That’s How I Remember It is a podcast turned stage show for the 2016 Toronto Fringe by the The Nice Guys. Having burst forth from the theatre to write this review, the show is still fresh in my mind, and this is how I remember it:
I came into That’s How I Remember It blind to The Nice Guys and their weekly podcast also titled, That’s How I Remember It, where the Guys recreate famous films using improv. Their Fringe show was no different, and from start to finish it was a hilarious and well-crafted total package.
The show begins as though the packed house is waiting for a movie to start. On a big screen, film trivia plays with the Nice Guys’ comedic twist, and it was a great way to loosen up the crowd and get everyone into a laughing mood. My particular favourite was the question: Arnold Schwarzenegger? The answer, and all of the tidbits from this part are funny and well done.
With the audience primed, the show begins with John Richardson welcoming us and saying instead of a live show, he knows we would rather just watch a film, and he asks a member of the audience which film he would want to watch. The gentleman, Tony, wanted “The Godfather”.
Richardson then introduces the film, preceded by two Nice Guys’ produced coming attractions – both hilarious, one a send up of horror movies and the other a romantic comedy about a woman’s romantic entanglement with a jar of mayonnaise – and then we are onto the stage performance.
It begins in failure when Sharjil Rasool, who was in charge of the projector, “knocked it over” and our film experience was brought to an abrupt hault.
Richardson and Rasool are then joined on stage by Michael Mongiardi and Raul Delgado, who lament the fact that the show is now ruined and bid us farewell, until Mongiardi has an epiphany. Why don’t they perform The Godfather for us as a sort of radio play, as they just watched it the night before?
Richardson grabs the microphones and the Guys prep to give us their best, but there is an extra microphone on stage. Mongiardi has the solution to the empty mic and says he was just hanging out with his friend backstage who does a killer Marlon Brando impersonation.
This was when we were introduced to Canadian improv legend Colin Mochrie, and after some pleasantries are shared, the Guys and Mochrie start a potato chip, chainsaw, cement factory, and headless horse-filled rendition of The Godfather.
I love improv and the group nailed it down well. Mochrie was his hilarious self throwing in improv curveballs when he got a chance, which helped keep things moving, and kept the Guys on their toes.
Overall, Mochrie let the Guys run the show, which Richardson did with ease and Mongiardi, Delgado, and Rasool all got laughs with Mongiardi’s bumbling version of Michael Corleone, and Delgado and Rasool as various characters.
The catch is that, according to the website, each show is going to be different, with a different guest star at every performance. This particular review will only be helpful in that I get to say that Richardson, Mongiardi, Delgado, and Rasool did a great comedic improv job with one of Canada’s legends, and I have no doubts that this will be the case throughout the rest of their run at Fringe.
Check it out if there are still tickets left!
- That’s How I Remember It plays at the Al Green Theatre. (750 Spadina Ave)
- Tickets are $12 at the door, and in advance, and can be bought online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Fringe Club at Honest Ed’s Alley, and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- Content Warning: Mature Language.
- This venue is wheelchair-accessible. Use the elevator at the Spadina entrance.
- Friday July 1st, 04:45 pm
- Saturday July 2nd, 07:00 pm
- Sunday July 3rd, 08:30 pm
- Monday July 4th, 10:15 pm
- Wednesday July 6th, 03:30 pm
- Friday July 8th, 12:30 pm
- Saturday July 9th, 11:30 pm
Photo of Raul Delgado, Michael Mongiardi, John Richardson, Sharjil Rasool by Jorge Mijangos.