Ladystache shimmies up to a skewering of the Montreal theatre scene
by Sarah Deshaies
Brushing aside any dramatic pretensions, Theatre Ste-Catherine’s Match Made in Hell crew presents a hilarious send-up of Montreal’s drama scene.
Equity/non-equity opens for Ladystache, a Toronto duo of sketch wonkiness.
Equity was rehearsed and put together within 72 hours. While the show has its frayed, loose edges at times, you don’t really care. Who’s looking for perfection?
Alain Mercieca writes the script, the show is whipped up in a matter of days. The play-within-a-play-within-a-play premise is actually quite simple, and the characters constitute a veritable ensemble of the lowest of the theatre world.
Nova Scotian import Maddie hopelessly wants to make it on indie theatre stage while her “interim” mouthbreathing boyfriend Dion encourages her. Diamond, her acting teacher, meanwhile encourages her to to work backstage instead of on it, but a French, publicity-seeking auteur provocateur has higher designs for Maddie.
This play skewers the Montreal scene, from publicity whores to note-scribbling reviewers (like this one). Mercieca says he held back with the critical material. I’m imagining how much more biting, and good, the show would be if he hadn’t.
What he did want to accomplish is to lighten up drama with a touch of improv and comedy. Make it more “punk rock” as the characters intone at the start.
Equity wraps quickly for the second act, Ladystache.
The down and dirty girl wonder duo, Stephanie Tolev and Allison Hogg, tackle fart jokes, props, muppet-human makeout sessions and penis jokes with aplomb, proving that, well, you don’t have to be a dude to do a penis-as-an-arm joke. A highlight was their nammering weather conversation sketch between two old ladies who hem and haw their way into nothing. The skits got looser and looser, as Tolev and Hogg cracked smiles and guffawed during more improv-oriented scenes, but again, who’s looking for perfection?
A warm re-introduction into the world of live comedy after a dry, cold spell of holiday television programming.
Match Made In Hell is at Theatre Ste.Catherine