Comedy shows in Montreal you do not want to miss this summer


Comedy shows in Montreal – When comedian and actor Gianmarco Soresi appeared on the prestigious Just For Laughs New Faces showcase at last year’s festival, he admitted that the three days of his New Faces experience was a frantic one, but it came with a rather cold hard truth caveat.

“I was surprised when I was told that I shouldn’t expect to return to JFL for a number of years after doing New Faces. But then, New Faces was what all that mattered to me. I just do that one big show, followed by relaxing, getting drunk and spending time with my girlfriend,” he said. “One night, I was chilling at the bar, when I suddenly received a text saying that I was to appear at that night’s Midnight Surprise show, in which I would be second to last on the line-up. However, my set there didn’t go well, and I kept asking myself afterwards why a certain joke of mine just didn’t work out the way that I hoped.”

Somehow, the unsuccessful set at the Midnight Surprise show didn’t end up with Amy collateral damage to his comedy career nor hurt his chances to return to Just For Laughs. This year, Soresi is part of the line-up of the annual Just For The Culture show, which will take place at Club Soda from July 18-26. He will join this series of the best in culturally diverse comedy with host Alonzo Bodden, Zarna Garg, Joyelle Nicole Johnson, Judy Gold, Arthur Someone and fellow New Faces 2022 alumnus Malik Elassal.

During a recent Zoom call interview Soresi, who is also an actor by trade, believed he was a failure as an actor, and decided to write an autobiographical play that guaranteed a part for himself. “I knew that with a play like that, the producers would have to cast me,” he said.

The show played off-Broadway, and during the run, he experienced a defining moment that would change the course of his stage career. “I had talks with the audience after each performance, and many of yhem told me that I should do stand-up comedy,” he said. “I knew that stand-up comedy was a different lifestyle, and that I would have to give up my nights. But when I got started, I was hooked.”

Soresi’s Italian-Jewish cultural background makes him a perfect choice for the Just For The Culture show. On his Jewish side, he admits that he wasn’t raised with an emphasis on the religious side of Judaism, but the growing anti-Semitism that’s been happening recently on America has struck a nerve with him. “I believe it’s really crazy with what’s going on with the upswing of anti-Semitism. But when I heard Kanye (West) start talking about Hitler, I knew I gotta write about it,” he said.

On his Italian side, it’s more leaning towards the energy and animated way of expressing things his Italian relatives do that make up the other part of his comic persona. “It’s the way to confront my fears, and when I write jokes, it surpasses those fears. Being a culturally diverse comedian is a great way of dealing with yourself and your shortcomings, not to mention a good place to own your failures. It makes it okay to offend yourself and reveal what a piece of s— you really are.”

Besides the Just For The Culture show, Soresi will be performing his solo show on July 25 at Cafe Cleopatra, and July 28 at Salle Claude-Leveille of Place des Arts.

Comedy shows in Montreal
Gianmarco Soresi

As well, he will be doing a live recording of his podcast The Downside with Gianmarco Soresi on July 26, 2:30 pm, in the Ovation Room of the Doubletree Hotel. He will be joined by co-host and actor Russell Daniels, along with a special guest (to be announced), in which they will conduct a free-form conversation dealing with subjects that greatly annoy them.

“If you like my dark, cynical and complaining style of humour, then the podcast will reveal to you the source of it,” he explained. “It offers is a comfortable space where we can talk about — and listen to — what really annoys us.”

Soresi promises Montrealers that their fair city will be fair game when it comes to airing his annoyances during the podcast. That will include a number of Montreal-related topics like poutine, learning how to spot talk while speaking French, and especially the near-fatal.ride he took last year along the Lachine Rapids.

“When I took that ride on the rapids, I felt that I nearly broke my neck. When the water hit the boat, it was like that I was punched in the face and broke my jaw in the process. Of course, my decision to sit in the front row of the boat didn’t help matters, either.”

Comedy shows in Montreal
Toronto comedian Steph Tolev

Toronto comedian Steph Tolev, whom Vulture regarded as a “comedian you should and will know,” is excited at the prospect of performing at the perennially popular Nasty Show for the very first time, where she and her fellow nasty comics Mike Ward, Donnell Rawlings, Adrienne Iapalucci, Geoffrey Asmus and Dino Archie will take over the Club Soda stage for 11 shocking nights from July 18-26.

“I have been a nasty comic for a very long time

 However, I originally wanted to be an actress, but I didn’t get into acting class. So I opted for the comedy class at Humber College (in Toronto), and got accepted there, so I guessed that I was funny,” she said during a recent phone interview.

Steph knew she had a flair for performing and gaining attention as a result of it. “When I was a kid, a lot of my friends at school told me that I was funny. Even my teachers admitted to me that although I was not good as a student, I was funny and should get into comedy … and they weren’t wrong,” she said.

Although she cut her teeth in sketch comedy in Toronto — citing the Kids in the Hall and British TV sitcoms such as Are You Being Served? as some of her major influences — Steph realized her major strength was doing stand-up.

“I love doing crowd work, but not in a hateful way. I mostly poke fun at the men in the audience at my shows, but more of the silly stuff I bring back to myself. Actually, I am more of an aggressive comic onstage, but in a fun way,” she admitted.

Following her time at the Nasty Show, Steph will embark on a tour of the U.S. from September to November, which will culminate on December 14 with a show at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall. The tour will also be taped and turned into a documentary. And all of this from delivering nasty, blue material for so many years.

“Everyone is secretly dirty and perverted. It’s something that’s relatable to all of us,” she said.

Comedy shows in Montreal
Bert Kreischer – Stand Up Comedian of the Year

Just for Laughs news

In other Just For Laughs news, the winners of the annual Just For Laughs Awards were recently announced, and will be presented at the awards show on July 28 at the Grand Salon of the Doubletree Hotel as part of the ComedyPro series. This year’s recipients are the following: Quinta Brunson (Comedy Person of the Year); Bert Kreischer (Stand Up Comedian of the Year); Ronny Chieng (Breakout Comedy Star of the Year); Mae Martin (Rising Comedy Star of the Year).

Tickets for The Culture Show and The Nasty Show

For more information, or to purchase tickets to the Just For The Culture show, the Nasty Show, or any other Just For Laughs show, click here

Stuart Nulman
By: Stuart Nulman – [email protected]

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