By Joseph Ste. Marie
The fifth annual Montreal Improv Festival was presented last week at the Mainline Theatre, showcasing Comedy troupes from Toronto, Winnipeg, New York, Denver, as well as local troupes including Uncalled For, On The Spot and The Bitter End who continued their series of movie genre parodies with “Totally Warped” based on an 80s style sci-fi time-travel films.
Uncalled For performed two editions of “Disaster Squad,” a hilarious spoof of superheroes preventing disasters while making them worse at the same time.
Toronto’s Sexual Tyrannosaurus brought their unique trademark of reenacting movies with a twist including the film Home Alone, where instead of the family being rich, they were a family of acrobats, Kevin was called “Macaulay Culkin,” the old man loves babies and Daniel Stern’s character was going through a bitter divorce.
“We all watch a lot of movie and we play a lot of video game and we found that a lot people are saturated with media,” Colin Munch said, explaining their concept. Munch felt that it’s an easy way to get everyone on the same page when asking for movie suggestions.
Representing Denver, Colorado was Steven Wilder with his one-man improvised musical, Wilder & Wilder. He pulled out two highly energetic shows, first about a man with female breasts and a German Rock Opera called Liederhosen, a band trying to make it big. Wilder received standing ovations after both performances.
Winnipeg’s Outside Joke presented their very funny anti-musical performances to the Montreal crowd with stories of looking for a scepter to claim the kingdom featuring a grilled cheese monster and a dying asshole father trying to make amends to his son and daughter-in-law for losing their daughter in a park.
New York’s Dearly Beloved brought their unique form of Improv of “eulogizing” a name of a person taken from the obituaries section of newspapers and then acting out fictionalize scenes that led to the person’s death.
“I’m super pleased with the shows that we had. They [the performers] brought a great series of shows,” said Francois Vincent, one of the organizers of MPROV. Vincent was pleased that the audience had a good time, as well as all the improvisers exchanging ideas during the festival. When asked about next year’s edition, Vincent said they want to make it bigger and possibly find sponsors or to try to get government grants to raise money in order to bring in more acts.