The crowds continued to come out out for Mprov: The 5th Annual Montreal Improv Festival last night at Mainline Theatre.
If this attendance keeps up, the festival will reach that much coveted live theatre producer's goal of breaking even.
Sorry, I slipped into festival organizer mode for a second there.
In fact, last night, on account of the fact that I did not have to appear on stage in any way, I was able to take the whole show in just as an average audience member might. Well, without all the "hey, don't block that offer" muttering.
So it turns out that last night was designated Unofficial Improv Movie Parody Night.
The unintentional theme show began with Montreal faves The Bitter End presenting Totally Warped. Totally Warped can best described as an improv version of 80's Geeky Teen Time Travel Comedies. And, yes, that is a genre unto itself. Personally, though, I draw a blank after Back to the Future I and II and the Bill and Ted movies (and even then, Bogus Journey is not really about time travel and was released in the 90's, but I digress).
Last night's take on the genre involved several characters that had trouble with each other's names, a dinosaur from the future known as the Retrosaurus and the single best improvised stage representation of the process of time travel that this blogger has ever seen.
I really enjoyed Totally Warped. That is, whenever I wasn't thinking about the fact that TBE were satirizing beloved movies from their adolescence that I was already a disdainful, jaded adult for at the time of said movies' original theatrical release.
Next up, was Toronto's Sexual Tyrannosaurus, also known by their much cooler sounding abbreviation, Sex T. Rex. They opened their show by doing that thing that Torontonians only do when they are in Montreal: apologizing for being from Toronto.
Sex T. Rex then sealed the Unofficial Improv Movie Parody Night deal by re-enacting a movie suggested by the audience. Proving that they were in no way afraid of taking any kind of improv risks on stage, Sex T. Rex chose the suggestion of Christopher Nolan's pre-Dark Knight masterpiece, Memento.
Now, I have seen Memento multiple times and I own the DVD but, seriously, I could not tell you exactly what happens in the film if my improvised life depended on it. So kudos to Sex T. Rex for re-creating an incredibly entertaining, reasonable facsimile of one of the classic mind-fuck films of all time.
Tonight at Mprov, there are two shows and two possibilities for spontaneous themes. And, of course, yours truly will be taking the stage with On The Spot Improv.
And so will I.
- Terence Bowman
- Montreal, Quebec, Canada
- I am a Montreal-based actor, writer and comedian. When U.S. President John F. Kennedy was shot, I was three days old. I cried all day. My favourite books of all time are Moby Dick by Herman Melville, The Last Temptation by Nikos Kazantzakis and The Ewoks Fun Time Activity Book by Chirpa and Pamploo. I am a member of The Vestibules, On The Spot Improv and The Best Buy Battery Club. Except for the Battery Club, I've been at all this stuff for over 20 years. Enjoy my blog.