Tonight I went to the Comedy Bar to see Fratwurst and Rulers of the Universe, both Toronto troupes that are part of The Toronto Comedy Sketch Festival. I hadn’t seen either of them before; I was there to laugh on yet another freezing cold night.
Fratwurst opened the evening. I had actually chosen the show based on their blurb which promised “word play and high concept sketch”. I felt that they fell short of delivering. They elicited chuckles from the audience but no belly laughs. It felt as if the sketches were too long and that their timing was off. A shame because there were a couple of funny ideas that got buried.
I found myself trying to analyze their intent and trying to see where the skits were going rather than just sitting back and enjoying, a sure sign that I’m not engaged. Maybe they were having an off night. Maybe the audience was having an off night. Maybe I was having an off night. Maybe we hadn’t had enough to drink.
The Rulers of the Universe set opened with an old crone walking to the stage from the back of the room and issuing dire predictions as she went. It certainly got the audiences’ attention. I particularly enjoyed two of their sketches; Gary who won the cruise was very funny although the ending was a disappointment.
The staged reading of part of a new play by the playwright in residence at Tarragon was a perfect portrayal of someone taking themselves way too seriously.
The troupe, two women and two men, worked well together. The sketches were tight and the timing was on. The audience responded well to them.
I had hoped for an evening of pee your pants funny and was a bit disappointed that neither troupe delivered. My date had to cancel at the last minute so I was there alone so I couldn’t bounce my reactions off him but my reactions seemed to be in sync with the rest of the audience. I laughed when they laughed.
- The Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival runs until March 15th at three venues; The Theatre Centre, The Comedy Bar, and the Randolph Theatre.
- Ticket prices range from $15.00 to $39.00
- Tickets are available online, by phone at 647-505-1050, or at the box office at The Theatre Centre – 1115 Queen St West
Photo of Rulers of the Universe