A UNIQUE COMEDY CAMARADERIE
You have to loathe the fact that funny is subjective by design. Unload the same joke on two different groups of people in two different environments and the results are never the same.
Laugh loyalists are high-fiving the sketch sextet answering the call of Second City Toronto’s 77th Mainstage revue who set out to prove that organic comedy has universal appeal when a connection is made between kooky characterizations and calculated creativity.
And what really stands out in director Chris Earle’s persistently amusing presentation is the unique comedy camaraderie that exists between this troupe. Not only do they have plenty of pluck but there’s a notable comfort level handing off the material back and forth.
There’s so much to love in the film noire inspired segment when a taxi alternative suggests life is too often unFARE. Yet when vignettes involving the perils of movie pitching and baseball bandwagoning take shape you know you’re in the right place for clever entertainment.
Few can catch their breath from Pierre Trudeau’s ‘The Power Of Love’ musical number, the importance of first date language interpretation, or a Syrian refugee’s gratitude for arriving in the true north strong and free.
All of which cleverly set up the scene finale of two oldies sharing observations and confessions in pure Downton Abbeyesque fashion. Senior Citizenship that awaits all of us might suck on the aches and pains front but it can only be humourous if our thought process is recorded and played back.
We’re wholeheartedly convinced that a root canal at the dentist needs no anesthetic whatsoever if Leigh Cameron and Becky Johnson where by your side for commentary. They’re just that good at drilling deep for giggles.
And if Kirsten Rasmussen ever showed up at your door to say your puppy was a victim of hit and run involving a Vespa scooter, you just know your four legged friend is in a better place. Why else would a farce goddess like this be sent from the heavens that day to break the news?
Kyle Dooley, Etan Muskat and Kevin Whalen are the ticklish testosterone trio that heats up the offering with wit and wonder. They may be the only three men you’d be happy to serve out a 5-year sentence in a Turkish prison knowing every morning will be more side splitting than the last.
Don’t ignore this fast, memorable comedy montage from Mercer Street. The Hotline Always Blings Twice is a Spring smile maker like no other.
Review by Steven Berketo
THE HOTLINE ALWAYS BLINGS TWICE March 8 – July 3, 2016 SECOND CITY, 51 Mercer Street, Toronto TICKETS $25.00+ www.secondcity.com 416-343-0011 CAST Leigh Cameron, Kyle Dooley, Becky Johnson, Etan Muskat, Kirsten Rasmussen and Kevin Whalen DIRECTOR Chris Earle MUSICAL DIRECTOR Lee Cohen