The local comedy geniuses behind “Halfhandsome” are back with another gut-busting laughathon with 2019’s “Almost Baymous.”
This year’s show marks the third year for “Almost Baymous,” touted as “Revue” (of Rising Tide Theatre fame) for millennials.
Directed by Andrew Tremblett, with content from writers Cathy Fagan, Elizabeth Hicks and Evan Mercer, plus the entire performing cast – Brooke Adams, Zac Cross, Stephanie Curran, Allison Kelly, Stuart Simpson and Step Taylor – this third show was as funny as the previous two.
Running May 15-18 at the LSPU Hall, “Almost Baymous” features a series of hilarious skits that draw humour from both local and global topics, ranging from “pogey” to pirates – and that’s just the first couple of skits.
The show opens with the cast scrambling to get the show started, impatiently waiting for a cast member to deliver a VHS to the tech crew. With the tape now in hand, the opening credits begin to roll, bringing the audience into the first skit, “Pogeyman.”
Taking elements from the Pokemon game and employing regional humour about unemployment insurance, colloquially referred to as “pogey,” this skit sees a worker battle his boss for “top stamps,” using “workers comp” and “nostalgia” – a clip of Simani’s “Music and Friends” – to confuse and damage the opponent.
While there were many Newfoundland and Labrador-specific jokes in the show, this year “Almost Baymous” was filled with content that people from all backgrounds could relate to, such as the skit about a ragtag group of pirates forming a new crew.
This year’s show seemed a bit more vulgar and sexually explicit than previous years, but took on more lighthearted themes, instead of poking the proverbial bear with political skits and very dark comedy as they had done in “Almost Baymous” 1 and 2.
This year’s roast roster included people who give away spoilers, general cattiness in the women’s bathroom, airport security practices and settling the score on which Shrek movie is better – the original or the sequel.
A personal favourite was a skit about “real people who have faced death and lived to tell the tale,” with each cast member recalling a horrifying experience at Thomas Amusements, a travelling pop-up amusement park based in the province.
Another hilarious piece focused on the issues with romanticizing serial killers, as new documentaries and films continue to explore the “human side” of these notorious criminals.
In “The Killer Dating Service,” the women of the “Almost Baymous” cast fawn over Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer and Jack the Ripper, singing a parodied version of Toni Basil’s “Hey Mickey,” changing the lyrics to suit their killer crushes.
There were 13 skits in total, with some more disturbing than others. A particularly bizarre skit about a child’s wildly inappropriate love for his father – intending to be social commentary about corporal punishment – has probably forever changed the way I look at or interact with actor Zac Cross. (Sorry, not sorry, Zac.)
Though I wish I could un-see that particular skit, I would absolutely re-watch “Almost Baymous 3,” and if it were at all possible, I’d re-watch the previous two again, too.