Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Dance Party of Newfoundland
So last night, for practically the first time since my son was born 4 months ago, I went out. And of course, it had to be the night that Toronto got 30 centimetres of snow dumped on it, with the snow swirling around at night and traffic slowing to a crawl. (Oh, and before I go on, can I just say: GET WINTER TIRES!!! Seriously... I have them, and ended up stuck behind a bunch of dunces who think all-seasons somehow do the trick while they're fishtailing and slipping and sliding all over the place, and I had to do about 20km/h the whole way downtown because these people have inefficient wheels. I wish they were mandatory in Ontario like they are in Quebec. What's the point of me having them if I'm just going to get stuck behind an army of people who don't??) But ANYWAY...

So why did I decide to brave the elements, you might ask? My brother had bought tickets for me to see a sketch comedy show by a troupe called The Dance Party of Newfoundland. His wife is from NL, and they'd seen the troupe before (and know a couple of them) and he really wanted me to go.

It was totally worth the aggravating drivers and possible death. It was one of the funniest things I've seen.

The show is held at the Diesel Playhouse in Toronto (go here to find out about tickets) and is on a very limited run until Saturday, but I urge you to go out. It's in a cabaret setting in a tiny room at the top of the playhouse, and the intimate setting gets you really close to the players to see every facial expression and, in some cases, them trying their damnedest not to break out in laughter themselves. The audience were screaming at points, as sketches ranged from a nervous artistic director of the Come-By-Chance local theatre (pronounced cumbychance) urging you to come and "see the mijic" (this was one of my favourite sketches; I had tears running down my face at one point); or a stand-up comedian who has played for a total of 800 people in his 40-year career (he'll tell a joke and then spend the next minute explaining the punchline to you); or the funeral service of 50 Cent, where a sombre minister lists off his achievements, gang wars, album cover wars, and song titles, all with a straight face; or a Tarantino fan who gets kidnapped by a bunch of Guy Ritchie fans and they battle it out. The humour is laugh-out-loud hilarious, and unique. One sketch had a Newfoundlander bringing his British cousin to the bar to meet his friends, and I still can't think of the punchline without giggling out loud.

Check out an article about them in NOW magazine here. The guys are all immensely talented, though the standout is Steve Cochrane, who should be starring in indie comedy films. He's an excellent actor, which raises his sketches from mere comedy to true hilarity. There's no reason, in a land that has produced Mike Myers and Jim Carrey, that this guy shouldn't be a massive star.

Go see them. It'll cost ya $20, which is nothing. Tickets are still available.

Update: You can watch some of their sketches here.

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