
I reviewed an earlier version here on WestmountMag.ca on December 21 and returned last week for number 18. The running theme is that the city of Joketown is adjacent to ‘Seriousville’, populated by decidedly less jocular types. This resonates with Depflies’ occasional apposition of St. Henri and Westmount. We all know that Westmounters appreciate joy and fun, of course, but that would ruin the supposition and contrast. Rene Lévesque’s outdated quip as Westmounters being local Rhodesians dies hard in stereotype land.
The running theme is that the city of Joketown is adjacent to ‘Seriousville’, populated by decidedly less jocular types. This resonates with Depflies’ occasional apposition of St. Henri and Westmount.
D.J. Mausner produced this show. She arranged for an M.C. (dressed as a banana peel – this must be a first in show business) who in turn introduced each act and presided over the audience selection of the new mayor at the end.
First off the bat was Voices of the In-between People by Tracy Hurren, who, with Jason Hatrick and Dorian Mitchell, were costumed as space aliens pondering the mysterious “In-between land” separating Joketown from Seriousville, while solving their own rivalries as to which of the trio is its own supreme leader.
Next up was Mulligan’s Regenerative Life Solutions & Bar & Grill by Jacob Greco, who appeared with Bianca Yates and David Kaufman, where customers were reverted into being infants! Shades of Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, but not so ominous.
Next was, with another long title, Kevin Spacey Fowler Sports Regenerative Centre by Kelly Kay who joined with Pat Gordeau and Olivia Barnes to portray an idle rich couple in Seriousville, bored with life and each other until the husband found meaning in becoming a ballpark food vendor and the wife in donning a performing Gorilla costume. The audience got to pelt the actors with rubber hot dogs.
Finally, with yet another long title, Bundle-McRead Astrolab and Observatory (Ah, for the days of punchy titles like Hair or Boom!) written by Vance Gillis who appeared with Ashley Araneta and Gabriel Omassi in another involvement with space sightings
The Winnah and new mayor by audience acclaim was Kelly Kay (pays to invoke audience involvement).
Théâtre Ste Catherine, which also hosts a cafe bar, can be reached for forthcoming shows at theatresaintcatherine.com
Images: Dimitri Kyres
Byron Toben is the immediate past-president of the Montreal Press Club