Guys, we got back from the 2011 Montreal Improv Fest last week, and I think it’s safe to say that’s it’s in the TOP 2 out-of-town fests we’ve ever done!!! I only say Top 2 in case one of the other o-jokers preferred another fest, but it was definitely my favourite out-of-town fest. Suriously, from the accommodations to the improv to the disgusting jokes, everything was top notch. My only regret is that Toby and Jane were unable to join us, due to a theatre contract and the Canadian Comedy Awards, respectively. Lemme tell you about it in my favourite way: by constructing a list! This will be a list of my favourite things from Montreal.
1)The tattoos that we got at this well-respected Montreal studio. We floated the idea during Fringe and decided that Montreal would be the perfect time to get inked. Toby will hopefully follow suit, and Jane will get a cute item of oj jewellery, as her virgin flesh shan’t fall under the needle. We support you, Jane.
2)RobYn showed us this music/dance video our first day in Montreal, and everyone participating in the festival within earshot was hooked. The song and video, by Major Lazer (Diplo’s side project), introduced us to the dancehall-style move, daggering. From that moment on, no one was safe from a surprise dagger-attack from a well-meaning, rhythm-loving friend. The dance move inspired the game “Dagger Ball”, invented late one night with the aid of two small, Disney-themed cushy balls, probably won at a Chuck-E-Cheese. I won’t get into the rules of play, but let’s just say the system of rewards and punishment is questionable, and that Mr. Cheese would be shocked at the innovative use of his balls.
3)The amazing people at Montreal Improv have a sweet little theatre in a building on St. Laurent, and they also rent out an adjacent studio as a workshop space. With the help of a broom and many loaned mattresses, they were able to put up all of Oj, Leif’s lovely wife, Emily, Conor Bradbury and Colin Munch of Sex-T Rex, and Matt Folliott of Standards and Practices. Can you say, Improv Sleepaway Camp??!! We sure could, and we did. Every night until 3 or 4am.
4)Folks, there is some seriously special English-language improv going on in La Belle Province. I won’t try to list all the Montreal companies featured at this year’s fest, but I will say that we were particularly impressed with the comedic stylings of The Bitter End, Montreal Improv, The Brat, Uncalled For and Venezuela. If any of you find yourselves in Montreal, PLEASE look them up and see if they have any shows.
5)Although Toby and Jane were sorely missed, I think that RobYn, Chadd, Leif and I did a great job of holding up the anti-musical form as a foursome. We did two 30-40min sets, the first one about a ideoligically-divided family of farmer-butchers, the second about a lonely, Latina sword maker (can you guess what the suggestion shouted from the audience was? ten points if you guessed “dagger”). The musical highlight was a song about Chadd’s moustachioed villain, a little ditty I like to call “Bad Man, He’s a Bad Bad Man”.
To sum it up, good times were had by all, good shows were ‘proved by all and great laughs were guffawed by all. I can’t wait to see what happens next. Hint: there may be a special guest at an OJ show in the very near future. . .