Just For Laughs Festival 2018 latest news (shows – Tickets)
Just For Laughs Festival 2018 latest news – The recent announcement that longtime Just For Laughs COO Bruce Hills was appointed the festival’s president was just one of the many latest series of developments that dealt with Just For Laughs’ 36th edition, which runs from July 11 to 29.
As well, a whole new roster of shows and talent has been added to its already massive line-up. Will Forte, the actor/comedian/writer/producer who is best known for his stint as a member of the SNL cast, as well as performances in “Nebraska”, “MacGruber” and “The Last Man on Earth”, will join Trevor Noah, Ken Jeong, Tiffany Haddish and Howie Mandel as gala hosts; Forte will make his gala hosting debut onstage at Salle Wilfrid Pelletier of Place des Arts on July 25 at 7 p.m.
On the solo show front, comedian Chris D’Elia (from the NBC sitcom “Undateable”) will perform his latest solo effort “Chris D’Elia: Follow the Leader” on July 28 at the L’Olympia starting at 7 p.m.; noted comedian and best selling author Tig Notaro marks her third time at Just For Laughs with a new solo show – also at the L’Olympia – on July 25; Moshe Kasher, author of the searing best selling memoir “Kasher in the Rye”, returns to Just For Laughs with a brand new show called “Mosher Kasher Live” on July 26 and 28; fresh on the heels of his latest Netflix special “Mouthful of Shame”, Jim Norton will bring a brand new hour of unabashed comedy to Place des Arts’ Cinquieme Salle on July 25 and 28.
Besides his upcoming show at the Bell Centre, mega star comedian Kevin Hart will increase his presence at this year’s festival, as his Laugh Out Loud digital comedy network will be taping eight “LOL Live!” multi-comic showcases over four nights (July 25 to 28) at the Theatre Berri.
Comedian Wanda Sykes joins the JFL ComedyPro line-up with “Throwback”, a live comedy show in which a group of popular comics take a brave look back at rare videos of their first stand-up performances, and share behind the scenes stories, insights – and brutally honest critiques – about these first cracks at stand-up with a select group of their comedy peers and the audience in attendance.
And the always popular OFF-JFL series will offer more local acts as part of its growing line-up. Never Surrender, dubbed as the “World’s Greatest Lip-Sync Band” and made up of local comics Mike Paterson, Ryan Wilner and Tim Rabnett, and fresh from their series of reunion performances that were one of the highlights of Paterson’s outdoor shows at last year’s festival, will have a mini reunion tour at the Café Cleopatra for two performances on July 20 and 21. Joey Elias, one of the most dominant comics to emerge from the Montreal comedy scene over the past 25 years, returns to Just For Laughs to offer his unique take on the issues of the day with “60 Minutes with Joey Elias”, which will also take place at the Café Cleopatra, for one night only on July 19.
American comic Dave Chappelle, who has headlined the most number of sold out shows in Just For Laughs history, returns to the festival this year with the Canadian debut of “Controlled Danger”, a comedy and music show that sees Chappelle team up with Grammy Award-winning musician John Mayer. “Controlled Danger” will take place at the Bell Centre for one night only, July 28, starting at 8 p.m. Ticket prices start at $69.25, with limited VIP packages available for sale starting at $550.25.
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A new documentary series was recently given the green light between Just For Laughs, Amazon and Prime Video. Running for six episodes, this untitled docuseries will follow a group of Los Angeles and New York-based aspiring comics, as they go through the arduous process of earning a spot on the festival’s prestigious “New Faces” showcase, where comedians such as Kevin Hart, Amy Schumer and Jimmy Fallon performed at previous New Faces shows that became the springboard to their rise in the comedy world.
The series will not only follow them through auditions, callbacks, selections and preparations for their respective stand-up sets, it will also delve into their lives to provide unprecedented access to their personal thoughts, highs, lows, frustrations and achievements as they work their way up the comedy ladder to what they hope will be their big break.
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It’s been eight years since I was inside the St. Denis Theatre to catch a Just For Laughs show before the galas moved to their new home at Place des Arts in 2011.
Last week, I did a sort-of homecoming to the century-old St. Denis Theatre to catch the opening night performance of Juste pour rire’s annual staging of the French language version of a mega successful Broadway musical.
This year, it’s “Fame”, the musical based on the Oscar-winning 1980 film and subsequent NBC TV series. It chronicles a group of students who get accepted to study at a prestigious performing arts high school in New York City, and experience their share of highs and lows – not to mention personal issues – as they work and study hard towards the goal of being a successful actor, dancer or musician.
“Fame” is a show that has the audience caught up in its pulsating, infectious energy from the opening musical number right through to the finale. There is plenty of music, dancing, comedy and drama, as you see these bright-eyed teens work their way to becoming talented artists in their own right. This mainly 20-something cast are just bursting with capital “T” talent, with stand out performances by Elisabeth Gauthier-Pelletier as the Latino spitfire Carmen Diaz, Marc Angers provides the show’s comic relief in droves as Goody King, Junbox as the rebellious dance student Tyrone Jackson, and Marie Denise Pelletier as teacher Miss Esther Sherman, whose solo song number was a definite showstopper that earned her a well-deserved standing ovation.
And special kudos goes to the people responsible for the breathtaking scenic design, which uses the latest in video technology that magically – and quickly – transforms the stage from a New York City subway station platform, to a dance studio, to the school’s grimy façade, to the interior of a theatre with such alarming accuracy, you think you are magically transformed to these locations, and not seeing typical theatrical scenery.
“Fame” is a wonderful show, and I urge everyone to experience it during its summer-long run at the St. Denis Theatre. You’re gonna live forever if you do.
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For more information – or to purchase tickets – of these aforementioned Just For Laughs shows (or any other JFL show), go to www.hahaha.com