March 1-11, 2018 at The Theatre Centre and Comedy Bar
The 13th Annual TOsketchfest will feature the much-anticipated return of UK musical comedy viral sensation Flo & Joan (“2016 Song,” 2017 NOW Audience Choice Award Winners); quick-witted quartet TallBoyz II Men (2017 Steam Whistle Producers’ Pick Award Winners); a remount of the 2017 Fringe hit 32 Short Sketches About Bees; a live album recording by The Williamson Playboys; plus a special presentation of Rapp Battlez 100, the milestone 100th edition of Toronto’s hilarious comedic rap throw-down.
Benjamin Beauchemin from Boys Club! plays Gerald on Kim’s Convenience. Boys Club! will perform at Comedy Bar on March 8 and 9 as part of TOsketchfest. They have a bi-weekly sketch show in Toronto where they present a brand new comedic three-act play.
@TheSceneInTo: Transitioning from TV to live stage and vice versa, what are the biggest challenges? Is it case of wanting to do things over again?
@BOYSCLUBCOMEDY: I’d say the biggest difference, for myself, would be that on screen you can afford to be much more subtle. A small move of the eyebrows or a quick glance can really pop in a close up, but not so much on stage where you have people sitting twenty rows away from you. So, I suppose the biggest challenge is acting in a real, natural way while also being aware that I’m going to have to heighten gestures, facial expressions, and put more emphasis on certain lines than I normally would if it were being shot on camera. A lot of our sketches are really cartoon-y , but we still try to play the situations very seriously. So yeah, coming from a grounded place but still heightening certain aspects.
I really like how with live performance you only get one take. It makes it so much more exciting. You also get the massive benefit of having a live audience, which is huge. Feeling those big laughs is great, and even when something isn’t working, you can adjust on the fly, ad lib, try to bring more energy or tone something down. It’s really fun. With a group like Boys Blub, we’ve done two brand new shows a month for nearly two years. We’re really comfortable working with each other and making those adjustments/improvisations in the moment. We’ve had some shows go great, and some… not great, so we’ve been forced to deal with many kinds of situations and responses.
@TheSceneInTo: Being able to edit or is it a difference in writing the sketches vs. the TV show segments?
@BOYSCLUBCOMEDY: In terms of writing, we don’t really write Boys Club like a sketch show. Each show has a story line, and characters that we follow on a journey. One night there was a murder at the Little Angel’s pageant, another night a two-headed space Dracula crash landed on earth and was aggressively trying to collect RBC points. It honestly feels more like we are writing a live cartoon than anything. We’ve even incorporated cartoons a number of times. Once we had Tim Blair (From the incredible TallBoyz II Men) sit behind a computer and use motion capture technology to project himself against the back of the stage as a cartoon skeleton and play the entire show with us that way. One show was just an episode of Family Feud. We had some stand ups peppered in for the “commercial breaks”, Pat Thornton headlined it, and Roger Bainbridge (From the amazing Tony Ho) did a breathtaking performance as “the scoreboard”, but other than that it was just a straight up episode of family feud with two teams. Is that sketch comedy? Is that even comedy? Who gives a shit. Give us your money.
TOsketchfest will showcase a selection of Toronto’s top solo sketch performers such Jon Blair, Carson Pinch, and Kirsten Rasmussen and Toronto’s veteran performers including Mark & Andy (Mark Little and Andy Bush) and The Lusty Mannequins (Ashley Comeau, Alastair Forbes, Karen Parker and Connor Thompson), as well as a reunion of Vest of Friends.
Kirsten Rasmussen was on The Second City MainStage and season 2 of Schitt’s Creek. She will perform solo at TOsketchfest on March 7 and 8 at The Theatre Centre Incubator.
@TheSceneInTo: What do you need to consider as a solo actor vs when in a group?
@KikiRazzle: Being solo, you gotta make sure you make and meet your own deadlines, or do like I do and just settle into a wild panic for the full three weeks before a show. Having great pals to bounce ideas off is key, and I have a lot of those. But also… I don’t have to convince anyone that my dumb idea will go in the show. I once had a bit called Arm Trumpet. And I just played my arm like a trumpet, like blowing farts onto my arm. It was really a career highlight. (no one in the audience laughed).
@TheSceneInTo: What’s your best/favourite personal lol moment of the last few months/year?
@KikiRazzle: My nephew, who is just over two years old loves dinosaurs. And he was watching a great show DINO DANA, that is filmed here in Toronto. And my sister was in the other room, and my nephew started screaming, “Aunty Kirsten, Dino Dana! Aunty Kirsten, Dino Dana!!!” They didn’t know I was on the show. So, he was just watching his fave show when I appeared on the screen. That story makes me smile.
We’ve compiled a list of troupes we feel you should take a look at. The full schedule is available here: http://tosketchfest.com/shows/
Tallboyz II Men – March 1 and March 7 at Theatre Centre
A Shoddy Magician – March 1 and March 7 at Theatre Centre Incubator
Jeans – March 1 and March 7 at Comedy Bar
Tom and Erica – March 1 and March 7 at Comedy Bar
Good Game – March 1 and March 8 at Theatre Centre Incubator
The Diddlin’ Bibbles – March 1 and March 8 at Comedy Bar Cabaret
Ape Island – March 1 and March 4 at Theatre Centre Incubator
Definition of Knowledge – March 1 and March 4 at Theatre Centre Incubator
Herbeaver – March 1 and March 4 at Comedy Bar
Ned Petrie – March 2 and March 8 at Comedy Bar Cabaret
TwoSon – March 2 and March 8 at Comedy Bar
Xave Ruth – March 2 and March 10 at Theatre Centre Incubator
Jon Blair – March 3 and March 8 at Comedy Bar
The Templeton Philharmonic – March 3 and March 9 at Theatre Centre Incubator
The Two Draculas – March 3 and March 10 at Comedy Bar
Vest of Friends – March 4 and March 7 at Theatre Centre
Not Oasis – March 4 and March 7 at Theatre Centre Incubator
Dirtbag Cousin – March 4 and March 7 at Comedy Bar Cabaret
Dame Judy Dench – March 4 and March 8 at Theatre Centre
Parker and Seville – March 4 and March 9 at Comedy Bar
Hangry Mob – March 7 and March 10 at Comedy Bar Cabaret
THE 13TH ANNUAL
TORONTO SKETCH COMEDY FESTIVAL
Thursday, March 1 to Sunday, March 11, 2018
The Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen Street West
Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor Street West
Tickets On Sale Now!
Single tickets for the Festival Series: $16 – $20 plus taxes and fees
Festival Pass: $90 (valid for all shows)
Online at www.torontosketchfest.com