REVIEW: Fringe Night Live @ Ottawa Fringe 2012

Fringe Night Life is a five-man sketch comedy show mixing live performances and pre-recorded short videos.

I was truly excited for this show. I’m a huge fan of sketch comedy. Sketch comedy is by far one of the hardest forms of comedy out there. You need to create a plot, characterization, and a storyline in typically 3 – 5 minutes – and make it funny. FNL is a blend of live sketches, intercut with pre-recorded digital shorts. Unfortunately, the sketches were long-winded and largely misses, really. By far their strongest sketch, the only one that found me laughing, was two guys dissecting what a girl means when she breaks up with you. One digital short also made me laugh. A short commercial for a new board game called Hookers and Blow. Key word: short.

One of FNL’s last sketches. A 10 minute sketch about an inappropriate yoga instructor  was EXACTLY a mashup of scenes from Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Couple’s Retreat.

The people that will find FNL funny and endearing will mostly be the friends and family of those involved. That was only a handful of the small audience when I looked around to see who was laughing. I wanted to be able to give more, but, two.

What did you think? Did you agree with our rating? What did you love, or not, about this play? And what rating would you have given it. Tell us in the comments below.

Allan’s Followup:

There was definitely some good in the mix but Fringe Night Lives best sketches were indeed the short ones. There were several of them that went on thirty seconds, or even two minutes, longer than the punchline but could have been funny if they were tighter. There were others that just plain went on. And on. One sketch (one of the video ones) I enjoyed imploded in the third installment. In it they personified a cat by having an actor play a cat in a “what are cats really thinking” type sketch. They then introduced a dog, also played by an actor. But the third time out, they brought in another cat - which was a real cat.

What Fringe Night Live has going for them is their cast - especially Dave Rowan (who we also singled out in Don’t Make Me Zealous). These guys are shameless and willing to do anything for a laugh including dressing up in drag and shoving their junk in each others’ faces. I’d second the feeling that most of the laughs at FNL were from friends and family laughing at their silly friends, as we’re all apt to do, but the guys have talent. What they need to work on is tightening the content. Have to second Matthew’s two for this one.

- by Allan Mackey

Matthew Champ

About Matthew Champ

Matthew Champ is the lead reviewer for Production Ottawa's review team, Should You See It, making sure that whether it's local theatre or the latest Hollywood blockbuster to hit theatres, you know whether or not it's worth spending your time or money on.

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