As I mentioned in my previous post, I was in London (ON) during the Big Comedy Go-To. When I mentioned Chris Gibbs' show, The Power of Ignorance, I forgot to say that I didn't know what I had just watched... if you've seen this production, you know that this is a very funny compliment. Although it's not that funny now that I have to explain it...
Saturday started out with a decent production of Morris Panych's 7 Stories by London's Passionfool Theatre. Many of the festival shows were taking place in front of the 7 Stories set at The ARTS Project. It was nice to finally see how it was being used.
Highlight number one on Saturday was a panel discussion with 7 or 8 of the festival performers, which was moderated by producer Jayson McDonald (who deserves a big pat on the back and maybe a beer for putting this whole thing together). The panel was great because it revealed to me that people whom I consider to be incredibly amazing and talented performers are still scared shitless and think all their work is going to suck. So I guess you never get over that, huh? Damn.
Highlight number two occurred when The Circus came to town. Yes, a real circus with a clown (only Morro, rhymes with sorrow, made it out in one of the bravest and most endearing pieces of theatre I've seen in years) and juggler and the magic of Siegfried and Roy in their comeback special. Seriously, I can't believe someone would want to miss this!
Even Elvis made it out to the festival and he's dead. What's your excuse? Elvis was my highlight number three. And I'm not just saying that because I got a scarf with his sweat on it either.
I followed that up with some more improv (and my previous comment still stands) and a solid night of stand-up comedy from many of the performers. Basically, if I liked your show, I also liked your stand-up routine.
Wow, and the festivities weren't even over yet.
On Sunday, I was exhausted but saw my friend's show, He Ain't Heavy in the afternoon. This was a great new work that had one of the biggest houses at the festival. For those of you who missed it, I believe they are remounting it for the London Fringe Festival in June, which I am annoyed to say overlaps with the Ottawa Fringe Festival.
Then I stuck around for Paul Hutcheson's, Third Time Lucky. Apparently, Paul (or M. Hutcheson if you're nasty), who's shows tend to be quite explicit had promised his parents he wouldn't perform in London again in order to avoid "embarrassing" them with his material. However, he couldn't pass up the chance to participate in the festival so they came up with a compromise: a nice clean show. Paul is a giant manic ball of energy who does not fail to entertain. He reminds me of a dirrty muppet (yes, two Rs). I could watch him read the phone book (note to Paul if you're reading this, maybe I found the concept for your next show - I'm sure it would please your folks). Fortunately, I won't have to though as he is bringing his piece On Second Thought to the Ottawa Fringe.
Ah but it wasn't all good. I saw some absolutely terrible sketch comedy too. Feel blessed you will never have to know the meaning of Cake Farts.
Everything did end on a high note, however, with some really good sketch comedy thanks to Fully Insured (who really should update their website) and The Cody Rivers Show. I had seen Fully before in late December, but this time was even better than before. Perhaps it has something to do with their opening act. I can't even begin to describe Cody Rivers. It was like nothing I had ever seen before, but I know that if I get the chance, I will see it again.
So there you have it folks: my recap of the first annual Big Comedy Go-To. It was impossible to see absolutely everything, but I sure tried. This whole thing was an amazing, quality experience and I look forward to seeing it around for many years to come.