Mprov, a Montreal based improv festival in its 9th year is underway and is hosting both English and French speakers from around the world, as well as lots of familiar, local faces. The early show on Wednesday night was packed, with a mix of performers and improv appreciators ready to have a good laugh.
Kicking off the night was Funtime Jam, a collective made up of members from across Canada. With only the suggestion of a name from the audience, the troupe brought us on a series of adventures including a beautiful tale about a bullied snowflake who went on to be appreciated for her differences, a double-couple trip to Costco and insight into the sketchy underbelly of the snail sale black-market.
Characters that stood out were the pool salesman who couldn’t swim, the caviar mogul millionaire, and the lemonade stand lady allergic to the sun. This team really wove a story into their scenes and the audience was along for the ride. The set was tender, it was moving and it was hilarious.
Next up was Grindprov, a local troupe of four performing at Mprov for the third time. They describe themselves as “working class heroes with a manicure”, whatever that means. My favourite scene was “family breakfast” where a “no-frills” family made up of wildly unbelievable characters celebrated the birthday of the 13 and a half-year-old daughter.
To finish the show, Doreen, took the stage. If anyone could make that name spunky and fresh, it was these guys. They took a suggestion from the audience, acted out a scene and then used key words from the scene as titles for a series of short stories. They brought us along as a touchy feely girlfriend met the in-laws for the first time, a recently laid-off 89-year-old fish plant worker visited the guidance counselor for career advice and to a political debate where the slacker was revered and the keener was shamed. As funny as the scenes were, the highlight for me was the facial expressions of the Joe Dirt-esque Portugese diplomat.
I also have to add that the music for these shows was really well done and added to the comedic effects of the performers.
If you are looking for a night of laughs with a great vibe and a supportive feel, I highly recommend checking out the schedule and planning to stop by. Don’t miss a chance to experience improv theater in action live!
MPROV Festival is happening from Oct 1 – 11 2014 at the Improv Montreal Theatre (3697 Boulevard Saint-Laurent) Tickets are $6-$12 or festival passes can be purchased for $50. For schedule and tickets click HERE