Just for Laughs Ethnic Show featuring Rachid Badouri
By: Stuart Nulman – mtltimes.ca
Last month, the Just For Laughs festival got a jump ahead on its official launch for the 33rd edition by announcing the line-up of its popular series of Nasty Shows; at the same time, they announced that a new host will take the stage at Metropolis to helm the Nasty Show, only this time a precedent was broken when controversial Quebecois shock comic Mike Ward – who performs in both French and English – was going to make his Just For Laughs hosting debut fronting the Nasty Show.
Last week – appropriately on April 1 – Just For Laughs organizers got another jump ahead on its official launch by announcing four more series of shows that will take place this July.
First of all, they announced the line-up for this year’s edition of another popular show in its Club Series … the Ethnic Show. And like its X-rated counterpart, there will be another popular Quebecois comedian who will make his break-out English language performance for a Just For Laughs audience.
This time, it’s Rachid Badouri’s turn to show Anglophone audiences why he’s one of the most popular comedians in the province. A Juste pour rire veteran and long time gala host, Badouri has shared his comic observations of growing up in a Moroccan household in Montreal during his “Badouri Reloaded” tour, which racked up more than 250 shows and has sold well over 200,000 tickets. Joining Badouri on the Ethnic Show stage – which will take over Club Soda from July 8-19 – is a line-up that’s a virtual United Nations of comedy. Representing the U.S. is festival favorite Alonzo Bodden (who will also be the show’s host); British-Nigerian comic (and Just For Laughs veteran for nearly a decade) Gina Yashere; Montreal comic Frank Spadone will represent the Italian community; Dan Naturman will take the stage on behalf of Jewish Americans, and in turn, Ahmed Ahmed will be performing on behalf of Arab Americans; and comedian Ronny Chieng will represent a one-man multicultural mosaic, owing to the fact that he was born in Malaysia, raised in Singapore and the U.S., and educated in Australia.
As well, Just For Laughs unveiled three new solo shows by three festival veterans as part of its 33rd edition. Caustic, edgy comic Bill Burr – who was honoured with the JFL Award last year for Stand-Up Comedian of the Year – returns to the festival for two solo performances at the Olympia Theatre on July 22 and 23; Sebastian Maniscalco will be at the Gesu from July 20 to 26, as he skewers everything about today’s society for 11 performances of his one-man show entitled “Aren’t You Embarrassed?”; and three-time Grammy nominee and Emmy nominee Margaret Cho brings her renegade style of stand-up comedy for one night only to the Olympia Theatre on July 24 with her cleverly titled show “There’s no ‘I’ in Team, but there is a Cho in Psycho”.
And for those who can’t wait until this July to start their steady summer diet of non-stop live comedy, Just For Laughs is now offering quite the appetizer on May 23 at 8 p.m., as the legendary Canadian comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall returns to Montreal (in particular, the St. Denis Theatre) as part of their spring North American tour that runs through this June.
The original Kids in the Hall quintet of Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson will give their legions of fans a rare treat, as they will perform live onstage a selection of their unique brand of edgy, off-the-wall, nothing-is-sacred sketch comedy that formed the basis of their hit CBC TV series that ran from 1989 to 1994, and gave us such memorable characters as Buddy Cole, the Chicken Lady, the “I crush your head” man, and the dark duo of Simon Milligan and manservant Hecubus.
For more information about the Kids in the Hall show, the Ethnic Show or any of the other shows that are part of this summer’s festival – or to purchase tickets – call 514-845-2322, or visit www.hahaha.com.