Fringe Festival Reviews # 11 : Betch A Sketch and Public Mischief
The theme this year seems to very much be women to the front, and Betch-A-Sketch (though much more light hearted than many of the other shows) is no different. The first theatre piece from local band Pope Joan, this predominantly musical sketch show features an ensemble of funny women bringing their comedy to the front, with the support of live music by Sacha Crow. Some of the sketches that really stood out were a visit from the ladies of “The Retired Ladies Sexual Expression and A Capella Freedom Club;” a stellar dance performance (featuring plastic bags) of Katy Perry’s Firework; and a charming mockery of Conservative Christian children’s camps as they sing all about how you’re going to hell if you read Harry Potter! If you enjoy sketch comedy that blends music, dance, and great comedic timing, then Pope Joan’s Betch-A-Sketch is a great show for you!
The year is 2007, and Alexandra Montagnese has found herself in the center of a school-wide scandal and legal mess as rumours are spreading that she has been seen kissing a teacher. Now, in 2018, Montagnese is revisiting this true story as a one-woman (and many puppets) story telling show – Public Mischief. Montagenese’s strong presence on stage, the skilful use of every day objects as puppets, and the intensity of the story itself make this show a great theatre experience. Through the use of 2007 specific songs, a very simple school desk, and Montagnese’s physicality, we are instantly transported back to high school. One of my favourite parts of show was the use of puppets to give dimension and character to the story – including two double bubble gum balloons wrapped around Montagnese’s fingers to represent herself and her teacher. If you are a fringer who enjoys a good story telling show, or more traditional theatre, there is something for all types of Fringers in Public Mischief.
Betch a Sketch and Public Mischief continue through June 17 as part of the St. Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival. Find out all shows and info at montrealfringe.ca. Montreal Rampage coverage of the Fringe Festival includes reviews of Sex But I’m Canadian, Stories About Love, Death, & a Rabbit, The Eulogy, The Autism Monologues, Greasy, Dance Side of the Moon, Buyer and Cellar, Lucky, Don’t Read the Comments,Crime After Crime (After Crime), Is that How Clowns Have Sex?, SCUM FM, Jellyfish are Immortal, Naked Ugly Dancing, and Rootless Tree.