Photo Credit: Nora (Eleanor) Wiens Farrelly
Nothing better than the SMC Troubadours for a good laugh before exam season
Zoe Zusman, Staff Writer
I watched The Funnies’ opening night and it exceeded all my expectations. The Funnies is one of the many shows put on by the SMC Troubadours during the school year. The Funnies has been a part of the Troubadours’ season line-up for a few years. With its old director having recently graduated, the directorship has been passed down to Cas Duarte, who has been working tirelessly to put on and continue the legacy of the iconic St. Mike’s comedy show. Although there were some minor behind-the-scenes complications, including two cast members being unable to perform, the show was amazing. I genuinely do not think a single person would guess that pre-production was a bit touch and go.
To start, the show opened with two very talented stand-up performances. It began with Maggie, who lit up the stage by connecting to the audience and sharing stories from her past, though she said they may not have been true. I think her aim to use audience involvement and keep people engaged was a good tactic and was done very well. To me, it was like I was listening to a friend talk about her life. This led the first part to be a little unstructured — but in a good way. It flowed from one topic to another and kept me laughing throughout. She also presented some skits, and I think the randomness she brought in between sketches was one of the funniest parts of the night. Next up was Nika. She did so well that you’d think she’s a professional. Her approach felt more like the stereotypically structured stand-up act but again had a great flow to the performance. Nika’s comedic timing was perfect and I really enjoyed where all the beats and tonal shifts were. These two performances set the stage for the next hour of skits. They opened the show beautifully.
Overall, the show was great. All the actors were very professional and compelling in their performances. The mix of vocal and full-body humour added a nice mix to the sketches. However, it was really Cas that drew my eye time and again. With true commitment both vocally and physically, Cas was able to evoke so much laughter from the audience. I truly think that with every skit Cas was in, the stage became a bit brighter and was brought to life.
The skits themselves were also very well written and dealt with a range of topics and genres. They were able to use more mature subject matter in a tasteful way that got lots of laughs from the audience. However, my biggest critique is probably that a few skits dragged on for a bit. Personally, I believe that taking about 30 seconds off two or three of the sketches would have been beneficial. The jokes might have been stretched a little too thin here and there. Other than that, I think the ordering and timing of the show was really good.
The Funnies were great, and I think the cast did a great job of bringing the ensemble together. A big applause to the heads for pulling it off with all the earlier complications and keeping the show going despite it all!