Knocking back a deep mug of coffee this AM, after a self-indulgent 5 hours of sleep, because these Ottawa Fringe reviews require fuel, by cracky! Just wrapping up my writeups for day two before hitting work and then returning to the fun for a third day, and can I just officially say I’m very much enjoying Fringe 2018 so far? Wotta dandy batch of shows so far, We are mightily pleased, and excitedly looking forward to more!
In fact, let’s look at more right now, in the shape of CANADA 151 from sketch troupe Not Oasis, in my first visit this Fringe to grand old Academic Hall. A multigenerational, multi-ethnicity, lgbtq+ inclusive gaggle of gagsters from Toronto, Not Oasis already has a friendly, inclusive feel as the show goes wheels up and dives right into their loosely Canadian-themed collection of comedy sketches. Starting with an impressively choreographed opening musical number and never looking back, 151 is a rapid-fire style show reminding me of Ottawa own sketch Fringe classic WUNDERJAMMER a few years back, spinning from one sketch to another in moments with a bit of power pop transition. The sketches themselves range from 15 seconds to almost 5 minutes or so, hitting on topics like identity, sexuality, relationships, bear attacks and more. We can all relate, am I right? There’s also a bunch hitting on the titular theme of Canadiana…I’m still smiling about the refugee family sketch (and Isis? Genius.)
The diverse cast are a talented bunch, and each bring their own talents to the comedy table. Forgive me for not tracking down all their names yet, but hey, five hours of sleep, whaddaya want?? I thought some of the cast were stronger in places than others, and there were a few duds for me in their packed-to-bursting collection of sketches, but that’s just personal taste, and they were definitely the exception to the funny rule. If you can’t find something in this show that makes you laugh out loud and smile like a goof, you’re probably a professional theatre critic. But wait, even THEY love this show, since Not Oasis already won Critics pick at last years Toronto Fringe. This is a really, really fun hour of comedy from folks what know funny, even if they ARE from Toronto (zing!). You’ll leave with your own fav’rit sketches and characters (oh, the bro sketch, THE BRO SKETCH!!!) just as a good sketch show should do. And folks…this is a pretty darn good sketch show. Peace love and soul,
Kevin R (and Baby G)
PS Check out the rest of Canada 151’s showtimes and ticket info HERE!