Date: 28 July 2003
: The Vogue Theatre

Reviewer: June Heywood









Cathy Jones

From coast to coast Canada has a breadth of comedic talent. In the first of two Galas, the Comedy Festival's lineup was purely Canadian and completely ribald.

Christine (Tiny) Taylor did a fine job keeping a straight face as she emceed. She's had practice touring worldwide and appearing in Playboy. In contrast to Ms Taylor's slender beauty, sidekick Hunchy the Hunchback was anything but. Light-fingered Hunchy had stolen just about anything that wasn't nailed down at his hotel. He flung soaps, shampoos, and conditioners at the audience but stopped short at taking off the bathrobe he was wearing - despite encouragement.

Once a teacher, soon to be a clown, Emilia Symington-Fedy (aka Patti Fedy) looked for love in all the wrong places. One of her goals was to fall in love. She pondered: "When you're falling in love, how far do you fall and what are you falling into?" The lyrics of her song, "Love hurts", and her appearance - pig tails, oversized spectacles, and mismatched clothes - give some indication why. However, Patti's optimistic. She's convinced she'll find someone who'll love her as much as she loves herself.

Also a teacher of English and Philosophy, Paul Bae was the quintessential, award winning, stand up comic. His timing was impeccable. He through in a few (unnecessary) cuss words as he described teaching a male teenage ESL class and the difficulty he had explaining the difference between a female being hot/cool, good/bad, and other definitions in the youth parlance of today. His speech got faster and faster as he described the dichotomy that's the English language.

The Long Hand Comedy Rockettes were not listed in the liner notes. Despite clever alliteration (bowels boisterous and burning), this two-man act was long. The technicians were often on stage to clear up the mess of food and drink that littered the stage after each sight gag or soliloquy.






Someone in the audience was taking photos when comedian, Shecky Grey took the stage. He was furious. His act was punk rock. He yelled a stream of comments - "And now we're really **** able to teach Bob Dylan English". "And now they all go for Isadora Dunkin Donuts". "And now, the movie, "Herpes: The Love Bug". Each sentence was punctuated by an earsplitting crash of a symbol.

The musical comedy duo, The Wetspots, sang XXX-rated original songs "without using any words that aren't allowed on CBC Radio". This male and female pair's repertoire included bossa nova, jazz, country and rhythm and blues. The song titles were outragious: "Do you take it in the Ass?"; "Ribbed for Pleasure"; "Where You're Going I'd Like to Come" to name a few. The woman's voice was strong and clear. She had the costume and manner of a 30's bordello madam.
The first half ended with a progressively drunken striptease down to the bare tasseled breasts of Patti Fredy.

By her own admission, Cathy Jones, the evening's headliner, was not a stand-up comic. In too tight jeans and black sweater that looked as though they'd been worn for a day or two she fiddled with her hair and read from notes that lay on a table.

Some jokes were memorable. She wondered what the cast of Riverdance had done in a previous life to warrant kicking their asses in this one. She told us she had to get divorced "because the house needed decorating anyway". And we were told that they "Didn't do drugs in their house except at Christmas when Ma rubbed a little cocaine on her teeth".

There was a convoluted court case in which Cathy was talking to her inner self, portraying characters she played in This Hour has 22 Minutes. The roles were indistinct and the piece was too long.

It was when Ms Cathy Jones put on the costume of "Mrs Enid" that she came alive. In character she said, "You Vancouverites have beautiful sunsets. Where I come from it's so foggy I didn't see my parents until I was 8 years old."

The packed audience gave the star of the show a standing ovation. Friends and admirers hustled onto the stage where Cathy Jones enthusiastically returned their affection as they all joked and laughed.

2003, June Heywood