Friday, January 28, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
I got to the show at Absolute comedy with 4 friends of mine that I hadn’t seen in a long time. It was a great atmosphere in the room and was a perfect setting for this little reunion of ours.
DeAnne Smith was the MC for the evening. What a great job! She had total control of the room. This is in fact what an MC is supposed to do, get the audience fluffed and ready for the comics. She did it and she did it well. She was fantastic, as strong as they come. She had the crowd in the palm of her hand one minute into the show. It was fantastic to watch. I looked around the room while she was well into her intro and the people were in stiches. From making fun of her looks to hating children, she was a delight to listen to. No one, not even those annoying people in the right corner of the room (that wouldn’t stop talking) stopped talking. Really solid DeAnne!
The next comic to follow was Nick Carter, a local favourite here in Ottawa. I have seen Carter perform this same routine for the last year and it is hit and miss. The crowd is responsive at first; however, his set just falls short this time with this specific audience.
Following Carter, was Craig Fay. A loveable guy for the women! The girls just seem to love this comic, not because of his looks but his jokes. They seemed catered to women. His “feel sorry for me kind of humour” worked really well. It was good and enjoyable!
On walked Ryan Cull. The show stealer hands down for this evening. He made the crowd laugh what seemed to be endless amount of time. No down time, no lags just laughs and more laughs. From joke to joke he just keep shooting them out. It was fantastic to have seen him perform. The crowd adored him. Look out for Cull, he’s got something.
The headliner for this evening was Lou Eisen. I had seen Eisen before and his show was the same as last time. Boring and uninspired. No one was laughing. It was uncomfortable to be a part of. Some people left during his set. I enjoy Absolute comedy, and feel they can do much better than Eisen. I would much prefer to have seen much more of Cull and Fay.
Think I am wrong? Then check it out for yourself at Absolute Comedy on Preston Ave.
Review by Skip Phillps: Guest Reviewer
The room was packed, populated mostly by twenty something college students. I somehow managed to seat myself behind a large group of giggly sorority type girls, most of whom couldn't be bothered to put away their brightly back lit cell phones. I later found out it was two-for-one student night. At 39 i think i may have been the oldest (smartest?) person in the crowd.
McGee hit the stage to warm up the crowd, her 1st few jokes, although hilarious elicited almost no response. The energy in the room was low, but McGee did finally managed to wake them up and get a good laugh or two. As this was an "x-rated" show McGee's material was suitably vulgar, most of it of self depreciating sexual nature, but she pulls it of with such charm she remains one of my personal favorite comedians.
If Mcgee managed to wake the room up...well they went right back to sleep for Bobby Mair. Mair took the stage nearly unnoticed. While I found his far-out observational style to be solid, his material continued to fall on deaf (dumb?) ears. During a bit about kidnapping/Stockholm syndrome the audience was so unresponsive he actually had to stop and ask if they knew what Stockholm syndrome is....sadly, most did not.
Now the stage was set for the headliner, Darren Frost. Frost took the stage and immediately scared the crowd awake with a loud barrage of expletives, reminding us that this is indeed an x-rated show, and he was, as he says, "just getting started". Frost's angry, in your face style makes me wonder if this is a stage persona, or if he is in fact, as he puts it "dead inside".
One word of advice, if you want to earn yourself a free dvd of Darren Frost's comedy, and don't mind being the target of his venom, go ahead and sit up front...if you dare.
Overall, despite the young crowd who at times seemed more interested in taking pictures of one another with their camera phones, it was a solid and very funny show. I recommend you head down to Yuk Yuk's at 292 Elgin St. and check out three very talented comedians. These three deserve a crowd who appreciates smart, fun, and solid comedy. And for the love of everything holy, please put away your damed cell phones.
Frost, Mair and McGee can be seen until January 22. Call 613-236-5233 for reservations.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Review: Aaron Berg Underbelly Diaries Redux 2011
Tonight had a younger crowd at Yuk Yuk’s on Elgin, which is not surprising given it is 2 for 1 student night. It was an intimate crowd and setting for a cold winters night, and those who attended were ready to laugh.
Yuk Yuk’s brought Berg’s one man show to their Cold Dark January. The audience is fully alerted when they purchase their tickets that this show is going to have language and content that may offend some. The MC for the evening Rob Mailloux, started out with some crude humour with a laid back attitude. He has trouble eliciting a strong reaction from the crowd, but that is his job, to warm the crowd up. He moves into some crowd interaction, which brings them to life. A few more jokes and we are ready for our feature act. Wait, feature act after the MC? That doesn’t sound right? But tonight is a special performance. Instead of regular stand up comedy, the crowd is told that they will receive a one act show, a narrative of the comics life. One man. Sixty minutes. And away they go.
Berg starts off by stating “There is no such thing as a big break in Canada”. He repeats this phrase quite a bit at the beginning. He goes into his start in life, his influences, his upbringing. don’t expect fairly tales and butter tarts, he has some fascinating experiences that, as the title declares, comes from the “underbelly” of society.. Berg continues, flawlessly for over an hour, captivating the crowd with his show. There was never a moment where the crowd was not fully engrossed in what he was saying or laughing hysterically. His stage presence is effervescent, it is a combination of stand up, theatre, and some exotic dancing. (you have to come to the show to understand this reference.)
Berg completes his performance to rousing applause, and the crowd is bewildered as to where the time has gone. The MC returns for announcements, and rightly so he states he feels uncomfortable coming up after the end of that show. But this is a comedy show in the end, and their are future shows to promote!
This show is for those who enjoy the fringe, the side of life that is not always neat and pretty, but told in methods that has the audience laughing until they cannot laugh anymore. Yuk Yuk’s should be commended for taking a risk in changing the format of an MC, opener, middler and headliner. by moving something that is still comedy, but brings a strength and art that is not seen by mainstream society on a regular basis The show was enjoyable, and heartwarming in places, and every audience member came out laughing. To be reminded, it is not for the faint of heart, it is comedy that is really on the edge and in the “underbelly”
This show can be seen at Yuk Yuk’s Elgin on Friday, with two shows Saturday. Call 613-236-5233 to reseve your table.