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Live Comedy - 3 Blonde Moms

3 Blonde Moms
2005 - Just For Laughs International Comedy Festival
Helen Keaney, Joanie Fagan, Maryellen Hooper
Theatre du Gesu
July 21, 2005
7 p.m.

S?okay. 3 Blonde Moms was an okay show. It didn?t have the magic of the last three shows I saw. I think it was due in part to a bad alignment of the cosmic forces or something because the show was set up like most comedy shows with the lesser known opening act comic to the veteran comedienne.

Maryellen Hooper was her usual excellent and very funny self. Yes, I am a fan, but the audience I overheard after the show would agree with me. Unfortunately, this was the first performance of the show in Montreal so the little kinks showed. There was also the fact that Montreal audiences will as a rule more than meet you halfway but this audience, for some reason, did not seem to want to do that.

The sound was not absolutely perfect so that did not really help. Maybe Helen Keaney and Joanie Fagan were nervous, and the cold audience did not help out, so they spoke a little too fast and rushed a bit. Another factor is the cultural differences between American and Montreal audiences. Adjustments had not been made to take into consideration that a Canadian audience will not get the joke behind asking your Mexican husband to go mow the lawn. Our gardeners are Italian. Joani Fagan?s joke about that little bird-shaped Easter sugar rush called Peeps simply did not fly because we do not really have them up here and they are not a big deal. Maryellen Hooper closed the show and, like I said, was excellent, so most people left happy.

The concept behind 3 Blonde Moms is very good. Three stand-up comediennes who have been best friends for a long time, are all blonde, and all had a kid at about the same time, share their experience. This may not seem such a big deal until you get to know the kind of woman each one is supposed to be. Helen Keany plays the trailer trash married to an ex-convict mother, Joanie Fagan (who really reminded Denis of Bonnie Franklin of One Day At A time) is the princess little miss proper who married a corporate guy mother. Hooper plays the crunchy granola save the whatever endangered species earth mother. This really should have gotten a better response than it did.

The show opens with an overhead projection introduction that is funny but not really necessary. Then the three stand-up comics come on stage together, introduce themselves and their characters again, and then each mom gets to do her set until the next mom cuts in and does hers. What really did not work was the show closer where a screen is brought down again and the audience is shown pictures of the three women doing various things. You keep expecting some kind of punchline, the joke never comes, and you end up feeling like you are looking at some stranger?s photo album. Then, the comediennes come back on stage for a final bow. The timing around that didn?t work.

Denis Bernicky



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